Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeares-plays

"Faith, here's an Equivocator,"

Very often, it is not necessary to teach the history behind Shakespeare’s plays to enjoy them in the classroom. It is merely enough to speak the words, explore the text, and get to know the characters. If possible, however, the influence of monarchs on Shakespeare’s plays can be just as interesting. How is Macbeth a dramatization of the… Continue Reading »


Not Much Ado about Much Ado…

Recently the internet was abuzz with excitement over a secretly produced film of Much Ado About Nothing directed by Joss Whedon. Mostly, probably, because it’s one of the most well-loved nerds ever directing a cast of a few more of the most well-loved nerds. I excitedly shared this information with my High School Fellowship mentees the… Continue Reading »


NaNoWriMo – Exploring Possibilities

November has been “National Novel Writing Month,” since 1999, and it’s still gaining ground. The concept is that every day in November is spent working on a rough draft of a full-length novel – producing about 1699 words per day. It’s intense, but the site above offers pep talks, word count badges, and other incentives… Continue Reading »


Discussing OTHELLO

Today’s student matinee of Othello had a great crowd of high schoolers from several different schools. Though there was some uncomfortable twittering during some dramatic moments, for the most part they were engaged with the performance. Afterwards, the actors returned for a talk-back with the students who asked some pretty interesting questions about the characters, especially… Continue Reading »


"Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in 't?"

~Hamlet Folger Theatre hosts student matinees for their innovative productions each season. School groups attend in droves to see fresh life breathed into Shakespeare’s texts, or a creative new concept or setting which sets the production apart from others. Occasionally, however, an audience member at one of these performances will take offense to an interpretation, a… Continue Reading »


Dear Will: Are my discourses dull?

We are about halfway through the fall semester of the High School Fellowship Program. Every year we bring students from public and private schools from DC, MD, and VA to study three Shakespeare plays from three perspectives: scholar, performer, and audience member. The students all bring unique ideas to the table and challenge themselves and… Continue Reading »


Which Imitates What?

Yesterday was our Theatre’s first rehearsal for Othello, where the non-Production staff of the Folger gets to learn what the upcoming production’s concept, design, and themes will look like. We can often see more of ourselves in our history than in a reflection of our present. This will not be a “modern-setting” Shakespeare where the men… Continue Reading »


A Storm of Words

The weather on the east coast has been particularly nasty this week. The wind blows, the lightning cracks, and the rain spit-spouts onto every surface. Soggy socks and gray skies can lead to bored students, though, but with a little help from Bill’s Buddies, I think I’ve found a way to make the weather more… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare Really Did Change My Life

Lucretia’s blog about how Shakespeare changed her life  has prompted me to write my own entry about how Shakespeare changed mine.  Like most students, I was introduced to Shakespeare in high school.  We studied Macbeth and had to memorize a passage from it to deliver in front of the class.  I still remember the passage… 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 »