Stratford will be the location for the first half of the Congress; London for the latter half. Stratford plenaries will take place in and around the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, with seminars and workshops at the Shakespeare Centre, the Shakespeare Institute and King Edward VI School; London plenaries will be held at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, with seminars and workshops at King’s College London and the Globe. Theatre and other cultural opportunities at this Congress will be unparalleled: in Stratford, delegates will have privileged access to two Royal Shakespeare Company stages and to the five Shakespearean sites cared for by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and, in London, to the two Globe stages (the Globe itself and the new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), as well as to the exciting range of performances, concerts and exhibitions that will comprise ‘Shakespeare400’, a London season for the quarter-centenary year.

The Congress, which will take place from 31 July to 6 August 2016, will run in Stratford from Sunday evening to Thursday morning; delegates will transfer to London during the day (coaches will be provided) ready for the London welcome reception at the British Library on Thursday evening; from then until the Saturday night the Congress will continue in London. Plenaries – featuring leading writers, theatre practitioners and critics – will, along with seminars and workshops, be divided evenly across the two sites. In both locations, the 2016 Congress will offer unequalled opportunities to engage with the current state of play in Shakespearean criticism, pedagogy, theatre history and performance studies, and to connect with Shakespeareans from across the globe.

The hosts for this quatercentenary Congress will welcome what we expect to be a record number of delegates to a unique range of cultural and intellectual opportunities in the places where Shakespeare was born, acted, wrote, and died. We look forward to seeing you in Stratford and London in the summer of 2016.