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Shakespeare's Birthday
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Shakespeare's Birthday Open House

Shakespeare's Birthday

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Noon to 4pm


Rain or Shine! All activities will move indoors if it rains.

Free; charge for some food and drink


Enjoy jugglers and jesters, music, song and dance, stage combat workshops, and more. It's the one day of the year when the Folger reading rooms�are open to all--plus, birthday cake for everyone!


Other Birthday festivities include:

  • A cake-cutting ceremony in honor of Shakespeare presided over by Queen Elizabeth I at 4pm on the front lawn of the Folger.

  • Free children's activities and Elizabethan crafts, including:

Shakespearean fortune-telling;

quill pen writing;

decoding an Elizabethan spy message;

drawing for our Shakespeare Portrait Gallery; and


  • Sword fighting and stage combat with Folger Theatre Fight Choreographer Casey Kaleba and his merry band.

  • Nickel Shakespeare Girls taking your requests and performing on-the-spot one-minute Shakespeare.

  • Stories of life in 16th-century England.

  • Language fun and games led by our very own Mistress of the Revels, Cam Magee.

  • WETA Classical Players string quartet in concert.

  • Conversations and Q & As with Folger staff and scholars.

  • Poetry readings by the winners of this year's student Sonnet Contest.

  • Performances .. by you! ... of your favorite plays in 20-Minute Shakespeare.

  • Tours of the historic Reading Rooms. View Flemish tapestries from the 16th Century, paintings from scenes of the Bard's plays, and the famed "Seven Ages of Man" stained glass window.

  • Docent-led walks through our Elizabethan Garden filled with plants popular in Shakespeare's time and mentioned in his plays and Shakespeare-inspired statues by American artist Greg Wyatt. Plus a plant sale!

  • Scavenger Hunt through our current exhibition, "Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude," in the Great Hall.

  • Mementos on sale at the Folger Gift Shop.

  • Food trucks with treats galore in Puck Circle.
Shakespeare's Birthday

Shakespeare's Birthday

Shakespeare's Birthday

Audience Feedback

Write us at comments@folger.edu.


Play On! Songs Inspired by Shakespeare

Photo Gallery

Buy. Download. Enjoy. Birthday photos by Chester Simpson

2014 Bard's Birthday Bash on Flickr

Related Items

Enter the Sonnet Contest


Thanks, thanks, and more thanks to our Shakespeare's Birthday Sponsors:

Capitol Hill Community Foundation

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