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What's On



Exhibition   Theater   Family Program   Lectures


Symbols of Honor: Heraldry and Family History in Shakespeare's England
Jul 1–Oct 26, 2014
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Shakespeare's Globe: King Lear
Sep 5–21, 2014
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Shake Up Your Saturdays: All In The Family
Sep 6, 2014
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Thomas Cahill: Heretics and Heroes
Sep 8, 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.



Poetry September 4, 2014

The Richard Wright Birthday Celebration

  SOLD OUT

The Hurston/Wright Foundation celebrates the birthday of Richard Wright with an evening of readings from and in honor of his work. Featured writers include Marita Golden, Tope Folarin, Derrick Weston Brown, and others.



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.       

 



Family Program September 6, 2014

Shake Up Your Saturdays: All In The Family  FREE

Discover how people, including Shakespeare himself, used heraldry to describe their family history.

Lectures September 8, 2014

Thomas Cahill: Heretics and Heroes  

Author Thomas Cahill discusses his new book Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World.

Poetry September 15, 2014

Poet Lore Celebrates 125 Years of Literary Discovery  

This special 125th anniversary of Poet Lore, the nation's oldest poetry magazine, is celebrated with four of the many acclaimed poets whose work has been featured in its pages.

Lectures September 19, 2014

The Institute of Heraldry: Guardians of our National Symbolic Heritage  FREE

Charles V. Mugno, Director of the U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry, has studied the history and development of military insignia for over 25 years. He is a published author on the subject of military awards and has directly influenced the design of numerous decorations, campaign, and service medals. He will be be speaking in connection with the Folger exhibition "Symbols of Honor: Heraldry and Family History in Shakespeare's England."

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.

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.

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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