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Elizabethan Theatre

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Elizabethan Theatre

Elizabethan Theatre

An ideal setting for lectures, musical recitals, and theatrical productions, the Elizabethan Theatre seats 200 people in the orchestra level (the "pit" in Shakespeare's day) and an additional 50 in the upper galleries.


With its three-tiered wooden balconies, carved oak columns, and half-timbered facade, the theater evokes the courtyard of an English Renaissance inn. Overhead, a canopy represents the sky. In Shakespeare's day, such inns sometimes served as playhouses for traveling groups of players, who performed on a raised platform at one end while spectators gathered in the yard and on the balconies above.


The intimate Elizabethan Theatre is the setting for Folger Theatre productions, early-music concerts by the Folger Consort, PEN/Faulkner lectures and readings, Folger Poetry programs, family activities, and many education programs, including the Folger's student performance festivals.


In the lobby just outside the Theatre, visitors are greeted near the door by a marble statue of Puck, Shakespeare's mischievous sprite from A Midsummer Night's Dream . This is the original statue created for the Folger grounds by the award-winning sculptor Brenda Putnam in 1932 and restored in 2001. Today, an aluminum replica presides over the Folger's outdoor fountain.


  • Available when theater performances permit
  • Seating capacity: 250
  • Can be used in evenings in combination with Old Reading Room and Great Hall
  • Additional fees for theater technicians
  • No food or beverages allowed


Contact the Office of Special Events by phone at 202.675.0375 or by e-mail at specialevents@folger.edu.


Elizabethan Theatre "sky" canopy

Elizabethan Theatre

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