Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Folger-library/folger-education-folger-library

"Faith, here's an Equivocator,"

Very often, it is not necessary to teach the history behind Shakespeare’s plays to enjoy them in the classroom. It is merely enough to speak the words, explore the text, and get to know the characters. If possible, however, the influence of monarchs on Shakespeare’s plays can be just as interesting. How is Macbeth a dramatization of the… Continue Reading »


Not Much Ado about Much Ado…

Recently the internet was abuzz with excitement over a secretly produced film of Much Ado About Nothing directed by Joss Whedon. Mostly, probably, because it’s one of the most well-loved nerds ever directing a cast of a few more of the most well-loved nerds. I excitedly shared this information with my High School Fellowship mentees the… Continue Reading »


I'll APP-ly to your eye, remedy

Shakespeare entered the world of  iPods, iPhones, iPads, and all Android devices early on. App designers found that using the complete works was cheap and easy as the texts were already available in the public domain. Just take a look at the iTunes store and you’ll see a variety of Apps, from Shakespeare Pro to… Continue Reading »


With all my heart, good youth.” (As You Like It, III.2)

~by Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger I was lucky enough to greet a group of students participating in the Shakespeare Steps Out program this morning. Two schools joined us at Folger Shakespeare Library for a tour of the building, a discussion of Shakespeare’s times, and a hands-on stage combat workshop. Bringing these children into the library… Continue Reading »


ANONYMOUS has arrived.

After the highly anticipated opening of ANONYMOUS last weekend (well, there were a few people I’m sure who almost had to wait on line to see it), the excitement has diminished significantly.  Two people I know were underwhelmed by the experience of seeing it.  My sense is that this is the reaction the vast majority… Continue Reading »


Discussing OTHELLO

Today’s student matinee of Othello had a great crowd of high schoolers from several different schools. Though there was some uncomfortable twittering during some dramatic moments, for the most part they were engaged with the performance. Afterwards, the actors returned for a talk-back with the students who asked some pretty interesting questions about the characters, especially… Continue Reading »


"Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in 't?"

~Hamlet Folger Theatre hosts student matinees for their innovative productions each season. School groups attend in droves to see fresh life breathed into Shakespeare’s texts, or a creative new concept or setting which sets the production apart from others. Occasionally, however, an audience member at one of these performances will take offense to an interpretation, a… Continue Reading »


Dear Will: Are my discourses dull?

We are about halfway through the fall semester of the High School Fellowship Program. Every year we bring students from public and private schools from DC, MD, and VA to study three Shakespeare plays from three perspectives: scholar, performer, and audience member. The students all bring unique ideas to the table and challenge themselves and… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare WAS an Adapter

Shakespeare is one of the most recognized figures in literature, and his works have been adapted and adapted and adapted over and over and over again for the last 400 years by people interested in exploring the stories and characters in new ways. And that is exactly what Shakespeare did, as well. However, Shakespeare didn’t… Continue Reading »


Bless thee! Thou art Translated!

They’re everywhere: No Fear Shakespeare, Simply Shakespeare, Translated Shakespeare. There are teachers who truly believe that their students can’t understand Shakespeare’s 400 year-old words, and turn to updated adaptations which give students the gist of the story, but none of the original poetry. I used to be ok with it. I thought that as long… Continue Reading »