Folger Finds: Edwin Booth's royal tunic
Marking the anniversary of actor Edwin Booth’s birth on November 13, 1833, we explore a stunning historical costume from the Folger collection: an embroidered-velvet tunic that Booth wore onstage as King Richard III.
Helena Modjeska, a shining Polish-American star
Born on October 12, 1840, the Shakespearean star Helena Modjeska shone bright in two very different theatrical worlds, first becoming a leading lady in Warsaw and then, after moving to Anaheim, California, launching a second career as a leading actress…
Nora Titone shares highlights from the Folger's Booth collection
Nora Titone, author of a book on Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth, shares highlights from the Folger’s Booth collection.
Folger Finds: 19th-century actors in Shakespearean roles
See portraits from the Folger collection of Edmund Kean as Richard III, Ellen Terry as Beatrice, Edwin Booth as Iago, and Fanny Kemble as Juliet.
America's Shakespeare: The Bard goes west to California’s Gold Rush mining camps
Theater was explosively popular in California’s Gold Rush era, and miners couldn’t get enough of Shakespeare. San Francisco and Sacramento had major theaters that were repeatedly burning down and being rebuilt almost immediately. Even the small gold-mining towns had stages…
Portraits in Hamlet: ‘Look here upon this picture, and on this’
One of the oldest theatrical legends about Shakespeare is that he played the ghost in Hamlet. We know that Shakespeare was both an actor and a playwright, but we have no idea whether he acted this small, but memorable role.…
Hamlet wasn't always the prince with the common touch
When we think about Shakespeare on the stage we usually imagine two different historical moments: ‘then’ and ‘now’. ‘Then’ is Shakespeare’s lifetime, when Richard Burbage, the original Hamlet, first spoke ‘To be or not to be’ from the stage of…