Lily McKee High School Fellows Program

*The Lily McKee High School Fellows of 2016-17 have been selected. Please check back in the spring for information about the 2017-18 program.* 

The Lily McKee High School Fellowship is a rigorous September-to-June program in which students explore a range of approaches to Shakespeare and the humanities, with deep dives into two plays and the sonnets. Working with scholars, actors, directors, teachers, editors, conservators, curators, and digital humanists, McKee Fellows form a community of learners gathered around knowledge and materials found only at the Folger.

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Photo Credit: 
Folger Shakespeare Library

This program is about big questions: What does Shakespeare tell us about being human? How can we really know the origin of a word? How can scholarship and performance interact? These questions take fellows through all kinds of deep, exciting learning: rare book talks, research in the Folger Reading Rooms, Folger Theatre matinees, student performances on our Elizabethan stage, conservation lab tours, and weekly seminars with world-class scholars.

This program consists of an intensive fall course and up to five additional spring sessions. In the fall, classes typically meet from 3:45 to 6:00 pm every Monday from September 12 to December 12, with occasional sessions on Wednesday afternoons and weekends. The fall course culminates in a showcase of student research and group scenes. In the spring, fellows play a role in special sessions linked to broader programming at the Folger.


How to apply

Are you interested in words and language? Does the idea of working in the world’s largest Shakespeare collection thrill you? Do you wonder why we still study Shakespeare? Do you want to learn more about drama and theatre? Are you interested in a kind of learning that brings together all kinds of subjects—literature, art, performance, technology, history, rhetoric, philosophy, and more? Do you want to read, write, perform, discuss, and question with wildly inquisitive and interesting people?

Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from public, parochial, independent, and home schools in the Washington, DC area are eligible. Applicants should be intellectually curious and self-motivated. No previous knowledge of Shakespeare is required. All interested students are encouraged to apply.

Student applications will become available in spring 2017.


All McKee Fellows are awarded full scholarships. Additional funds may be available for students with after-school jobs or who have major transportation challenges. Books and tickets to plays are provided.

This program is supported by gifts in memory of High School Fellowship alumna Lily St. John McKee (1987-2015).

More information

Questions? Please contact Corinne Viglietta at

Make a donation to the Lily St. John McKee Memorial Fund in support of this program.



Photo Credit: 
Folger Shakespeare Library