Posts Categorized: Staging-shakespeare

Theater making real history

In this excerpt from the Shakespeare Anniversary Lecture Series at the Folger, Yale professor Joseph Roach argues that “the theater occasionally makes real history itself, materializing it for audiences by its own expressive means, especially so during an age of revolution and counter-revolution. And what age isn’t an age of that?”



Richard III’s dagger

This is an excerpt from Yale professor Joseph Roach’s talk for the Shakespeare Anniversary Lecture Series at the Folger Shakespeare Library in October 2016. Listen to the full recording on SoundCloud. The most humble or even abject items of material culture—take stage properties, for instance—can speak eloquently about history, if we will only listen carefully… Continue Reading »


The biggest Shakespeare stories of 2016

Let’s take a moment to revisit some of the biggest Shakespeare stories in the news this year, from the discoveries that grabbed headlines to the spectacular celebrations of the 400th anniversary to the celebrity performances that generated the most buzz. Discoveries and Scholarship Archaeologists have been busy this year. After taking hi-tech scans of Shakespeare’s… Continue Reading »


Five things to look for when you watch ‘The Winter’s Tale’

If you’re going to see a performance of The Winter’s Tale, perhaps you’ve read the play (or maybe just the plot summary)—or maybe you’re going in cold. So, what should you look for in this Shakespeare play? What should you pay particular attention to? We asked this question to directors at four of our theater partners across… Continue Reading »



What’s onstage in November at Shakespeare theaters across America

Soldiers returning home. Armies clashing in a bloody struggle for power. Government officials abusing their authority. These are the Shakespeare characters populating the post-election landscape at our theater partners around the U.S. this month. Henry VI Two of the Folger’s theater partners are taking on Shakespeare’s Henry VI plays this month, in which England experiences… Continue Reading »


From jazzercise to Rococo garden: Four different takes on Love’s Labor’s Lost

In Shakespeare’s Love’s Labor’s Lost, four friends forswear women so that they can focus on their studies. But, of course, as soon as they do, four lovely ladies enter their lives. Oh, what to do? Romance and comedy ensue. Four of our theater partners—The Old Globe, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company—staged the… Continue Reading »


How to counteract the curse of Macbeth (er, The Scottish Play)

Don’t say “Macbeth” in a theater, or you’ll be cursed. Or at least that’s how the old superstition goes. That’s why you’ll often hear actors refer to it as “The Scottish Play.” It’s one of many stories connected with the performance history of Shakespeare plays through the years. These kind of theatrical anecdotes are the focus of… Continue Reading »


What happens when actors, musicians, and scholars collaborate on a Restoration Shakespeare play

Part of what makes the Folger Shakespeare Library special is that while scholars are busy creating new knowledge in the reading rooms, actors and musicians in the adjacent theater are busy creating world-class performances. Amazing things result when scholars and artists break down the wall that traditionally separates them and start collaborating. That’s what happened… Continue Reading »