Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeare/acting

HAMLET: In Performance

April is Hamlet month this year at the Folger! Our upcoming performance, opening April 21st, has us so excited for the Bard’s Greatest Tragedy! The play has been examined in a myriad of ways, so instead of trying to cram it all into one entry I will begin with notable performances of Hamlet. Hamlet recently… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare in the curriculum and in the original

Jacqui O’Hanlon, Director of Education at the RSC, wrote a letter to The Guardian (www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2009/nov/o7/gcses-school-curriculum-shakespeare) about the importance of Shakespeare in the curriculum.  Folger Education has been advocating for the performance-based teaching of Shakespeare in the schools for more than twenty-five years.   Folger Education defines performance-based teaching as “… an interactive approach to the study of literature,… Continue Reading »


30th Annual Secondary Schools Festival

Yesterday, March 10, marked the 7th and final day of the Folger’s Secondary Festival.  Saying that it’s the 30th might make it seem staid, but really the Festival is nothing if not fresh and new every single day. With over 1500 students in grades 7-12 in attendance over 7 days – how could it not… Continue Reading »


The Play's The Thing: The Problem is Choice

Every Spring for over 30 years students from across the region have gathered in our halls buzzing with excitement in anticipation of performing at our Secondary School and Children’s Festivals. The Secondary School Festival featuring students in grades 7-12, is just around the corner in March. But close behind is the Emily Jordan Children’s Festival in May,… Continue Reading »


Extra Credit Reading: Macbeth

With the recent release of the Folger’s Macbeth DVD Edition, I’m reminded of the wealth of inspiration to be taken from sources outside the play itself. Building a character as complex as Lady Macbeth who “is just known as the epitome of evil, this battleaxe of a possessed demonic dark force woman” (described by Kate… Continue Reading »


Start me up…

One of the most difficult parts of teaching a Shakespeare play is simply getting started. For generations, we began by teaching all the biographical facts about Shakespeare that exist–when he was born, when he married, how many children he had, the missing years, etc. Then we discussed Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon, what London was like at… Continue Reading »