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    The World's Largest Shakespeare Collection

    The Folger Shakespeare Library, established on Capitol Hill in 1932 as a gift to the American people, is home to the world’s largest collection of First Folios, the book that gave us Shakespeare. Learn more about the First Folio and see other treasures from the Shakespeare collection.

    About the First Folio Shakespeare Collection

  • Performances Online & In Person

    From the early music of Folger Consort and jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut to poetry, literary readings, and book clubs with writers like Ann Patchett and Victoria Chang—plus the launch of a new theater season, join our audience wherever you are.

    Learn more

  • Lloyd Wolf

    Studying and Teaching Shakespeare’s Plays

    Visit The Folger Shakespeare to read the full, searchable text of all of Shakespeare's plays, along with scene summaries, essays, and textual notes. Educators can find Shakespeare lesson plans and professional development at Folger Teaching.

    The Folger Shakespeare Folger Teaching

  • Maurice Jones (Mark Anthony), JULIUS CAESAR, Folger Theatre, 2014. Photo: Teresa Wood.

    Lend Me Your Ears

    The Folger’s Shakespeare Unlimited podcast features interviews with scholars, authors, directors, and actors about Shakespeare’s works, his world, and his enduring influence. Want more? Stream excerpts from full-cast audio recordings of seven Shakespeare plays, including Julius Caesar.

    Podcast Audio Excerpts

  • Lloyd Wolf

    The Inside View

    Although the renovation work inside the Folger building is largely out of view, it's proceeding just as vigorously as the work outdoors. Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at some of what's been happening inside. Whether the renovation efforts are indoors or out, they all lead to the same goal: creating new, welcoming spaces for visitors, students, teachers, scholars, and staff—all supported by the $50 million Wonder of Will campaign.

    The Inside View About the Renovation

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NEW ACQUISITION

Hamlet in Japan

What did early 20th-century Japanese productions of Hamlet look like? Explore a set of photographs from a 1933 production that was recently added to the Folger collection.

Blog Post

STAGING SHAKESPEARE

The Restoration Reinvention of Shakespeare

The first generation of theater artists after Shakespeare wasn’t particularly concerned about performing Shakespeare's plays the way they appear in the First Folio. Restoration-era Shakespeare featured new characters, altered scripts, and grand musical interludes.

Podcast Episode

FOLGER FINDS

Lady Macbeth, America, and Slavery

This 19th-century ink drawing for a political cartoon takes Lady Macbeth’s famous line — “Out, damned spot, out, I say!” — and applies it to the American context in the Civil War era. Here, Lady Macbeth represents the United States in the figure of Columbia, and the spot on her hands is slavery.

Blog Post

FROM THE DIRECTOR

As an institution representing the arts and humanities, part of our role in civic life is to take deep questions and deep disagreements and meet them with a knowledge of history and a passion for greater understanding.
  • Eudora Welty Lecture: Ann Patchett

    New York Times best-selling author Ann Patchett (Bel Canto and The Dutch House) visited the home museum of Eudora Welty in Jackson, Mississippi and ended her tour in the living room where she delivered this year's Eudora Welty Lecture and conversation. Now available to stream on-demand through June 30, 2022.

  • Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute

    An annual Folger tradition, featuring award-winning poet Victoria Chang reading from Dickinson's poetry and her own in the virtual event, Every Grief I Meet on Thursday, December 2 at 7:30pm. A moderated conversation will follow.

  • Autumn Leaves

    On November 4th, acclaimed jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut joined poets Kyle Dargan and Lenard D. Moore at the Arts Club of Washington for an intimate improvisation on words and music. Now available to stream on-demand through June 30, 2022.

  • Folger Theatre's Upcoming Season

    Folger Theatre will go "On The Road" at venues across the DC region, including Theatre J, the National Building Museum, and Round House Theatre. Follow us for updated performance dates in response to COVID-19 protocols. Subscribe to enjoy all the benefits that come with being a Folger Theatre subscriber.

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    Shakespeare Lightning Round

    Tune in on Instagram Live for a fun, fast-paced, Shakespearean chat show. We ask our guests 30 lightning-fast questions about their favorite—and least favorite—things about the Bard.

Upcoming Folger Events & Programs

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