Bright Torches Ignites the Love of Shakespeare for Local Students

By Giving List Staff   |   October 16, 2023

Bright Torches, a dynamic team of theater and education practitioners from the UK, specializes in working with youth around the globe. This week they will offer local students an array of captivating experiences, including storytelling performances, workshops, and puppetry, aimed at instilling a love for the works of Shakespeare, all while fostering imagination and promoting critical thinking.

The Bright Torches team is eagerly looking forward to engaging with over 1,800 Santa Barbara Unified students during this week-long residency. The group’s goal is to show that Shakespeare is for everyone, and they have strategies and activities that cater to all learners, including emergent bilingual students and students with learning exceptionalities.

Their impact extends beyond this residency, as they plan to return to Santa Barbara in April 2024 to conduct follow-up workshops for students and provide professional development opportunities for Santa Barbara Unified teachers. 

Tom Davey, the founder of Bright Torches, expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “All of our work builds talk in the classroom and pushes young people to think critically and share their ideas confidently with others. Shakespeare’s stories are so powerful, and it’s thrilling to be unleashing that power in classrooms, to explore timeless themes afresh, and to hear the thoughts and feelings of young people. Through all of our work, we hope to support teachers in providing a learning environment that has creativity and spontaneity at its heart.”

The residency is part of a broader initiative funded by Sara Miller McCune through the Léni Fund, a program of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation supporting and encouraging student participation and exposure to performing arts programs in Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Education Foundation promotes private support of Santa Barbara’s public education system, serving over 12,500 students in 19 schools. For more information, visit


Santa Barbara Education Foundation

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Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF) provides and supports programs that enrich the academic, artistic, and personal development of all students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

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