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Teaching Shakespeare

TheatreBooks carries a complete range of the plays of William Shakespeare, as well as other titles about his life, work and times.

Shakespeare's Texts

Shakespeare Criticism

Inspired by Shakespeare

Performing Shakespeare

Shakespeare's Life & Times

Teaching Shakespeare

See also: Plays for Young People

Cambridge School Shakespeare - revised!

Long considered the preeminent work in its field, the Cambridge School Shakespeare offers an active approach to teaching the plays, enabling students to inhabit Shakespeare’s imaginative world in accessible and creative ways. Treating each play as a script to be acted, explored and enjoyed in the classroom, they are essential additions to every school library. 

Substantially revised and updated, the following titles are now available in their third edition:


Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar

King Richard III
King Richard III


The Merchant of Venice
The Merchant of Venice

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Much Ado About Nothing
Much Ado About Nothing


Romeo & Juliet
Romeo & Juliet

The Taming of the Shrew
The Taming of the Shrew

The Tempest
The Tempest

Twelfth Night

Each title in the new edition features:

  • a stunning eight-page full colour section packed with production photographs — there’s no better way to bring the play to life and motivate students
  • new and revised activities to refresh and update this trusted, well established series
  • an enlarged — fully illustrated — section at the back of each volume featuring new notes and activities suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities
  • enlarged glossaries — providing extra support with the language of Shakespeare
  • new black and white photographs throughout, from the widest selection of stage and film interpretations of the plays
  • activities which are fully integrated with the text of the play
  • expanded and reorganised notes and tasks giving more help to students than ever before, with sections on characters, the language of the play, and the play performance

Henry IV, Part 1: The 30-minute ShakespeareHenry IV, Part 1: The 30-minute Shakespeare
Nick Newlin
This edition of Henry IV, Part 1 tells the story in 30-minutes, yet retains the beauty of Shakespeare's language. Here you'll find tavern revelry, highway robbery, and a splendid role-reversal scene between the inimitable Falstaff and the young Prince Hal. Also included are notes and suggestions regarding staging Shakespeare within a school environment. Softcover, 70 pp. $9.50.

Othello: The 30-Minute Shakespeare	Othello: The 30-Minute Shakespeare
Nick Newlin
This abridged version of Othello highlights the dramatic build as the venomous Iago systematically deceives Othello about his wife Desdemona, drawing the Moor into a jealous rage. Also included is an essay by editor Nick Newlin on how to produce a Shakespeare play with novice actors, and notes about previous productions of this edition. Softcover, 66 pp. $9.50.

A Midsummer Night's DreamA Midsummer Night's Dream

Nick Newlin
The 30-Minute Shakespeare is a new series of abridgements that tell the "story" of the play in a condensed form, while maintaining the beauty of Shakespeare's language. This edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream is edited down to three key scenes and includes an essay by Nick Newlin on how to stage this abridged version with novice actors and limited resources. Softcover, 61 pp. $9.50. Also available in the series: Romeo and Juliet, Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night.

True Lives: William ShakespeareTrue Lives: William Shakespeare

Haydn Middleton
This exciting book of the life of William Shakespeare with full-colour illustrations tells real-life tales on every page. Softcover, 31 pp. $7.95.

Shakespeare For Beginners Shakespeare For Beginners

Brandon Toropov & Joseph Lee
Author Brandon Toropov opens with the observation that Shakespeare's genius is not in his (or England's) history, it's in his words, most notable, his plays -- in his brilliant stories, unforgettable characters, and the impossible beauty of his language. So Shakespeare For Beginners skips the tedious history lesson and goes straight to the plays. The book offers clear, concise descriptions and plot summaries of each play; it lists key phrases and important themes, explains the main ideas behind each work and features excerpts of important passages. Softcover, 216 pp. $16.95.

No Fear Shakespeare: A CompanionNo Fear Shakespeare: A Companion
This companion gives you the straight scoop on everything you really need to know about Shakespeare, including: what's so great about Shakespeare, how did he get so smart, five mysteries of his life and why they matter, Shakespeare's world, theatre, language, and the five greatest Shakespearean characters. Softcover, 290 pp. $10.95.

Shakespeare: His Work & His WorldShakespeare: His Work & His World

Michael Rosen & Robert Ingpen
A national council of Teachers of English. A notable children's book in the language arts. A national council for social studies. A notable trade book for young people. A Los Angeles 100 Best Children's Books of the year selection. Softcover, 96 pp. $13.99.

No Fear Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
No Fear Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare
Have you ever found yourself looking at a Shakespeare play, then down at the footnotes, then back at the play, and still not understanding? You know what the individual words mean, but they don't add up. SparkNotes' No Fear Shakespeare will help you break through all that. Put the pieces together with our easy-to-read translations. Soon you'll be reading Shakespeare's own words fearlessly--and actually enjoying it. Softcover, 287 pp. $7.95.

Beginning ShakespeareBeginning Shakespeare

Lisa Hopkins
Beginning Shakespeare introduces students to the study of Shakespeare and grounds their understanding of his work in theoretical discourses. It breaks down fears and preconceptions to offer students both a map of their current critical practices of others and a sense of the possibilities for developing their own. Softcover, 212 pp. $19.95.

MacbethPicture This! Shakespeare Picture This! Macbeth
William Shakespeare
Young readers can get a whole new perspective on Shakespeare's immortal tragedy with this graphic novel adaptation. Softcover, 56 pp. $7.99. Others in the Picture This! series: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo & Juliet, and Twelfth Night.

For All Time? Critical Issues in Teaching ShakespeareFor All Time? Critical Issues in Teaching Shakespeare
Paul Skrebels & Sieta van der Hoeven
For All Time?
is a conversation about the continued place of Shakespeare in the classroom which explores how current critical theories inform our pedagogy. Contributors from around the globe address varied issues such as 'Shakespeare as a hegemonic force', 'Postcolonial Shakespeare', 'Shakespeare & the new aestheticism' and 'Shakespeare for the new millennium' to name a few. Softcover, 144 pp. $29.95.

Tales from ShakespeareTales from Shakespeare: Seven Plays
Marcia Williams
Williams uses the oversize, comic strip format to evoke a sense of what it must have been like to attend performances of plays at the old Globe Theatre. Retelling Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, The Winter's Tale, Julius Caesar, and The Tempest, this volume gives us a glimpse into the character of Elizabethan theatre. Softcover, 38 pp. $11.99.

Romeo & JulietRomeo & Juliet: The Young Reader's Shakespeare

Adam McKeown
Handsomly illustrated, this bold new retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet captures the drama, adventure, and wonder of the original work. McKeown's retelling of the play is a wonderful way to introduce young people to the timeless tale of two young lovers, doomed by circumstance. Hardcover, 96 pp. $22.95.

Studying Shakespeare: A Guide to the PlaysStudying Shakespeare: A Guide to the Plays
Laurie E. Maguire
This beginner's guide to Shakespeare will help readers grasp the connection between the issues addressed in the plays and those of our time. Drawing on all of the Bards plays, Laurie E. Maguire shows how they illustrate some of life's most familiar stories -- love and obsession, parents and children, sex and politics, suffering and revenge. Softcover 242 pp. $24.95.

Mastering ShakespeareMastering Shakespeare: An Acting Class in Seven Scenes
Scott Kaiser
Written in the form of a play and set in an acting studio, each of the book's seven scenes present specific acting challenges and offer specific solutions. With in-depth explorations of speeches from more than thirty of Shakespeare's plays, Mastering Shakespeare presents a logical and cumulative progression of concept and skills. A must-read for actors, directors, coaches, and students of all levels of experience. Softcover, 268 pp. $29.95.ending in tragedy. Hardcover, 195 pp. $50.00.

Richard Brassey
This entertaining book for young readers, illustrated in colour, is the perfect introduction to the world of William Shakespeare. Softcover, 25 pp. $7.95.

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Drama in Education

Drama Games

Story Telling


Puppetry, Clowning & Magic

Teaching Shakespeare


Plays for Young People


Theatre Studies
Actors & Acting
Shakespeare's Plays
Shakespeare Criticism
Inspired by Shakespeare
Performing Shakespeare
Shakespeare Life & Times
Teaching Shakespeare
Technical Theatre
Drama in Education

Shakespeare's ComediesShakespeare's Comedies
Emma Smith
This guide serves students of Shakespeare in two ways. First, by presenting ten recent critical interventions in the field of Shakespeare studies, it provides an up-to-date compendium of current scholarship. Secondly, the volume acts as a guide to further reading to help students extend their knowledge of Shakespeare criticism. In all, this is the perfect introduction to Shakespeare's comedies. Softcover, 310 pp. $44.95.

Shakespeare's HistoriesShakespeare's Histories
Emma Smith
This guide serves both to enhance students' enjoyment of the history plays and to broaden the reader's critical repertoire. By presenting ten recent critical interventions in the field, it provides a compendium of current scholarship. These articles are contextualized with brief critical overviews and annotated suggestions for further reading. Softcover, 294 pp. $44.95.

Shakespeare's TragediesShakespeare's Tragedies
Emma Smith
This guide presents fourteen recent critical interventions in the field of Shakespeare studies, covering seven key areas of debate: genre, character, language, gender and sexuality, history and politics, texts and performance. Each article has been intelligently contextualized and carefully annotated. Softcover, 369 pp. $44.95.


Macbeth Cambridge Student GuideMacbeth: Cambridge Student Guide
Stephen Siddal
What is Macbeth about? This Cambridge Student Guide will help you look at the play from different viewpoints. For examinations, it will equip you with the skills to justify your interpretations with independence, confidence and authority. Softcover, 128 pp. $13.95.

Othello: Cambridge Student GuideOthello: Cambridge Student Guide
Pamela Mason
What is Othello about? This Cambridge Student Guide will help you look at the play from different viewpoints. For examinations, it will equip you with the skills to justify your interpretations with independence, confidence and authority. Softcover, 128 pp. $13.95.


Romeo and Juliet
Cambridge Student GuideRomeo and Juliet: Cambridge Student Guide
Rex Gibson
What is Romeo and Juliet about? This Cambridge Student Guide will help you look at the play from different viewpoints. For examinations, it will equip you with the skills to justify your interpretations with independence, confidence and authority. Softcover 128 pp. $13.95.


Instant ShakespeareInstant Shakespeare: A Proven Technique for Actors, Directors, and Teachers
Louis Fantasia
Expanded and refined in performances and workshops throughout the world, Instant Shakespeare allows performers, directors, and teachers of all cultures and levels to demystify Shakespeare and perform his texts in ways that are clear fresh and unpretentious. Softcover, 213 pp. $23.95.

Irresistible Shakespeare
Irresistible Shakespeare
Carol Rawlings Miller
Six sensational scenes from favorite plays and dozens of fun ideas that introduce students to the wonderful works of Shakespeare. Recommended for Grades 5 and up. Softcover, $13.99.

Shakespeare Set FreeShakespeare Set Free
Volume 1: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream
Volume 2: Hamlet, Henry IV Part 1
Volume 3: Twelfth Night, Othello

This is a popular new series from the Teaching Shakespeare Institute of The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington.The three volumes all contain practical, clear and provocative ways to teach the plays through performance. The essays and activities explore the language and magical worlds of the plays while engaging students of every grade and ability level.Day-by-day teaching startegies created, taught, written and edited by classroom teachers provide a user-friendly format. The feedback on this series has been very positive. Large-format softcovers: Vol. 1 $26.50; Vol. 2 $23.00; Vol.3 $25.00.

Shakespeare for KidsShakespeare for Kids: His Life and Times
by Colleen Aagesen & Margie Blumberg
A collection of twenty-one activities to introduce children to Shakespeare and his world. The authors trace Shakespeare's life and times, providing a wealth of historical detail. Interspersed with this history are activities to make the learning process more tangible: from making a quill pen and creating new words to playing Elizabethan games or composing a sonnet. Large-format softcover, $25.95.

Shakespeare Can Be FunShakespeare Can Be Fun! A Midsummer Night's Dream
by Lois Burdett
The author has rewritten Shakespeare's play in rhyming couplets, which are suitable for reading aloud in the classroom or staging. The book also includes illustrations by children in Burdett's own workshops with the play, and examples of the written work that they produced. At the very back of the book are a number of suggested activities to bring the play to life. $9.95.

Also available in this series: Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest.

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Shakespeare Made Easy: HamletShakespeare Made Easy: Hamlet
Modernized by Alan Durband
In this series, the complete original text is laid out side-by-side with the full modern translation. Each volume includes a brief introduction to Shakespeare's life and times, as well as some Character, Textual, and Examination questions to help get the student thinking about the play. $19.95.

Also available in this series: Twelfth Night, Henry the Fourth Part One, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest.

Cambridge School Shakespeare: Twelfth NightCambridge School Shakespeare: Twelfth Night
Edited by Rex Gibson
Each play in the series has been carefully edited to enable students to inhabit Shakespeare's imaginative world in accessible and creative ways. As well as the complete scripts, the student will find a running synopsis of the action, an explanation of unfamiliar words, and a wide range of classroom-tested activities to help turn script into drama. $16.95.

Also available in this series: Two Gentlemen of Verona, All's Well That Ends Well, Antony and Cleopatra, Comedy of Errors, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, King Henry the Fourth Part One, King Henry the Fourth Part Two, King Henry the Fifth, King John, King Lear, King Richard the Second, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice, Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Sonnets, Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest.

Discovering Shakespeare's LanguageDiscovering Shakespeare's Language
by Rex Gibson & Janet Field-Pickering
Presenting the very best ideas from the Cambridge School Shakespeare series, this collection of activity sheets will enable the teacher to develop a sequence of lessons that focus on the study of Shakespeare's language. Each copyable lesson is designed to encourage active learning in students, providing opportunities for collaboration and individual exploration. The activities are all based on examples from the whole range of the plays in the canon as well as the Sonnets. $49.95.

Discovering Shakespeare: The Taming of the ShrewDiscovering Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew
Edited by Fredi Olster & Rick Hamilton
This series, with its abridged of the play along with a vernacular translation, is designed as a workbook to help in the study of Shakespeare's language. It is also meant to serve as a launching pad for a reading of the play, in which students take on individual parts and read the play aloud. The editors have also included information about the performance of the material, which may used to develop a simple production of the play. $23.95).

Also available in this series: Macbeth, Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet

Ready-to-Use Activities for Teaching Julius CaesarReady-to-Use Activities for Teaching Julius Caesar
by John Wilson Swope
Each volume in this series provides more than 100 classroom-tested activities that give the student a whole language process to the play. The activities are broken down into four sections: Prereading, During Reading, Post Reading and Extending Activities, which encourage students to "act out" the play in a variety of ways. The activities are all copyable, and are developed for individual students, small groups, or the whole class. The book also includes an answer key appendix, and suggested questions to evaluate reading comprehension. $29.95.

Also available in this series:

  • Romeo and Juliet --$29.95
  • Hamlet -- $29.95
  • Macbeth -- $29.95

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Last modified July 18, 2012.
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