Emily Jordan Folger Children’s Shakespeare Festival

Application Deadline

March and May dates
January 25, 2019


March 26   |   March 27

May 21   |   May 22

You're never too young for Shakespeare. In fact, young students are some of the most enthusiastic Shakespeare scholars.

Every spring, the Emily Jordan Folger Children's Shakespeare Festival brings hundreds of students in grades 3–6 together on our stage to perform Shakespeare for one another. Students engage with Shakespeare's language & characters performing scenes, and learning from the performances of others as they work together to create an abbreviated version of a single play to life.

The Festival, which is open to schools in the DC, Virginia, and Maryland metropolitan area, features a full Folger experience and memories that will last a lifetime.


Folger Education believes that the best way to engage with Shakespeare’s words is to get students on their feet and exploring the language with their bodies and voices. The Children’s Shakespeare Festival is a time when you and your students become a part of the Folger legacy.


What's the Children's Festival?

A full Folger experience with no prep work required!

You and your students will visit the Folger Shakespeare Library for a day of team-building, exploration, and most importantly, diving into Shakespeare’s words. There is no need to have anything prepared before you arrive—just come to the Folger and the magic will happen.


What’s the format?

We are calling the overall concept a “play-in-a-day”. Students will be grouped in “acting companies”—meeting students from other schools in their group—and will learn how to work together to make a scene from a Shakespeare play come alive on stage. The end product will be a low-pressure, final sharing of their scenes to create an abbreviated version of a single play. The final performance is NOT intended to be a polished production, but a demonstration of your students’ learning and engagement with Shakespeare’s words.

To get there, every acting company will rotate through several workshops, each exploring a different way to engage with Shakespeare in their particular scene. The workshops will focus on getting students moving to bring the words, characters, and atmosphere of the scene to life.


What is your role that day?

You and your chaperones, along with our workshop leaders, will work with students—your own and from other schools—during the workshops. You will participate with your acting company and encourage students to learn and grow through active participation.


What’s the schedule?

For the 2018-2019 school year, the available dates are March 26, March 27, May 21, May 22. The day generally starts at 9:30am and ends at 1:30pm, with a short lunch break.


We want you to be part of this exciting adventure at the Folger!

If you are interested in participating, please fill out the Children’s Shakespeare Festival Form by January 25, 2019 for March and May dates. Please keep in mind that the form is not necessarily a commitment, just an expression of interest.


Looking forward to a fantastic festival with you and your students!

APPLY for the Children's Festival

More information

For more information, please contact Kate Haase as khaase@folger.edu or (202) 675-0316.

Application Deadline

March and May dates
January 25, 2019