Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeare/acting

The world increases, and kindreds are mightily strengthened

~by Lucretia Anderson In the olden days, families might sit around the parlor reading Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays together for the day’s entertainment. In 2012 we’re shaking it up! This past Saturday, Danielle Drakes and I had the privilege of working with an enthusiastic mix of 6-12 year olds and their parents in a workshop… Continue Reading »


Know’st Me Not by My Clothes?

We take a break from this Festival week to discuss clothing and costumes in Shakespeare’s plays. Though costumes are not required or even recognized in our Festival, there’s definitely a lot to discuss about them! ~by Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger Clothing and identity are intricately woven (pun sort of intended) in Shakespeare’s own world and in… Continue Reading »


Experiencing Shakespeare: An Electronic Field Trip to the Folger Shakespeare Library

“Speak the speech, I pray you, … trippingly on the tongue,”  Hamlet’s advice to the players. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOZQoeMRMhc&w=560&h=315] When teachers assign their students to perform a scene from a play by William Shakespeare, what should their students do to get ready?  How can teachers best support their students in preparing their scenes?  Steer them away from “translated”… Continue Reading »


But by Reflection…

~by Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself, But by reflection, by some other things. (Julius Caesar, I.2) A few days ago, I had the opportunity to meet with several 10th graders who were studying Othello. The classroom teacher let me loose, so after a very brief discussion (which consisted of… Continue Reading »


Experience, O, thou disprovest report! (Part 1)

Happy holiday break! I hope you’re enjoying your week off from school (if you have one)! This week I’ll be sharing two activity ideas from Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger on helping students experience Shakespeare to overcome their expectations of the language and text. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, and let… Continue Reading »


"the spirit of humour intimate reading aloud to him!"

The internet is full of stories of hope, which are shared over and over again as a way of boosting each other’s spirits. This one especially resonated when it was shared with us not only because Shakespeare’s words reached across the centuries to buoy this writer, but because they reached him out loud. This is… Continue Reading »


Famous Actors/Famous Shakespeare Characters

Ralph Fiennes is taking on the role of Prospero in The Tempest.  As you may remember, Fiennes plays the role of Voldemort in the Harry Potter movies.  According to an interview he did for BBC Radio 4’s Front Row,  “He hopes young Potter fans, who are not usually interested in Shakespeare, could be drawn to the… Continue Reading »


The Immeasurable Rewards of Directing Shakespeare in a Grade School

~by Keith Jones Although I have taught Shakespeare on the college level for many years, I had never considered directing a play until RiverTree School asked me to direct their end-of-year Shakespeare play. I quickly learned that two of the most essential elements to possess in directing a Shakespeare play for grade school children are… Continue Reading »


Owning and Personalizing Shakespeare

This video was making the rounds a couple of weeks ago, and I finally had a chance to see it. Impressionist/Comedian Jim Meskin performs Clarence’s speech from Richard III (I.iv) as well-known celebrities and characters: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8PGBnNmPgk] What I especially appreciate about his performance is that Meskin chose which voices to use based on the content of… Continue Reading »


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 »