Explore Shakespeare’s plays as a scholar, actor, and audience member!
In the fall
This fall semester, interdisciplinary seminar—led by noted scholars and theater practitioners —investigates a wide range of approaches and theories to the study of Shakespeare. The program includes academic seminars, practical theater education, reading and writing assignments, and theater performances.
High School Fellows meet twice weekly from 2:45pm to 5pm to examine selected plays—based in part by what is being performed at area theaters—from several different viewpoints, including textual interpretation (including the social and historical contexts in which the plays were written), stage history, and practical concerns of theater space, budget, and concept. Students meet scholars, directors, actors, designers, and stage combat choreographers. The high school fellows tour the Folger Shakespeare Library and see professional theater performances of the plays being studied.
Student participation includes reading plays and related material each week, writing a series of papers as well as a final researched essay and independent project exploring Shakespeare, and presenting a final acting project at the end of the semester. To see examples of past student independent projects, click "Student Projects Online Gallery" in the left navigation bar.
Who can Apply
High school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from public, parochial, and independent high schools in the Washington, DC area are eligible. Applicants should have a strong interest in drama or literature in general and Shakespeare in particular (although previous knowledge is not a requirement). All interested students are encouraged to apply.
Sixteen participants are selected on the basis of their answers to application questions, especially an essay describing their reasons for wanting to participate in the program, and on their recommendations from two teachers, one of whom should be an English teacher. Students may also be asked to come to the Folger for a brief interview . Click on the links at right to download an application, course description, and information flyer.
Each participant must designate a sponsoring teacher from their school to whom the student informally reports during the semester.
Folger Shakespeare Library is not a credit-granting institution, but the students’ schools can choose to give course credit in English, theater, or independent study.
All students accepted to the program are awarded full scholarships, which include necessary texts and tickets to all performances. A few supplementary stipends are available for qualified students who are eager to participate but for whom transportation costs would be a hardship.