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What's On



Theater   Lectures   Music   Exhibition


Shakespeare's Globe: King Lear
Sep 5–21, 2014
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The Institute of Heraldry: Guardians of our National Symbolic Heritage
Sep 19, 2014
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Courting Elizabeth: Music and Patronage in Shakespeare's England
Sep 26–28, 2014
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Symbols of Honor: Heraldry and Family History in Shakespeare's England
Jul 1–Oct 26, 2014
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Quick list of what's on by date:
Family Program August 3, 2013–December 31, 2014

Reading Room Tours | Saturdays  FREE

Tour our historic Reading Rooms. View paintings from our Shakespeare collection, Nicola d'Ascenzo's stained-glass window inspired by Jacques's "Seven Ages of Man" speech from As You Like It,  a bust of Shakespeare based on his memorial in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford, and sixteenth and seventeenth-century Flemish tapestries.



Lectures April 6–October 31, 2014

Elizabethan Garden Tour  

Explore our garden, inspired by herbal references in Shakespeare's plays and also incorporating plants popular in his time, including lavender, creeping thyme, and English ivy; a knot garden; and Shakespearean statues by American sculptor Greg Wyatt. Folger docents offer insights into plantings, Elizabethan customs, and more.

Exhibition July 1–October 26, 2014

Symbols of Honor: Heraldry and Family History in Shakespeare's England  FREE

Explore the working papers of the most influential heralds from Shakespeare’s time, the earliest brand consultants and trademark protectors. These manuscripts—including the grants of arms to Shakespeare’s father (on loan from the College of Arms)—reveal heraldry's growing importance in matters of status and honor, and how it shaped modern genealogy.



Theater September 5–21, 2014

Shakespeare's Globe: King Lear  

Weary of his royal duties, King Lear proposes to break up his kingdom and divide it among his three daughters. Shakespeare’s Globe’s King Lear stars Joseph Marcell, well known as Geoffrey the English butler on the hit TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and internationally known as a classical actor and seen in Folger Theatre’s 2007 As You Like It.       

 



Lectures September 24, 2014


Early Music Seminar: Courting Elizabeth
  

Led by Artistic Director Robert Eisenstein, these lively and insightful seminars give music lovers a detailed look at the composers and their world. A light fare reception is also included.

Music September 26, 2014

Courting Elizabeth: Music and Patronage in Shakespeare's England  

The great virtuoso lutenist John Dowland aspired to be appointed to Elizabeth's court, but to no avail. Along the way he did acquire the patronage of many nobles, however, including the King of Denmark and the Earl of Essex, one of Elizabeth's favorites. In this program Folger Consort performs Dowland's dances for five viols and lute named for his patrons, along with consort songs and lute ayres of Shakespeare's time and lyra viol pieces by Tobias Hume. Featuring tenor James Taylor and viol consort Arcadia Viols.

Music September 27, 2014

Courting Elizabeth: Music and Patronage in Shakespeare's England  

The great virtuoso lutenist John Dowland aspired to be appointed to Elizabeth's court, but to no avail. Along the way he did acquire the patronage of many nobles, however, including the King of Denmark and the Earl of Essex, one of Elizabeth's favorites. In this program Folger Consort performs Dowland's dances for five viols and lute named for his patrons, along with consort songs and lute ayres of Shakespeare's time and lyra viol pieces by Tobias Hume. Featuring tenor James Taylor and viol consort Arcadia Viols.

Music September 28, 2014

Courting Elizabeth: Music and Patronage in Shakespeare's England  

The great virtuoso lutenist John Dowland aspired to be appointed to Elizabeth's court, but to no avail. Along the way he did acquire the patronage of many nobles, however, including the King of Denmark and the Earl of Essex, one of Elizabeth's favorites. In this program Folger Consort performs Dowland's dances for five viols and lute named for his patrons, along with consort songs and lute ayres of Shakespeare's time and lyra viol pieces by Tobias Hume. Featuring tenor James Taylor and viol consort Arcadia Viols.

Poetry September 29, 2014

Here and Now: Stephen Dunn  

Stephen Dunn is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet.

Lectures October 1, 2014

Peter O’Donoghue: York Herald  

Peter O'Donoghue, the York Herald of Arms in Ordinary at the College of Arms in London, speaks on 'Heraldry and the College of Arms.'

Family Program October 4, 2014

"Something Wicked This Way Comes"  FREE

Prepare for Halloween with the magic and witchcraft in Shakespeare’s plays.

PEN/Faulkner October 6, 2014

PEN/Faulkner Gala: "Danger"  

The 26th Annual PEN/Faulkner Gala will feature ten authors reading short works they’ve written for the occasion. The theme of this year’s gala is “Danger,” and the reading portion of the evening will be held in the Elizabethan Theatre of the Folger Shakespeare Library. A seated dinner will follow in the Paster Reading Room and the Great Hall. Join readers David Baldacci, Ishmael Beah, Madison Smartt Bell, Elliott Holt, Mitchell Jackson, Piper Kerman, Rachel Pastan, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Adelle Waldman, and Isabel Wilkerson, and master of ceremonies Calvin Trillin

PEN/Faulkner October 17, 2014

A Storied Future: Emerging Writers from the Virginia Quarterly Review  

Since 1925, the storied literary and cultural journal, Virginia Quarterly Review, has been publishing thought-provoking works of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and journalism. The fall 2014 issue of VQR has a theme of “Big Breaks,” and this collaborative event between PEN/Faulkner and VQR will feature a moderated conversation by Ann Beattie and short readings by four gifted writers at the start of their careers.

Poetry October 20, 2014

Writing from the Edge: 40th Anniversary of Graywolf  

Graywolf Press is an acclaimed independent publisher that champions writers at all stages of their careers. Three of their published poets read in honor of the press' 40th anniversary. Poet and author Stephen Burt will moderate.

Theater October 28–December 7, 2014

Julius Caesar  

Beware the Ides of March, Caesar. Julius Caesar returns home victorious, securing both unparalleled power and popularity. Fearful for the Republic and driven by their own ambition, several senators conspire to assassinate the Roman dictator in the Capitol. However, their brash move plunges Rome into chaos and threatens the very democracy they swore to uphold.

 

In the shadow of the nearby Capitol building, Shakespeare’s searing commentary on power, ambition, and democratic responsibility smolders just in time for midterm elections.



Family Program November 1, 2014

"Beware the Ides of March"  FREE

Explore Julius Caesar and learn how Shakespeare helped translate historical events into thrilling drama.

Lectures November 4, 2014

Cry "Havoc!"  

Using Shakespeare’s timeless words, and a few of his own, veteran Stephan Wolfert leads us on an interactive journey to meet Shakespeare’s soldiers. Join us for this special one-night-only production, inspired by Wolfert’s experiences as a soldier, writer, and performer, as he brings to life the voices of such iconic heroes as Richard III, Othello, Henry V, and others. Following the performance, Wolfert speaks with celebrated panelists to further explore these themes of violence, recovery, and community both through and outside of Shakespeare.

Lectures November 6, 2014

Brews and Banter: Julius Caesar  

Join our young patrons for a pre-performance discussion with the Folger's Kate Pitt and actor Louis Butelli (Cassius in the upcoming "Julius Caesar", Feste in "Twelfth Night", Bardolph in "Henry V". A reception with drinks and light fare is provided. Tickets will go on sale for this event soon. Please continue to check this page.

Lectures November 7, 2014

Paul Dickson: Authorisms  

Chortle...factoid…blabbermouth… each of these words was coined by an author, and each word was descriptive at that time, and remains relevant today. Acclaimed lexicographer Paul Dickson has created an entertaining and enlightening new collection of words and lexical curiosities originating from the minds and pens of authors throughout the ages. In AUTHORISMS: Words Wrought by Writers (Bloomsbury hardcover; $18), Dickson compiles an alphabetical listing that includes the definition of the word along with a brief essay which places the word or phrase in its cultural context. AUTHORISMS provides an illuminating tour of several centuries of the English language that you won’t want to miss.

Family Program November 8, 2014

Families in Action: Julius Caesar  

"Et Tu...?" Celebrate Shakespeare's language using performance-based techniques and stage combat to bring Julius Caesar to life!

Exhibition November 11, 2014–March 1, 2015

Decoding the Renaissance  FREE

During the Renaissance, the art and science of cryptography came into their own. The advent of printing, development of diplomacy, and creation of postal systems created an obsession with encryption that produced some of the period's most brilliant inventions, most beautiful books, and most enduring legacies. Featuring the best collection ever assembled of early works on codes and ciphers.

Lectures November 11, 2014

Public Panel: The Voynich Manuscript  

Join scholars Bill Sherman and René Zandbergen for a discussion of the still un-deciphered Voynich manuscript whose secrets have remained hidden for over 400 years. When the Voynich Manuscript came to light in 1912, it was described as "the most mysterious manuscript in the world"--and a full century later we still know surprisingly little about it. Dating from the early 15th century, it was carefully written by an unknown author (in an unknown place and for unknown reasons) in an elaborate script that has never been deciphered. And it is filled with hundreds of drawings of plants, people, and stars that have yet to give up their secrets. On loan for the first time from the Beinecke Library at Yale University, this manuscript is a centerpiece of Folger’s fall exhibition "Decoding the Renaissance".

Lectures November 12, 2014

Pre–Show Talk: Julius Caesar  

Folger Shakespeare Library Director Michael Witmore shares his perspective on Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" in an insightful pre-performance discussion. A reception with light fare is included.

Poetry November 17, 2014

The Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize: Geoffrey Brock and Heather McHugh  

Geoffrey Brock, the 2013 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize winner reads with prize judge, Heather McHugh.



PEN/Faulkner November 24, 2014

In This Way Comes Morning: New Writing of the West African Diaspora  

The past few years have been a particularly fertile period for American publishing from authors of Nigerian and West African origin. PEN/Faulkner brings Okey Ndibe, Chinelo Okparanta, Taiye Selasi together to read from their work and discuss the breadth of writing about, and within, this community.

Lectures December 2, 2014

Neil L. Rudenstine: Ideas of Order  

Author Neil Rudenstine discusses Ideas of Order: A Close Reading of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Rudenstine, a former Harvard University president and an Elizabethan scholar, reveals an underlying structure within the 154 poems that inspires a new understanding of this complex masterpiece. Book signing and wine reception to follow.

PEN/Faulkner December 5, 2014

PEN/Malamud Celebration  

In celebration of what would have been American master Bernard Malamud’s 100th year, the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and the Malamud Family will host previous recipients of the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Art of the Short Story in a celebratory evening of readings in Malamud’s honor. Participating authors include Edward P. Jones, Lorrie Moore, and Tobias Wolff.

Family Program December 6, 2014

Yuletide Shakespeare  FREE

Celebrate the holidays with William Shakespeare, his language, and his world.

Poetry December 8, 2014

The Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute: Rafael Campo  

Physician and poet Dr. Rafael Campo bridges the worlds of arts and science in this annual poetry reading in honor of Emily Dickinson.

Music December 16, 2014

A Renaissance Christmas: Music of Flanders and Italy circa 1500  

In the courts of Renaissance Italy, princes vied with each other in filling their chapels with the famous singer/composers from the North. As learned polyphony helped the rulers of Florence and Ferrara display their erudition and good taste, glimmers of a more popular native Italian style started appearing, first at the court of the Sforzas in Milan. Many of these new style works honored Mary, the most popular of all saints. With voices, winds, and strings, the Consort explores the contrast between these styles in this program of seasonal music by Josquin, Ockeghem, Obrecht, and Compère.

Lectures December 17, 2014


Early Music Seminar: A RENAISSANCE CHRISTMAS
  

Led by Artistic Director Robert Eisenstein, these lively and insightful seminars give music lovers a detailed look at the composers and their world. A light fare reception is also included.

Music December 17, 2014

A Renaissance Christmas: Music of Flanders and Italy circa 1500  

In the courts of Renaissance Italy, princes vied with each other in filling their chapels with the famous singer/composers from the North. As learned polyphony helped the rulers of Florence and Ferrara display their erudition and good taste, glimmers of a more popular native Italian style started appearing, first at the court of the Sforzas in Milan. Many of these new style works honored Mary, the most popular of all saints. With voices, winds, and strings, the Consort explores the contrast between these styles in this program of seasonal music by Josquin, Ockeghem, Obrecht, and Compère.

Music December 18, 2014

A Renaissance Christmas: Music of Flanders and Italy circa 1500  

In the courts of Renaissance Italy, princes vied with each other in filling their chapels with the famous singer/composers from the North. As learned polyphony helped the rulers of Florence and Ferrara display their erudition and good taste, glimmers of a more popular native Italian style started appearing, first at the court of the Sforzas in Milan. Many of these new style works honored Mary, the most popular of all saints. With voices, winds, and strings, the Consort explores the contrast between these styles in this program of seasonal music by Josquin, Ockeghem, Obrecht, and Compère.

Music December 19, 2014

A Renaissance Christmas: Music of Flanders and Italy circa 1500  

In the courts of Renaissance Italy, princes vied with each other in filling their chapels with the famous singer/composers from the North. As learned polyphony helped the rulers of Florence and Ferrara display their erudition and good taste, glimmers of a more popular native Italian style started appearing, first at the court of the Sforzas in Milan. Many of these new style works honored Mary, the most popular of all saints. With voices, winds, and strings, the Consort explores the contrast between these styles in this program of seasonal music by Josquin, Ockeghem, Obrecht, and Compère.

Music December 20, 2014

A Renaissance Christmas: Music of Flanders and Italy circa 1500  

In the courts of Renaissance Italy, princes vied with each other in filling their chapels with the famous singer/composers from the North. As learned polyphony helped the rulers of Florence and Ferrara display their erudition and good taste, glimmers of a more popular native Italian style started appearing, first at the court of the Sforzas in Milan. Many of these new style works honored Mary, the most popular of all saints. With voices, winds, and strings, the Consort explores the contrast between these styles in this program of seasonal music by Josquin, Ockeghem, Obrecht, and Compère.

Exhibition Ongoing, Monday–Saturday

The Shakespeare Gallery  FREE

Discover what it might have been like to see a play in Shakespeare's time in a family-friendly display, The Play's the Thing!, and explore the Folger through our visitor film on why Shakespeare matters.



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