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The Wonder of Will

The Wonder of Will

Join us in 2016 for The Wonder of Will, celebrating Shakespeare and his extraordinary legacy through special events, exhibitions, performances, and more—online, at the Folger, and across the United States!

First Folio Tour

Throughout 2016

How do we know Shakespeare's plays? For many of them, the answer is one book: the 1623 First Folio. Without it, 18 plays, including Macbeth and The Tempest, could have been lost. In 2016, First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare brings the First Folio to 50 states, Washington, and Puerto Rico. 


America's Shakespeare

Apr 7 - Jul 24, 2016

The Wonder of Will Live

Watch the archived program

Gravedigger's Tale


Share Your Shakespeare Story: #MySHX400

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At the Folger
Folger on the Road
On the Road
First Folio!
The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare

In 2016, First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare will bring the First Folio to all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. The exhibition, which also includes panels, digital content, and local events, exclusively features First Folios from the Folger. Find the closest tour location to you.    

First Folio Tour
Gravedigger's Tale
Gravedigger's Tale

Touring Production

In Shakespeare's play Hamlet, the Gravedigger appears briefly in Act V to perform a comic exchange with a fellow gravedigger before speaking to Hamlet and presenting him with the jester Yorick’s skull. Our Gravedigger arrives with a trunk and a book and answers “questions” from the audience with pieces of text from Hamlet

Gravedigger's Tale
Folger Education

Four hundred years after his death, Shakespeare lives on in classrooms everywhere—and there's no better time to connect with him and with the Folger than 2016! He is the most commonly taught author in American schools, and his works continue to challenge and stir new generations of readers. At the Folger, online, and on the road, we're partnering with teachers to transform the way Shakespeare is taught. 

Life of an Icon

We will never have a photograph of William Shakespeare or a recording of his voice, but we can catch glimpses of the man in this stunning array of documents from his own lifetime. Shakespeare, Life of an Icon brings together some of the most important manuscripts and printed books related to Shakespeare's life and career, giving us a firsthand look at the most famous author in the world. 

Life of an Icon

Shakespeare Documented is the largest and most authoritative collection of primary-source materials that document William Shakespeare's life and work.

Shakespeare Documented

America’s Shakespeare reveals how Americans have made Shakespeare our own. Using a fascinating selection of rare letters, costumes, books, and more, it shows how his words and ideas weave through our national story from print to radio, television, film, and digital media. Shakespeare has always helped us voice the important issues of our national culture.

America's Shakespeare
Shakespeare in American Life
Shakespeare in American Life

A Radio Documentary

The Folger Shakespeare Library’s radio documentary Shakespeare in American Life explores the English language’s most important playwright and his influence on American performance, politics, and popular culture.

Sam Waterston
Shakespeare's World

Transcribe manuscripts from the Folger collection created by thousands of men and women in and around Shakespeare’s lifetime, 1564–1616.

Shakespeare's World
Will & Jane:
Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity

Merchandising, parodies, and spinoffs through the centuries have put William Shakespeare and Jane Austen on a first name basis with the world.  Explore the stories of "Will" and "Jane" and the nature of literary celebrity. How does today’s Cult of Jane resemble the first wave of Bardolatry two hundred years ago? 

Will & Jane
Folger Theatre

A Year of Wonder

The 2015/16 season is brimming with the works of Shakespeare that will take us on a delightful journey from the stormy Mediterranean coasts to a magical forest filled with lovers and fools to post-Civil War Washington, D.C., for a world premiere commissioned by Folger Theatre.

Folger Consort
The Season Bids Us

The Folger's early music ensemble in residence will usher in the 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare's death with a January concert of early and new music celebrating Shakespeare.

Folger Consort
Kim Hall
Folger Institute

Shakespeare Anniversary Lectures

Tiffany Stern, Stephen Greenblatt, and Kim Hall will deliver talks this spring and summer as part of the Shakespeare Anniversary Lecture Series, presented by Folger Institute.

Tiffany Stern
Theater Partnership

As part of our commitment to building greater connections to Shakespeare and the humanities, the Folger has developed a theater partnership program to share Shakespeare-related content and experiences.

Theater Partnership

The Wonder of Will: 400 Years of Shakespeare features programs that are made possible in part by a major grant from the

And by the support of