Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts By: Caitlin Griffin

Shakespeare the Player

Last night, I sat in on the first preview for Folger Theatre’s new production of Twelfth Night. The romantic, knotty nature of the play was brought out in the production, and I, along with the rest of the very packed house, found myself enjoying the whole play anew. And then Feste (for not many companies cast a… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare or Not Shakespeare?

One of the strongest points we keep coming back to in Folger Education is encouraging teachers to use Shakespeare’s text with their students – no “translations.” The definitions these adapted texts can offer limits the possibilities of Shakespeare’s poetry, and stifles the creativity and energy students bring to learning new words and phrases. Julia Perlowski led… Continue Reading »


The Festival Experience

The Festivals we host at the Folger are my favorite experiences of the year. Students pour into the Folger Theatre with all the energy their young frames can contain and explode with life onstage with Shakespeare’s words. Sure: not everything always goes as planned. Lines are dropped; nerves get the better of someone; a cast-mate… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare Uncovered

Last summer, the BBC aired a six-part series exploring Shakespeare’s plays with interviews from actors, directors, and scholars interspersed with clips from movies and recorded stage performances of the plays being discussed. On this side of the pond, at least, those of us without higher-listed cable waited patiently for either a DVD of the series… Continue Reading »


Is Shakespeare Literature?

~ By Kevin J Costa Late this fall, at McDonogh School where I teach drama and run the Institute for Shakespeare and Renaissance Studies, my Institute students and I were talking about AP exams. And then one junior asked, “would it be acceptable to write about Shakespeare on an English AP exam?” You just smiled while… Continue Reading »


Whose Shakespeare? MY SHAKESPEARE!

~By Bill Parsons As a warm up to this year’s Shakespeare plays, I had students read and perform Act 3, scene 3 — the scene where Cinna the Poet is confronted, attacked, and (possibly) murdered by a group of angry citizens. This lesson is borrowed from one of the many resources available on the Folger… Continue Reading »


Announcing the Folger Digital Texts!

We’re all talking about it, because we’re so excited that this resource is now available for the world to use! Folger Digital Texts are here! Currently featuring 12 of the most popular of Shakespeare’s plays, over the course of the next year we’re planning to see all of Shakespeare’s plays and poems, and a few… Continue Reading »


Through Fresh Eyes

This week, the High School Fellowship class gave their final presentations on their semester-long research paper and illumination projects. It’s always exciting to see what they’ve come up with to present. Near the beginning of the semester, they’re given the parameters for their project: write a 5 page research paper on one of the 3… Continue Reading »


NCTE Las Vegas, Nov 15-19, 2012

~by Carol Kelly “We hope that what happens here in Vegas this week , does NOT stay in Vegas!” This was the opening message to all attendees at the National Council for Teachers of English conference. Teachers from all over the country assembled to attend sessions on the newest ideas for literacy, sample the latest… Continue Reading »


How Pro do you Go?

As teachers and students begin preparing to perform a Shakespeare play, questions arise that may not have been considered: Where are the costumes coming from? What props do we need? How can we set the scene? For our festival schools, we encourage a minimal amount of props and costumes – it’s easier to transport, and… Continue Reading »