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David Garrick

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David Garrick (1717-1779), A Theatrical Life

Actor, writer, theater manager, entrepreneur, and international celebrity, David Garrick revolutionized acting and the English stage in the eighteenth century.


Explore the Folger's extraordinary wealth of Garrick-related printed texts, playbills, manuscripts, images, and objects that capture the story of Garrick's remarkable life and enduring accomplishments.

An Introduction to Garrick

by Kalman A. Burnim
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Online exhibition

with over 100 images from the Folger
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a short timeline of David Garrick's life
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What Is A Promptbook?

with Garrick's alternate Hamlet endings
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Thirty Different Likenesses

virtual version of a Victorian paper toy
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Garrickomania: Garrick's image

by Heather McPherson
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Garrick Print & E-Resources

The Folger collection and beyond
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Garrick Activities for Kids

Six different activities
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The exhibit David Garrick (1717–1779), A Theatrical Life  runs at the Folger from April 22–August 28, 2005, taking a thematic approach. The exhibition opens with an overview of Garrick’s personal life and achievements, then explores Garrick as an acting phenomenon, theater manager/entrepreneur, Shakespearean, dramatist, and international celebrity. The exhibition concludes with a glimpse of Garrick’s farewell performance, final years, and an assessment of his artistic and personal legacy. The exhibition coincides with a rare revival of The Clandestine Marriage in the Folger Theatre (April 15–May 22), directed by Richard Clifford.


This expanded online treatment of the exhibition includes a timeline, essays, resource lists, and over one hundred images from the Folger collection of Garrick-related holdings.

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