Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

'Tis Much When Scepters Are in Children's Hands

Once a year, for a wonderful week, we throw open the doors of Folger Theatre and invite elementary children, grades three through six, to share Shakespeare. Our stage has been full of Puck, Oberon, Titania, Nick Bottom, Peter Quince, Romeo, Juliet, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear and his daughters.

These young students are a constant inspiration with their enthusiasm for Shakespeare’s language, their commitment to Shakespeare’s ideas, and their embodiment of Shakespeare’s stories in their performances. They embrace the experience of performing Shakespeare—getting the words in their mouths and making it their own.

Students shared with us, the audience members, the sweetness of Romeo and Juliet falling in love and the pain of their loss when forbidden love was denied. They shared the fun of Helena, Hermia, Demetrius, and Lysander searching for each other through the woods. They shared the tragedy of King Lear as he realizes his older daughters might have professed their love, but they don’t really love him. They shared the confusion of Hamlet as he tries to work through the chaos of his life.


Children's Shakespeare Festival 2013
Children’s Shakespeare Festival 2013

During this festival week, we see in action what we know so well: performing Shakespeare gives students the opportunity to use language in ways that are exciting and empowering.

Children and Shakespeare: a winning combination!


One Comment

  • It’s an incredibly magical experience to watch young students take to the stage and engage Shakespeare’s texts. They’re comfortable with the language and have great fun.

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