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Note: The application period for the 2014 Docent class is closed. Please check back for information regarding our 2015 class.

Please print the application and mail it to:

Department of Education

ATTN: Docent Applications

Folger Shakespeare Library

201 East Capitol Street, S.E.

Washington, DC 20003

or fax to: (202) 675-0360

or you can submit your application online


Docents provide high-quality support for the Folger’s many educational outreach programs, including:

  • School Visits: Docents offer specially scheduled presentations for elementary and secondary school students, using hands-on teaching materials and theater activities.
  • Walk-in tours: Docents conduct visitor tours Monday-Friday at 11am and 3pm, and on Saturdays at 11am and 1pm.
  • Information desk: Docents greet visitors to the Folger and introduce them to its facilities.
  • Outreach programs: Docents work with selected classes in DC public schools and communities to generate interest in and enthusiasm for Shakespeare and his culture.
  • Annual Children and Secondary School Shakespeare Festivals: Docents help to plan and run these two highly successful festivals, where students have a chance to perform for one another and for the general public in the Folger’s Elizabethan Theatre.
  • Shakespeare’s Birthday Open House: Docents help to plan the annual celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday, developing and supervising activities for children.


A B.A. is preferred but not required. Docents should be comfortable working with people of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of ability. All docents must complete a thirty-to-forty-hour training program.

A two-year commitment is required with a minimum of 75 service hours per year. Docents must also observe one tour and attend two in-service trainings per year. Docents can work any day of the week that the Folger is open, although weekday help is particularly needed.



The training course, taught by docents, library staff and scholars, includes an introduction to the Library and its collections; classes on politics, literature, and daily life in Elizabethan England; and lectures on Shakespeare’s theater, work, and life. Educational methods—the dynamics of communicating meaningfully with a group—are an integral part of the program. Continuing in-service training is also provided.



The Folger offers docents discounted tickets to Folger Theatre performances, literary readings, concerts by the Folger Consort, and other public programs, as well as a discount in the Gift Shop. Docents are also invited to free lectures and scholarly colloquia. The intangible rewards are great as well: docents have the opportunity to meet visitors from all over the Washington area and, indeed, all over the world. They create, witness, and share in the delight of hundreds of children and adults who discover Shakespeare through the Folger’s educational programs.



For more information about volunteering with the Folger Shakespeare Library docent program, please contact Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger at educate@folger.edu


We love to hear feedback from visitors!  To share about your Folger visitor experience, please contact us at educate@folger.edu.

Ellen Andrus, Folger Docent, offers a tour of the First Folio to visitors.

Celebrate the Queen family program

Exploring an exhibition


Docent Application 2014

Related Items

Docent-led Tours

Shakespeare's Birthday Open House

2015 Secondary School Shakespeare Festival

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