Posts By: Georgianna Ziegler

The Queen of the Night: The infinite variety of Cleopatra

In the image above, Constance Collier, magnificent as the dying Cleopatra, sits on her throne in a dimly-lit room, light sparkling off her crown, belt and spangled train. This 1906-07 London production of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra is considered a high point in the stage history of that play, with director/actor Herbert Beerbohm-Tree sparing no… Continue Reading »


Lady Percy and Lady Mortimer in Henry IV, Part 1

In Henry IV, Part 1, Shakespeare created Lady Percy and Lady Mortimer out of the fragments of history, giving them voices that appeal freshly to us today.



Outdoor Shakespeare: The pioneers of a summer tradition

Shakespeare by the sea, on the river, in the park or garden, on the common – in the summertime Shakespeare’s plays are everywhere outdoors! High-profile shows in New York’s Central Park or at Ashland’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival may come to mind for active theatergoers today, but the inspiration for this kind of outdoor performance actually… Continue Reading »


Elizabeth I and the Qing Empress Xiaozhuang

Like Elizabeth, Xiaozhuang was a woman with intellectual and political interests, attaining the powerful position of Empress Dowager in Qing China.



The First English Actresses

In 1660, women (rather than men) began playing female roles, including female Shakespearean roles, on the professional English stage. Learn more about these early actresses as Folger Theatre stages the play “Nell Gwynn,” the story of an actress who was also the mistress of a king.


Shakespeare and World War I

In 1916, the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death coincided with World War I, although the United States had not yet entered the conflict, yet both the US and European combatants on both sides of the war took time to honor Shakespeare and his works.


Beware the Ides of March

The Soothsayer says, “Beware the Ides of March.” Suddenly a chill falls on Caesar’s festive procession to the forum to celebrate the Lupercalia at the opening of Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar. The line is repeated three times—once by Brutus and twice by the Soothsayer—but is brushed aside by Caesar who responds, “He is a dreamer…. Continue Reading »