Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeare

Thou hast it now:

While there are many student Shakespeare Festivals all over the world, some teachers might feel trepidation at cutting, directing, casting, rehearsing and organizing a performance for their class. One of our SSO teaching artists, and long-time Docent of the Folger, Amy Thompson, has been doing that very process for the last few years at Nottingham Elementary… 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 »


"I must begin with rudiments of art…

To teach you gamut in a briefer sort,” The Taming of the Shrew 3.1 Recently, I was embroiled in a discussion of whether or not younger students could “handle” Shakespeare’s work. I, of course, insist that elementary school students can and will “get” Shakespeare. Another member in the discussion said that young students aren’t ready… Continue Reading »


SHAKESPEARE IS: A New Public Radio Series and Education Site

~by Robert Miller A new six-part public radio series, Shakespeare Is, will be broadcast nationwide in 2013. The series is being produced by two-time Peabody Award winner, Steve Rowland, (The Miles Davis Radio Project and Leonard Bernstein: An American Life) in conjunction with consulting producer David Chambers of the Yale School of Drama..  The series… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare through Fresh Eyes

Last night my younger brother-in-law’s 8th grade class performed an abridged Macbeth after studying and rehearsing the play for 4 months. For most of them, this play was their first experience with Shakespeare, and – at least from my seat in the audience – they were enjoying the heck out of it.  Even as it warmed my… Continue Reading »


Private Romeo: A New Film

A new version of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Alan Brown, and featuring an all-male cast,  is sure to become an important film adaptation of this play. Private Romeo will be shown in New York City at the Cinema Village Theatre on E. 12th Street on Friday, February 10th.  If you’re in New York City on the 10th, you should get to the theatre and… 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 »


“The Game’s Afoot; Follow Your Spirit!” (Henry V, III.1)

~by Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger There’s no reason students can’t have fun while learning! Part of Folger’s philosophy of “performance-based teaching” encourages students and teachers to play with the Shakespeare’s language and be actively engaged in creating meaning. What better way than to make it a game? I’ll mention that these all caught and kept… Continue Reading »


Modern Quills

“How far a modern quill doth come too short Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow” ~Sonnet 83 A few videos were sent our way this week (or were found by us and shared with the group), and though the content varies it seems that giving Shakespeare a modern voice is quite popular on the… Continue Reading »


Experience, O, thou disprovest report! (Part 2)

~by Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger On Tuesday I shared a Folger-favorite activity where students create the theatre-going experience of an Elizabethan crowd to see why Shakespeare’s plays had to be so arresting. To continue the experience of bringing words to life, I encourage students to be up, moving around, playing with the language and the motions…. Continue Reading »