Posts Categorized: Staging-shakespeare

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 »


Measure for Measure + Dido and Aeneas: A Shakespeare-opera mash-up from 1699 takes the stage

Sometimes characterized as a “problem play,” Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure was first performed in the early 1600’s and was printed in the 1623 First Folio where it is listed as a comedy. During the Restoration, many of Shakespeare’s plays were adapted to suit the times, and Measure is no exception. Playwrights deleted problematic characters, moral complexities, and language that Restoration audiences would have found objectionable…. Continue Reading »


Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’: Perpetuating stereotypes or sparking much-needed conversations?

Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice ends badly for Shylock, with the court ruling against him and his claim on Antonio’s “pound of flesh.” He loses half his property to Antonio and agrees to convert to Christianity to avoid losing the other half to the state. The play may be a comedy, but there’s nothing funny about Shylock’s… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare Live: Staging the plays outdoors

Whether they are produced under the stars, in the moonlight, by the sea, or in local parks, Shakespeare plays are performed outdoors throughout the United States every summer. Some aspects of modern theater would probably have surprised William Shakespeare, from electrical lighting to women acting onstage. The idea of performing his plays outdoors, however, would have seemed entirely routine. The plays that Shakespeare… Continue Reading »