America’s Shakespeare: The Bard goes west to Hollywood

Shakespeare has provided rich material for Hollywood’s film industry over the decades, from The Taming of the Shrew (1967) with Elizabeth Taylor to 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) with Julia Stiles. Given this, an exhibition about Shakespeare in America (and especially in California), such as the one on display at the Los Angeles… Continue Reading »


America’s Shakespeare: The Bard goes west to California’s Gold Rush mining camps

Theater was explosively popular in California’s Gold Rush era, and miners couldn’t get enough of Shakespeare. San Francisco and Sacramento had major theaters that were repeatedly burning down and being rebuilt almost immediately. Even the small gold-mining towns had stages or some kind of performance space. Actors followed the money, first to California, then traveling… Continue Reading »



War and America’s Shakespeare

“Extremity is the trier of spirits/ Common chances common men will bear.” Quoting from Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, Abigail Adams praised the courage of the militiamen at the Battle of Bunker Hill in a letter to her husband, John Adams, in 1775. From the Revolutionary War to the Iraq War, Americans have engaged with William Shakespeare and his plays… Continue Reading »


What’s onstage at Shakespeare theaters in September

This September, there’s still time to catch the final performances of some of this summer’s outdoor Shakespeare productions. Plus, watch performances online from the American Players Theatre, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and Shakespeare in Detroit.



A year of Shakespeare #FolgerFinds on Instagram

The Folger is the world’s largest Shakespeare collection. We love mining this rich archive for gems, and on social media we often share collection items using #FolgerFinds. This blog post takes us through a year of Shakespeare #FolgerFinds on Instagram.


Studying early modern women—in Shakespeare’s plays and in his time

By Esther Ferington The roles of early modern women in Shakespeare’s time—both the fictional characters in his plays and the real-life women of his era—have been central to many projects created by Georgianna Ziegler, Louis B. Thalheimer Associate Librarian and Head of Reference Emerita. Ziegler, who is also a co-founder of the Society for the… Continue Reading »


“You had more beard when I last saw you”: a set of Shakespearean shaving papers

Two Folger exhibitions in this anniversary year have explored Shakespeare’s far-reaching effect on consumer culture: first, America’s Shakespeare considered how the United States has made the Bard our own, and now Will & Jane examines the celebrity status of literary superstars William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. This month’s Folger Find is another example of how deeply Shakespeare… Continue Reading »


Quiz: How well do you know the history of Shakespeare in America?

America’s Shakespeare How well do you know the history of Shakespeare in America? The Booth Brothers Less than a year before John Wilkes Booth became infamous for assassinating Abraham Lincoln, he and two of his brothers (normally onstage rivals) teamed up for a production of Julius Caesar to raise money for a statue of Shakespeare… Continue Reading »