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Shakespeare in performance

Love's Labor's Lost

Four centuries of staging Shakespeare

In order to make Shakespeare’s plays accessible and appealing to audiences, theater practitioners around the world have shaped both the text and the style of production to mirror and speak into their own time and place.

People have used Shakespeare’s plays as a medium for political commentary, incorporated them into other theatrical traditions, and adapted them as films, operas, musicals and other art forms.

Explore the variety of Shakespeare in performance.

Staging Shakespeare today:
Our interviews with actors

From the Folger’s Shakespeare Unlimited podcast

Ian McKellen on Playing Hamlet
Shakespeare Unlimited

Ian McKellen on Playing Hamlet

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Sir Ian McKellen played Hamlet in his thirties, and again in his eighties. He gives us his take on the Melancholy Dane.

Glenda Jackson
Shakespeare Unlimited

Glenda Jackson

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Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 121 The great Glenda Jackson is back on the stage. In 1992, the Emmy and two-time Academy Award winner was elected to Parliament. She spent the next 23 years in Britain’s House of Commons. Since returning to…

Paterson Joseph: Julius Caesar and Me
Shakespeare Unlimited

Paterson Joseph: Julius Caesar and Me

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Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 98 In 2012 the Royal Shakespeare Company staged the first-ever, high-profile, all-black British Shakespeare production, Julius Caesar, set in Africa. The actor who played Brutus, Paterson Joseph, recently wrote a book about the experience called Julius Caesar…

Our Shakespeare theater partnership program:
What’s onstage across America

 

What's onstage at Shakespeare theaters this spring
Shakespeare & Beyond

What's onstage at Shakespeare theaters this spring

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Author
Ben Lauer

Read our round-up of performances at Shakespeare theaters across the United States this April, May, and June.

We know you think Julius Caesar is boring
Shakespeare & Beyond

We know you think Julius Caesar is boring

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Author
Ben Lauer

We ask theater artists across the country to tell us why it isn’t.

What's onstage at Shakespeare theaters in December
Shakespeare & Beyond

What's onstage at Shakespeare theaters in December

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This month, Shakespeare theaters across the country are getting ready for the holidays with stories of Scrooge-i-ness defeated. Even Malvolio learns a lesson!

Folger Theatre

The award-winning Folger Theatre is a national leader in performance related to Shakespeare’s works.

Film, opera, musicals, and other adaptations

David West Read on & Juliet
Shakespeare Unlimited

David West Read on & Juliet

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Folger members can preview this podcast episode now!

Ian McKellen on Richard III, Macbeth, and Gandalf
Shakespeare Unlimited

Ian McKellen on Richard III, Macbeth, and Gandalf

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Sir Ian McKellen tells us about some of his most famous roles: playing Macbeth opposite Dame Judi Dench, King Richard III with a screenplay he co-wrote, and Gandalf the Grey in The Lord of the Rings films.

Adapting Shakespeare's 'Antony and Cleopatra' for opera
Amina Edris as Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra
Shakespeare & Beyond

Adapting Shakespeare's 'Antony and Cleopatra' for opera

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Author
Lucia Scheckner
Get an insider's look at adapting a Shakespeare play for opera with this blog post by the dramaturg and libretto consultant for the new John Adams opera of "Antony and Cleopatra."
John Adams Gives Antony and Cleopatra the Operatic Treatment
Shakespeare Unlimited

John Adams Gives Antony and Cleopatra the Operatic Treatment

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Adams talks with host Barbara Bogaev about how he turned a five-act play into a two-act opera—which scenes got the hook, new lines written in the style of the Bard, and what Shakespeare may have thought of the play’s characters.

Q&A: Allan Clayton on playing Hamlet in Brett Dean's opera
Allan Clayton as Hamlet
Shakespeare & Beyond

Q&A: Allan Clayton on playing Hamlet in Brett Dean's opera

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Author
Shakespeare & Beyond
Hamlet sings! A new opera version of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" is onstage now at the Metropolitan Opera, with tenor Allan Clayton resuming the title role that he played for the opera's world premiere at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2017. Read our Q&A with Allan Clayton.
Brett Dean and Matthew Jocelyn on Their Hamlet Opera
Shakespeare Unlimited

Brett Dean and Matthew Jocelyn on Their Hamlet Opera

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Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 191 A new opera version of Hamlet is onstage at New York’s Metropolitan Opera through June 9. Composer Brett Dean and librettist Matthew Jocelyn talk with host Barbara Bogaev about adapting the texts of the earliest editions…

Pamela Hutchinson on Asta Nielsen's Hamlet
Shakespeare Unlimited

Pamela Hutchinson on Asta Nielsen's Hamlet

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Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 188 In 1921, Asta Nielsen, one of the world’s biggest movie stars, had just formed her own production company, and decided to open it up by playing Hamlet. Plenty of women had done that on the stage…

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