Because every student deserves the real thing!
A look inside the popular PBS documentary series about Shakespeare and his works, with special mention of Much Ado.
Shakespeare under the stars is a long-standing tradition in America—and elsewhere in the English-speaking world and beyond.
Music in Shakespeare
Musical hints in Shakespeare have been flying over the heads of audiences for centuries. Let’s try to catch them!
Cast Discusses Folger Theatre’s As You Like It
“You can bring whatever you want to the play.” Hear what actors have to say about this comedy.
Emma Smith: This Is Shakespeare
Hear one scholar’s argument for why there’s no right way to interpret Shakespeare. And explore gaps in Twelfth Night and other plays.
DIY First Folio: The Tempest
Download, print, and fold your own First Folio version of The Tempest!
The Long Life of Shakespeare’s Sonnets
Did William Wordsworth and Oscar Wilde really salvage the sonnets’ good name?
In Search of the Real Richard III
Was the real Richard III anything like the character we know from drama?
Shakespeare and Religion
How did Shakespeare treat the religious divisions of his time?
Elizabethan Street Fighting
What was Elizabethan street fighting, anyway?
Romeo and Juliet through the Ages
How have interpretations of Romeo and Juliet changed over time?
Still Dreaming: Shakespeare with Seniors
Glimpse into a production of Midsummer at an assisted living facility outside New York City that includes retired Broadway professionals.
Understanding Race and Religion through Othello
What can this tragedy teach us about race and religion?
Insider’s Guide: Deception in Othello
How does deception work in Othello?
Is Shakespeare’s Othello a metaphor for the experience of black men in America today? Keith Hamilton Cobb thinks so.
Astor Place Riot
Did varying interpretations of Macbeth really spark a violent riot in 1849?
Julius Caesar at Folger Theatre
Watch the trailer for Folger’s 2014 production of Caesar, and invite students to consider multiple interpretations of the play!
Lisa Klein on Ophelia
How has Ophelia been reinvented in YA fiction and film?
Shakespeare in Sign Language
A special tour of a Gallaudet University exhibition!
Hamlet in the First Folio
Read Hamlet like it’s 1623!
Folger Theatre’s As You Like It
The trailer for our 2017 production of As You Like It
Tang Xianzu and Shakespeare in China
Who was Tang Xianzu, and what does he have to do with Shakespeare?
Shakespeare and Magic
Is Prospero’s magic real, or is he pulling off elaborate illusions?
From the Folger Vault: Explore the 1609 Printing of Shakespeare’s Sonnets
Learn about the 1609 printing of Shakespeare’s sonnets.
Dennis McCarthy and June Schlueter on the George North Manuscript
Scholars might have discovered a major new source for Shakespeare’s history plays…
A Look at District Merchants, a retelling of The Merchant of Venice
Glimpse into an adaptation of The Merchant of Venice that asks, “What if?”
A “Must-see” 1 Henry IV at Folger Theatre
Peek into a recent production of this epic history play!
Insider’s Guide: Language in Othello
How does language work in this tragic play?
Shakespeare in Black and White
What role has race played in Shakespeare in America? What role has Shakespeare played in the lives of African Americans?
Editing Macbeth: Issues an Editor Faces
What does it mean to edit Macbeth, and what are some of the issues at stake in this work?
Kenny Leon on Much Ado About Nothing
How do Shakespeare’s comedies speak to our present moment, and what does Much Ado have to do with race in America?
Shakespeare in the Caribbean
How has the character of Caliban been important for anti-colonialists?
The Early Years of Shakespeare’s Sonnets
Did Shakespeare intend to publish his sonnets? For whom were they written?
Shakespeare and Folktales
Did Shakespeare’s plays come from folktales?
Orson Welles and Shakespeare
Was Orson Welles really obsessed with Shakespeare his whole life?
What is it really like to stage one of the most famous love stories in the world?
Hear from the woman who played Juliet in the classroom classic, Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet.
When Romeo Was a Woman
Who was Charlotte Cushman, and did she really play the role of Romeo in the nineteenth century?
Get the inside scoop on Peter Brook’s landmark 1970 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Green-eyed Monster, a Scene from Othello 3.3
Watch Folger actors perform a key scene from this tragedy.
Is Othello Shakespeare’s American Play?
Might Othello be the best Shakespeare play for discussing race, sexuality, and status in America?
Editing Shakespeare: Word Choice in Othello
A world of “sighs” or “kisses”? How does word choice affect what a line–maybe even a play–means?
Othello and Blackface
What does dyed cloth in Shakespeare’s time have to do with discussions of race today? This podcast will transform how you think about Othello.
How King Lear Inspired Empire
You can find Shakespeare in all sorts of places, including the Fox TV series Empire.
The Globe to Globe Hamlet Tour
What was it like to take Hamlet around the world in 2016?
Cast Talks Davenant’s Macbeth
A wild take on Macbeth you need to see to believe!
The Year of Lear
What made 1606 such a critical year in Shakespeare’s creative career?
Phyllida Lloyd and All-Female Shakespeare
Glimpse into a recent all-female production of Julius Caesar.
Folger actors perform and analyze elements of Hamlet’s soliloquies.
LUNA: The Folger Digital Image Collection
Online access to over 100,000 images from the Folger Shakespeare Library collection!
Shakespeare in Hong Kong
Artists in Hong Kong have stretched Shakespeare to tell stories of contemporary colonialism. Hear how.
What is the Juliet Club in Verona, Italy?
Casey Wilder Mott and Fran Kranz on Their LA Midsummer
Director Mott and co-producer and actor Fran Kranz discuss a version of Midsummer set in the modern film industry.
Tracy Chevalier: New Boy
Tracy Chevalier discusses her novel based on Othello and set in an American high school.
A discussion with director Iqbal Khan includes his famous Royal Shakespeare Company production of Othello with Iago cast as a black actor.
Paterson Joseph: Julius Caesar and Me
Listen to Paterson Joseph’s experience playing Caesar in an all-black production set in Africa.
The ABCs of Performing Hamlet
How have modern actors made Hamlet their own?
The “Cranach Hamlet”
Get up close with a beautifully illustrated art book that presents a startling link between Shakespeare and the twentieth-century clash of nations.
The Folger Shakespeare API Tools
Powerful digital tools that enable readers everywhere to analyze Shakespeare’s plays in new ways and make fresh discoveries.
Read a Folger First Folio
Think you have to visit the Folger vault to page through a First Folio from 1623? Think again. Read Folger Folio no. 68.
Folger Theatre’s Twelfth Night
The cast of Folger’s 2013 Twelfth Night tells the story of this upside-down play and their playful production.
Consider a surprising and moving pair of texts with poet Teri Cross Davis as your guide.
Inside the Collection: A Shakespeare Forgery
See one of the most shocking items in the Folger collection!
Why Study Shakespeare Today? Dr. Kim Hall, Barnard College
How does Shakespeare help us think through war, religion, race, and other issues from our own time?
James Shapiro on Shakespeare in a Divided America
Does Shakespeare tie Americans together or drive us apart? Glimpse into James Shapiro’s groundbreaking book.
Fly through the Folger Shakespeare Library
Take a virtual tour of the historic Folger building on Capitol Hill!
Why Do Fabulously Creative People Like Shakespeare?
What do an internet pioneer, two theater-makers, and a scholar of rhetoric all have in common?
Dr. Michael Witmore: Prospero’s Books
A Renaissance book of magic answers, what would it be like to be someone like Prospero?
Folger Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A juicy trailer for a wild production of Midsummer!
Inside the Collection: Fuseli’s Painting “Macbeth and the Vision of the Armed Head”
What is Macbeth’s “vision” in this painting, and how does it relate to Shakespeare’s language?
Stephen Greenblatt: Shakespeare’s Life Stories
Professor Stephen Greenblatt explores this question: Is life a story that can and must be told?
The History of Shakespeare in American Schools
How did Shakespeare go from popular entertainment to classroom staple?
Joss Whedon’s Shakespeare Story
A Hollywood director shares his Shakespeare story with the Folger.
Shakespeare and YA Novels: Ryan North and Molly Booth
What does Shakespeare have to do with the recent explosion in YA literature?
The Wonder of Will: 400th Anniversary of William Shakespeare’s Death
A 2-hour extravaganza of Shakespeare stories from actors, community leaders, teachers, students, and scholars!
Invitation from a Black Shakespearean
“You see, I am a black woman who teaches and writes about William Shakespeare, and I am also someone who teaches and writes about issues of race.”
The Folger Shakespeare
Read the full Folger texts of all of Shakespeare’s plays and poems!
Love Poetry by Women
Let women poets from Shakespeare’s time make you swoon–and want to teach their works, too!
Inside the Collection: Northcote’s Painting of Romeo and Juliet
Get up close to an outsized painting of an outsized dramatic moment.
Dr. Kim Hall’s lecture “Othello Was My Grandfather: Shakespeare in the African Diaspora”
Find out what’s wrong with calling Shakespeare “universal.”
Craig Wallace’s Shakespeare Story
How did Craig Wallace become so attached to Shakespeare?
Caroline Clay’s Shakespeare Story
Hear Lady Macbeth’s speech in Macbeth 1.7 as you have never heard it before.
Shakespeare and Solace
Do you have a passage from Shakespeare that you return to in difficult times? Is there a sonnet or soliloquy you keep coming back to for comfort or wisdom?
Whiteness: A Primer for Understanding Shakespeare, with Dr. Ian Smith
“Whiteness is everywhere implied but nowhere acknowledged.”
Peggy O’Brien’s Shakespeare Story
How did Peggy O’Brien come to know and love this Shakespeare guy?
The First Folio Portrait of Shakespeare
What is so striking about that famous First Folio portrait of Shakespeare?
In the Collection: Staxpeditions
What surprising discoveries do digital libraries hold?