Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeare

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 »


The Moment it Clicks

We’ve been sharing here the many ways Shakespeare has changed or influenced our lives, and as a finale I wanted to share the moment Shakespeare first made sense to me. I’ve said many many times that the Animated Tales series from the BBC is what got me interested in Shakespeare, but that’s only part of… Continue Reading »


How Shakespeare Changed My Life

Director Melinda Hall has been working on a documentary on the subject of How Shakespeare Changed My Life. The promo clip featuring F. Murray Abraham, Sir Ben Kingsley, Stacy Keach, Michael Kahn and other noted Shakespeareans is currently circulating on the web. The most inspirational segment for me was Earle Hyman (whom I  remember as Bill Cosby’s dad… 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 and the American Musical

At a recent Theatre Library Association conference, I had the good fortune to meet Irene Dash, author of Shakespeare and the American Musical (Indiana University Press, 2009).  I hadn’t heard of the book, so I asked for a copy to read.  It’s a good read.  To quote from the Coda, the book  “… addresses a… Continue Reading »


How Blogs Chang Everything

~by Carol Kelly What makes a good blog entry? An interesting subject? Controversial subject matter? A radical viewpoint? Or is it just witnessing the powerful influence a blog can exert? In preparing a blog entry in response to How Shakespeare Changed Everything, by Stephen Marche I found a series of fascinating blog entries in response… Continue Reading »


"I must be cruel only to be kind." (Hamlet, 3.4.199)

I attended a conference in New York recently on teaching Shakespeare where teachers reported on the outcomes of  using performance-based teaching techniques with their students.  They reported that students made pretty significant academic gains based on the work they were doing in class.  However, the teachers also reported that the teachers their students had the following year did… Continue Reading »


Reading Shakespeare Makes You Smarter?

An article by Robert McCrum of the The Observer, now a bit dated since it hails from April, scratches the surface of the idea that the process of reading Shakespeare ostensibly makes you smarter! Studies by Prof. Phillip Davis of Liverpool University have found through neurological analysis by MRI scanning that “functional shifts of syntax in Shakespeare… Continue Reading »


Extra – Credit: Reading Shakespeare

We’re well into the summer now (happy Fourth of July!), and it seems that lounging outside on a beautiful day with a good book is the best way to spend the time. I agree. If you happen to be reading this, though please share if you’re summer reading list includes any books or novels which… Continue Reading »


You're Never Too Young to "Speak the speech"

A recent blog entry by Caitlin Griffin asked how young is too young to start reading Shakespeare.  We’ve worked with students from third grade through high school, but we do know of one school system, the Denver Public School System, that has students from kindergarten through high school actively engaged in speaking Shakespeare’s text.  The… Continue Reading »