Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeare/performance

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 »


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 »


"For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring."

The temperature is going up and up and up these days, proof that summer is here even though school is still in session. Students are restless to be outside (or at least not at their desks), and I have a feeling the teachers are, too! If you’re looking for some Shakespeare class activities to fit… Continue Reading »


Kids doing Shakespeare

My apologies for the brief hiatus – last week was our 32nd Children’s Festival! 30 classes from DC, MD, VA (and even NY) came to perform on the Folger stage (on the set of Cyrano no less!), and brought incredible energy and life to Shakespeare’s plays. Kids love Shakespeare. There’s magic and poetry, violence and romance, and… Continue Reading »


Take a [digital] bow

As a follow-up to last week’s post about the Facebook Much Ado, below are my three favorite entries. As you can see, there WAS some original language used!  And even when there wasn’t language by Shakespeare, it stayed fairly true to the intent. For example, almost all of Doug Berry and Verges Headborough’s exchanges had… Continue Reading »


Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.

We’re noticing something around the internet lately: educators are using contemporary music to enhance lesson plans. This may not be up-to-the-minute news. A lot of us remember at least this scene from Renaissance Man starring Danny DeVito where the class of military privates presents the summary of Hamlet as a rap. Or the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s interpretation… Continue Reading »


Student Shakespeare Festivals

Folger Education just concluded the 31st annual Secondary School Festival with 56 schools participating in a seven day event featuring performances by 1,500 students from the Virginia, Maryland, DC area.  Ten of the schools were part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, an NEA/Arts Midwest grant funded program that placed teaching artists in 1o classrooms. … Continue Reading »


One Week in Haiti: The End

~by Emily Marquet For the rest of this adventure, please see these posts! Day 1 Day 2 Days 3 & 4 Day 5: WE’RE DOING IT! Our actors, naturally, were completely unfazed by the request to perform twice. After the morning assembly, the actors reported to the “stage”- the front basketball court of the school… Continue Reading »