Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Folger-library

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 »


Shakespeare Set Free Workshops

When teachers attend one of Folger Education’s Shakespeare Set Free  workshops, they are introduced to instructional strategies and activities for their classrooms that are designed to help students engage with Shakespeare’s language, build confidence in their ability to read and make meaning of the plays, and have fun while doing so.  Teachers actually do the… Continue Reading »


Folger Education in the UK

Bob Young and I were invited to speak at the Cambridge Shakespeare Conference: Sources and Adaptations from September 9-11 at Homerton College, part of Cambridge University. In our presentation, part of “Teaching Shakespeare in America,” we demonstrated some of the innovative approaches to teaching Shakespeare that we have developed. Here are the other Education presentations: Shakespeare’s… Continue Reading »


Which Imitates What?

Yesterday was our Theatre’s first rehearsal for Othello, where the non-Production staff of the Folger gets to learn what the upcoming production’s concept, design, and themes will look like. We can often see more of ourselves in our history than in a reflection of our present. This will not be a “modern-setting” Shakespeare where the men… Continue Reading »


A Storm of Words

The weather on the east coast has been particularly nasty this week. The wind blows, the lightning cracks, and the rain spit-spouts onto every surface. Soggy socks and gray skies can lead to bored students, though, but with a little help from Bill’s Buddies, I think I’ve found a way to make the weather more… Continue Reading »


The Moment it Clicks

We’ve been sharing here the many ways Shakespeare has changed or influenced our lives, and as a finale I wanted to share the moment Shakespeare first made sense to me. I’ve said many many times that the Animated Tales series from the BBC is what got me interested in Shakespeare, but that’s only part of… Continue Reading »


How Shakespeare Changed My Life

Director Melinda Hall has been working on a documentary on the subject of How Shakespeare Changed My Life. The promo clip featuring F. Murray Abraham, Sir Ben Kingsley, Stacy Keach, Michael Kahn and other noted Shakespeareans is currently circulating on the web. The most inspirational segment for me was Earle Hyman (whom I  remember as Bill Cosby’s dad… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare and the American Musical

At a recent Theatre Library Association conference, I had the good fortune to meet Irene Dash, author of Shakespeare and the American Musical (Indiana University Press, 2009).  I hadn’t heard of the book, so I asked for a copy to read.  It’s a good read.  To quote from the Coda, the book  “… addresses a… Continue Reading »


What ELSE can the kids do this summer?

This summer my nieces and nephews have been to dance, cheerleading , basketball, science, and EVEN computer animation camps!  They play acting too, singing/dancing playing pretend, etc (my nephew played the son in The Winter’s Tale at school through Shakespeare Steps Out!). BUT AS A FAMILY spending a Saturday morning during the summer at the library was not… Continue Reading »


Reading Shakespeare Makes You Smarter?

An article by Robert McCrum of the The Observer, now a bit dated since it hails from April, scratches the surface of the idea that the process of reading Shakespeare ostensibly makes you smarter! Studies by Prof. Phillip Davis of Liverpool University have found through neurological analysis by MRI scanning that “functional shifts of syntax in Shakespeare… Continue Reading »