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Posts Tagged ‘Elizabethan theatre’

Lots of buzz around the Folger these days because Janet Griffin, Artistic Producer of the Folger Theatre, and Robert Richmond, director of our upcoming production of Richard III, are taking a walk on the wild side.

You know about the theatre here, right?  Background in case you don’t:  Folks here sometimes call the Folger Theatre “an evocation of an Elizabethan theatre”… not a model of any one in particular but with features like galleries and an inner above that make you think of the Globe.

It’s a sweet little 250-seat theatre tucked right inside the Library building.  Janet and her team produce three or four award-winning plays a year, and if you haven’t seen a play here, put us on your New Year’s resolution list right this minute.

So how do we get from an Elizabethan theatre to the wild side? (more…)

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Looking for something epic to do this summer?

Gather up your family and friends! Join us for Folger’s Shakespeare Summer Adventure!

This summer, the Great Hall is closed for renovation. That means Folger is offering several smaller exhibits for families and friends to enjoy.

Nelson Mandela served 18 years as a political prisoner at Robben Island, a prison off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. While there, another prisoner smuggled in a copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Mandela and 33 of his fellow prisoners read the book and signed their names (often with notes) in this book. For the first time, this volume is on display in the United States—at Folger Shakespeare Library. Come visit the book, along with a series of sketches Mandela made in the early 2000s, reflecting on his prison life.

Down the hall from your South Africa experience is the world of Shakespeare and the Folgers. See the First Folio, printed in 1623 and hailed by Mr. Folger as one of the most important books ever printed. Without the First Folio, half of Shakespeare’s works would have been lost to us. Thanks to our touch-screen kiosk, you can page through Romeo and Juliet and see the lines as they were printed just seven years after Shakespeare’s death. Along with the First Folio, see items of particular importance to the Folgers, including a bracelet made from famed American actor Edwin Booth’s hair.

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What was theatre like in Shakespeare’s time? Find the answer in our Elizabethan Theatre. The carved wooden panels and Tudor look will make you feel like you’ve travelled back in time. Then take a look in the Shakespeare Gallery to see what it might have looked like to prepare the Globe for a production. You can also watch a video exploring the impact of Shakespeare and his works on students, actors, experts, and more.

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We know you are working to make Shakespeare come alive in your classrooms—we invite you to see him come alive at Folger Shakespeare Library!

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Once a year, for a wonderful week, we throw open the doors of Folger Theatre and invite elementary children, grades three through six, to share Shakespeare. Our stage has been full of Puck, Oberon, Titania, Nick Bottom, Peter Quince, Romeo, Juliet, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear and his daughters.

These young students are a constant inspiration with their enthusiasm for Shakespeare’s language, their commitment to Shakespeare’s ideas, and their embodiment of Shakespeare’s stories in their performances. They embrace the experience of performing Shakespeare—getting the words in their mouths and making it their own.

Students shared with us, the audience members, the sweetness of Romeo and Juliet falling in love and the pain of their loss when forbidden love was denied. They shared the fun of Helena, Hermia, Demetrius, and Lysander searching for each other through the woods. They shared the tragedy of King Lear as he realizes his older daughters might have professed their love, but they don’t really love him. They shared the confusion of Hamlet as he tries to work through the chaos of his life.

 

Children's Shakespeare Festival 2013

Children’s Shakespeare Festival 2013

During this festival week, we see in action what we know so well: performing Shakespeare gives students the opportunity to use language in ways that are exciting and empowering.

Children and Shakespeare: a winning combination!

 

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