Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts By: Caitlin Griffin

The Power of Language

Shakespeare’s England was not overseen by a democratic government. Monarchs ruled for life, and successors were chosen based on royal bloodlines or who won which war. Despite this, Shakespeare knew that the public’s perception of a monarch went a long way towards the success of their reign. He gave his characters the power of language… Continue Reading »


Look to Like Us!

Folger Education is proud to announce that we have branched into our own Facebook Page this week! Over the past year or so, different divisions of the Folger have been branching from the parent Folger Library page to give more specific information of interest to their audience. Maybe you’ve already Liked all of the Folger… Continue Reading »


Complementary Conversations

Taking a page out of Carol Ann’s book, I sat in on a couple of our High School Fellowship sessions recently. During this program, students study three of Shakespeare’s plays as scholars, actors, and audience members. Guest speakers come in throughout the semester to discuss a new perspective with them as they progress through the… Continue Reading »


Living Language

“A play is acting.” (Elementary school student, grade 2) “For all my reign hath been but as a scene/Acting that argument.” (2 Henry IV, IV.5) Last week, I had the fortunate opportunity to meet with high school students participating in Folger’s High School Fellowship Program. I was especially fortunately because our guest instructor was Caleen… Continue Reading »


It's-a Me! Petruchio!

Today’s post is an extra dose of “Just for Fun.” (For those of you who aren’t sure what that is, sign up now for BardNotes: our monthly e-newsletter for educators!) Yesterday I learned that one of the most iconic voices in entertainment for this generation got his inspiration from having played Petruchio in The Taming of the… Continue Reading »


Singing in the Rain

~by Jessica Lander (re-printed with permission) Where better to teach Macbeth than in a monsoon? When shall we three meet again?  In thunder, lightening, or in rain? That’s exactly what we did one muggy July afternoon when the ominous skies finally split, releasing a torrential downpour. For an hour already we had been rehearsing indoors… Continue Reading »


Another time, another place, another Brutus!

~by Carol Kelly Twenty minutes into watching  the recent RSC all black production of Julius Caesar, my overall sense was, “Why hasn’t this been done before?”. The play makes a seamless transition from Ancient Rome to modern day Africa, a continent which has seen numerous violent uprisings and civil crises in the last few decades…. Continue Reading »


HAMLET: Q&A

After student matinees at the Folger, we’re usually able to offer a brief “talk-back” with actors from the show to discuss what the students have just seen. (We’ve discussed previous Folger Theatre talk-backs for Othello and Comedy of Errors here.) The actors of the Globe’s touring production of Hamlet, currently playing in our Theatre, were kind enough… Continue Reading »


Their Understanding Begins to Swell

~by Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger I met with a terrific group of bi-lingual students today who came to tour the Folger and see the London exhibition. When I asked them what they already knew about Shakespeare, one of the first things they said was “He wrote in really old English that we don’t understand.” It… Continue Reading »


Seeing Shakespeare

To quote our Bill’s Buddies mantra: “Shakespeare wrote plays, which means they were meant to be Seen and Heard.” Not read silently to oneself. And not simply read aloud in a round robin in class. Part of the experience is watching how characters interact, and how the words can be used to inform action. Getting students on… Continue Reading »