Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog


A Big Announcement this week, teaching colleagues! We’re totally psyched. We want you to . . .




 Join us, your colleagues down the hall, and teachers from across the country for a series of three live-streamed-from-the-Folger Master Classes focused on three plays you teach.

One solid hour of great professional development via your computer or tablet, jam-packed with:

  • deep content knowledge for your own smart, intellectual self;
  • loads of practical classroom strategies effective with all kinds of students;
  • the chance to ask questions and interact in real time with very cool faculty members–Folger scholars and Teaching Shakespeare Institute teachers;
  • a companion bundle of downloadable classroom-ready materials and handouts that you can use in class the following day, and
  • a follow-on letter from the Folger certifying participation, useful for obtaining CEUs.



Each Master Class costs $20, or register before December 7th and you can purchase the series–all three–for $50. Click the link to register and make your online payment.




  • Thursday, December 10, 2015 — 7:00-8:00 pm EST — Teaching Hamlet

Faculty:  Dr. Michael Witmore, Director, Folger Shakespeare Library;  Dr. Gail Kern Paster, Director emerita, Folger Shakespeare Library;  Dr. Peggy O’Brien, Director of Education, Folger Shakespeare Library;  Mark Miazga, City College High School, Baltimore, MD; Jill Burdick-Zupancic, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Fairfax, VA;  Amber Phelps, City College High School, Baltimore, MD;  Greta Brasgalla, El Dorado High School, El Paso, TX; Debbie Gascon, Dutch Fork High School, Irmo, SC.


  • Thursday, February 11, 2016 — 7:00-8:00 pm EST – Teaching Othello

Faculty:  Dr. Ayanna Thompson, George Washington University; Donna Denize, St. Albans School, Washington, DC, with more to come . . . This Master Class will include a focus on ways to bring race and difference into our teaching and learning


  • Thursday, March 10, 2016 – 7:00-8:00 pm EST – Teaching Julius Caesar

Faculty:  Dr. Ellen MacKay, Indiana University; Dr. Christy Desmet, University of Georgia, with more to come . . . and really, what could be better than two great women scholars on that play with all of those men?!


Ask your questions live during the Master Class.  Or, once you register, ask them ahead of time.  We’ll respond via email the next day to any question we can’t get to during the live-stream.


Some of you participated in our Romeo and Juliet pilot two years ago;  many gave us good advice on how to improve, and all of you told us to keep going.  We—along with our partners at Alabama Public Television—are back in gear!  And we’re excited to launch this series that will bring us right into Shakespeare’s big year:  2016.


Questions?  Email us at masterclass@folger.edu.


Looking forward to next Thursday!