• Yassine El Mansouri Photography

    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 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.

    Find Events

  • J.R. Brantley

    Exploring Shakespeare and the Folger Collection

    Dive into the vast Folger collection to discover more about Shakespeare and the early modern world. Need guidance? Our Researcher Services team is here to support. High school teachers can find Shakespeare lesson plans and professional development at Folger Teaching.

    Research Teaching Resources

  • Lloyd Wolf

    Opening the Wall

    The Folger renovation project just took a big step forward with the removal of the entire northern foundation wall, a remarkable achievement that took months of preparation. Where the wall once stood, crews are starting to extend and strengthen a row of the building's structural steel columns—a crucial stage before building new spaces for visitors, students, teachers, scholars, and staff.

    Opening the Wall About the Renovation

  • The Wonder of Will

    The Wonder of Will: The Campaign for the Folger Shakespeare Library is raising $50 million to support a major building renovation project and the Folger’s many programs that bring Shakespeare and his world to life for scholars, students, enthusiasts, and you. A new pavilion will feature exhibition galleries and accessible, inviting public spaces.

    The Wonder of Will

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ADAPTING SHAKESPEARE

West Side Story: Then and Now

A love affair between two teenagers divided by rival gangs, the Sharks and the Jets, ends in tragedy… it's Romeo and Juliet in 1950s New York. Carla Della Gatta writes about how the original West Side Story movie became the de facto representation of US Latinx in musicals for decades—and what stands out about Steven Spielberg’s new version, 60 years later.

Original Version 2021 Film

PODCAST

The Private Life of Shakespeare

What’s true? What’s provable? Listen to an interview with scholar Lena Cowen Orlin on the Folger’s Shakespeare Unlimited podcast and explore the largest and most authoritative collection of primary-source materials about Shakespeare's life at Shakespeare Documented.

Podcast Interview Shakespeare Documented

INSIDE THE PLAYS

Greek Myths and Shakespeare

Classical allusions are sprinkled throughout Shakespeare’s plays. Explore some of the Greek mythological figures that are referenced or appear as characters, such as the goddesses Athena and Aphrodite, the Amazonian queen Hippolyta, and others.

Athena Greek Myths Series

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.
  • Not Just Another Day Off

    Poet John Murillo is joined by actors in our annual celebration of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., featuring new poetry alongside historical speeches from Dr. King, Audre Lorde, Malcolm X, Frederick Douglass, Angela Davis, James Baldwin, and others. Available to stream, January 17 - 24, 2022. Free to register.

  • Autumn Leaves: Now Streaming

    Jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut joins poets Kyle Dargan and Lenard D. Moore for an intimate improvisation on words and music. Part reading, part concert, each artist shares their powerful compositions to spark and inspire one another in this free style performance. Now streaming on-demand through June 30, 2022.

  • 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.

  • Shakespeare Lightning Round graphic

    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.

  • 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 news and performance dates. Subscribe to enjoy all the benefits that come with being a Folger Theatre subscriber.

Upcoming Folger Events & Programs

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