I had 20+ students come to class, and they were great.
I got all teary-eyed reading Hal's farewell to Hotspur. But I noticed one of my students wiping her eye, too :)
As for what I do with a class of 30+ for Shakespeare?
This is a sophomore level class, though my junior level classes also cap at 35.
Mostly discussion: break out groups look at passages, then come back for full class discussion. Mini-lecture moments, but mostly looking at the text and pulling from there to talk about themes and issues. Sometimes we draw stuff, enact moments, read aloud, etc.
10 short journals (on a specific passage in a text)
4 Research Question assignments (prep for later assignment)
Research paper based on question (find a published essay that responds to the research question, write a summary of it and how it answers your question, basically)
I'd guess I get about 15 full pages of prose from the average student, with some doing up to 30, and some a bit less (not counting the midterm and final). They have some choice on journals (they have to turn in 10 of about 15 possible journals), and on research questions.
At this point in the semester, I've graded 7 of the short journals, and 4 out of the 5 research question assignment possibilities. They've done the explication, and taken the midterm. So the next big thing is the research assigment, and then the final.
Our students tend to be willing to work hard if you ask them to, and are very capable readers and thinkers. They're good people to work with.