American actress Charlotte Cushman was a 19th-century theatrical icon, known for playing traditionally male roles like Romeo and Hamlet. She was not the only actress of her time to play these parts, but her style was uniquely assertive and athletic. However, her breakout acting role was Lady Macbeth.
Posts By: Shakespeare & Beyond
Nightmares and ominous dreams are used to great dramatic effect in plays such as Shakespeare’s Richard III. Act I of Shakespeare’s Richard III ends with the murder of the Duke of Clarence, presaged by the dream of drowning he recounts at the start of the scene. Just as the dream is about to end, howling… Continue Reading »
Is Romeo and Juliet a play about love? Well yes, but it’s also about violence, argues Casey Kaleba, the fight director for many Folger Theatre productions (including the production of Romeo and Juliet pictured above) and one of the Washington, DC, area’s most sought-after fight coaches for stage plays. The excerpt below is from a… Continue Reading »
At the heart of Keith Hamilton Cobb’s one-man play American Moor are explorations of blackness, racial dynamics in American theater, “ownership” of Shakespeare, and the subtext of Othello. He has performed the play across the United States, including an off-Broadway run in 2019, and now the script has been published by Methuen Drama: Keith Hamilton… Continue Reading »
Get an up-close look at the title page of one of the Folger’s 82 First Folios and learn more about it by clicking through captions that zoom in on different parts of the page.
“To be or not to be” – do you know what comes after? This quiz challenges you to drag and drop the lines of Hamlet’s famous speech into the correct order.
We’ve selected some costume designs from the Folger Shakespeare Library collection, and your challenge is to determine which Shakespeare characters they depict. Pay attention to small details that will give you clues!
What would it have been like to live through the plague outbreaks of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries? And what insight does that give us into the mentions of plague in Shakespeare’s plays?
For Shakespeare’s birthday this year, the Folger Shakespeare Library partnered with the Royal Shakespeare Company to throw a virtual birthday party for Shakespeare, inviting people all around the world to #ShareYourShakespeare. Fans responded by reciting Shakespeare lines, staging scenes, striking poses, and creating art. Below we’ve shared a few highlights from the day.
What habits of mind should we seek to cultivate? In his new book How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance Education, Scott Newstok draws on Shakespeare’s plays and common instructional practices of his day to answer this question. One of these practices is conversation, the subject of the chapter from which the below… Continue Reading »