Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeare/performance

6th-Grade Puppeteers Meet Master Shakespeare

~by Susan Lucille Davis Some decades ago, the little girl I used to be sat on her bed and listened intently, enthralled by the words that came from her sister’s mouth as she read her homework aloud.  “Double, double, toil and trouble…” Listening to the magic of those words ultimately led me to become a… Continue Reading »


Suit the Action to the Word

I’ve seen this activity done with many different audiences of students (and teachers), and it always makes me smile. The energy and creativity each participating group brings changes the activity slightly each time, adapting it to their interests and thoughts! As seen in the opening moments of this video about our elementary outreach program, Shakespeare… Continue Reading »


Playing the Fools, Part 2

~by Louis Butelli Today, I’ll just talk a little bit about what it’s like playing so many Fools. The first thing to say is that it’s a great honor to be included in the roster of Shakespeare’s Fools. One of the most fascinating things about Shakespeare’s writing is that he worked with an active theater… Continue Reading »


Playing the Fools, Part 1

~by Louis Butelli Hello, dear readers of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Education Blog! My name is Louis Butelli, and I’m an actor, specializing in Shakespeare’s comic characters. For the purposes of this post, though the term doesn’t necessarily always apply, for reasons I’ll discuss later, I’ll refer to them all as “Fools.” Here at the… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare the Player

Last night, I sat in on the first preview for Folger Theatre’s new production of Twelfth Night. The romantic, knotty nature of the play was brought out in the production, and I, along with the rest of the very packed house, found myself enjoying the whole play anew. And then Feste (for not many companies cast a… Continue Reading »


The Festival Experience

The Festivals we host at the Folger are my favorite experiences of the year. Students pour into the Folger Theatre with all the energy their young frames can contain and explode with life onstage with Shakespeare’s words. Sure: not everything always goes as planned. Lines are dropped; nerves get the better of someone; a cast-mate… Continue Reading »


Come Play with Us!

There may be snow on the ground, but Spring is in the air at the Folger.  As the Cherry Blossoms in Washington prepare to bloom, so do our local budding Bards as they prepare for the student festivals right around the corner. While the high school students will stomp the boards in just a couple… Continue Reading »


All the World’s a Stage

~by Jessica Lander (re-printed with permission) How does one translate “All the World’s A Stage” into the ancient language of Khmer? Once again I have found myself teaching Shakespeare in an unusual environment.  Last year in Boston, I explored the elements of the story with 6th graders and probed the emotional transformation of the bard’s characters… Continue Reading »


Play, Play, Play

~by Kevin J. Costa Sometimes I wonder if the performance-based approach to teaching Shakespeare, which we promote at the Folger, is seen only as an “entry-level” tool for students and teachers intimidated by Shakespeare. For sure, this is a major audience. But performance-based work on Shakespeare doesn’t have to stop there. In fact, I think… Continue Reading »


Filming the Text

~by Rick Vanderwall My fall semester Introduction to Literature students were a great group. This course is a required, entry level lit course for first year students.  Everybody takes this course and instructors are encouraged to develop unique, engaging themes for the course. I came up with “Journeys through Danger, Temptation, and Violence”. Although this… Continue Reading »