Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeare

Folger Digital Editions and Lesson Plans Linked!

Twelve of Shakespeare’s plays, including Hamlet, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night were made available in digital format earlier this month by the Folger Shakespeare Library.  The response has been tremendously… Continue Reading »


Close Encounters with the Bard

It’s true that you never know the way(s) in which you’ll be affected by the works of William Shakespeare.  Last summer, the Folger Shakespeare Library hosted twenty-five teachers from around the country who participated in Folger Education’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute.  This four-week program where teachers explore four plays from the viewpoints of scholarship, pedagogy, and… Continue Reading »


Once more into the planning stages for HENRY V!

Folger Theater will soon start rehearsals for Henry V.  The Folger Education team meets ahead of the rehearsal kick-off to brainstorm ideas for the study guide.  We create a study guide for each of the Shakespeare plays that gets produced at the Folger and archive them on our study guide web page for teachers to… Continue Reading »


How Pro do you Go?

As teachers and students begin preparing to perform a Shakespeare play, questions arise that may not have been considered: Where are the costumes coming from? What props do we need? How can we set the scene? For our festival schools, we encourage a minimal amount of props and costumes – it’s easier to transport, and… Continue Reading »


The Power of Language

Shakespeare’s England was not overseen by a democratic government. Monarchs ruled for life, and successors were chosen based on royal bloodlines or who won which war. Despite this, Shakespeare knew that the public’s perception of a monarch went a long way towards the success of their reign. He gave his characters the power of language… Continue Reading »


Complementary Conversations

Taking a page out of Carol Ann’s book, I sat in on a couple of our High School Fellowship sessions recently. During this program, students study three of Shakespeare’s plays as scholars, actors, and audience members. Guest speakers come in throughout the semester to discuss a new perspective with them as they progress through the… Continue Reading »


Living Language

“A play is acting.” (Elementary school student, grade 2) “For all my reign hath been but as a scene/Acting that argument.” (2 Henry IV, IV.5) Last week, I had the fortunate opportunity to meet with high school students participating in Folger’s High School Fellowship Program. I was especially fortunately because our guest instructor was Caleen… Continue Reading »


It's-a Me! Petruchio!

Today’s post is an extra dose of “Just for Fun.” (For those of you who aren’t sure what that is, sign up now for BardNotes: our monthly e-newsletter for educators!) Yesterday I learned that one of the most iconic voices in entertainment for this generation got his inspiration from having played Petruchio in The Taming of the… Continue Reading »


Singing in the Rain

~by Jessica Lander (re-printed with permission) Where better to teach Macbeth than in a monsoon? When shall we three meet again?  In thunder, lightening, or in rain? That’s exactly what we did one muggy July afternoon when the ominous skies finally split, releasing a torrential downpour. For an hour already we had been rehearsing indoors… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare in Las Vegas

I have been thinking about Las Vegas.  This year’s National Council of Teachers of English convention will take place there in November. However, what prompted thoughts of Vegas wasn’t the convention or the slots, but a recent article on broadway world.com about that noted the Las Vegas Shakespeare Company’s announcement that it would be undertaking a capital campaign… Continue Reading »