Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Folger-library

Shakespeare has poked Benedick

The big news in Shakespeare geek circles this week is the “production” of Much Ado About Nothing taking place on FACEBOOK beginning tomorrow. Sixteen characters have been added to facebook, and if you “like” all of them you can watch their story unfold in real time on the internet. Benedick Salvador will flame Beatrice Grant’s wall,… Continue Reading »


Does Anyone Teach the Sonnets?

We spend a great deal of time talking about teaching Shakespeare’s plays, but not much about the sonnets.  Until recently, we  hadn’t paid as much attention to teaching sonnets as we might have on our website of resources for teachers.  This month, Folger Education rolled out a series of new web pages devoted to the… Continue Reading »


Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.

We’re noticing something around the internet lately: educators are using contemporary music to enhance lesson plans. This may not be up-to-the-minute news. A lot of us remember at least this scene from Renaissance Man starring Danny DeVito where the class of military privates presents the summary of Hamlet as a rap. Or the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s interpretation… Continue Reading »


Bear-like, I Must Take the Course (Macbeth Set Free)

With the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and NYIT, Folger Education just completed an 8-week on-line course on Teaching Macbeth. Enrollment was capped at 30 participants, each of whom received a Folger Toolkit. Each session was 90-minutes long and was live using Elluminate. Here is a summary of the sessions: Week 1: … Continue Reading »


Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!

447 years ago on April 23, William Shakespeare was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden Shakespeare in the small town of Stratford Upon Avon. For Shakespeare enthusiasts everywhere, this date has come to be celebrated as the Bard’s birthday, or “Shakespeare Day” in some circles. Parades in Shakespearean garb, Shakespearean “open mic” nights, commitment… Continue Reading »


Student Shakespeare Festivals

Folger Education just concluded the 31st annual Secondary School Festival with 56 schools participating in a seven day event featuring performances by 1,500 students from the Virginia, Maryland, DC area.  Ten of the schools were part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, an NEA/Arts Midwest grant funded program that placed teaching artists in 1o classrooms. … Continue Reading »


Macbeth Set Free

Folger Education entered  new territory on Tuesday February 15 with the beginning of Macbeth Set Free, an online course for teachers. With the help of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and New York Institute of Technology, we are able to reach teachers across the country with some solid approaches for teaching Shakespeare…. Continue Reading »


Shakespeare's Poetry: Venus and Adonis

As we all know, Shakespeare’s work entails more than just his theatrical accomplishments; he was a published poet even as he penned his well-known plays. In times when the playhouses were closed due to contagious illness, Shakespeare was able to find a patron (Henry Wriothsley, Earl of Southampton) who paid well for his poetry, and,… Continue Reading »


More Than Papier-Mâché Characters

~by Anthony Del Col The best Shakespeare production I’ve ever seen was also the worst. A friend of mine was doing a community theatre production of Titus Andronicus years ago and it was quite bad (with the exception of my friend, who may be reading this… oops!).  Bad acting, directing, sets, costumes and props (a… Continue Reading »


Is It Harder To Act Shakespeare?

Folger Theatre presented the first of its four matinee performances of The Comedy of Errors for students today.  As we have in the past, students were invited to participate in a talk-back with the actors following the performance.  One of the students asked the cast whether or not it was harder to act Shakespeare than… Continue Reading »