King John

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Aaron Posner
This production has closed.
October 23 – December 02, 2018
Folger Theatre

Secret deals. Threats of mass destruction. Shifting loyalties.
What a difference 800 years makes.

He may be king, but unlike his older brother Richard the Lionheart, John has no stirring nickname, and everyone from the Pope to his own court seems to think his crown is up for grabs. Taking his audience back to the time of the Magna Carta, Shakespeare slyly commented on the politics of his own day. Now director Aaron Posner brings us this toxic brew of ambition and indecision in this rarely staged but timely history. 

Running time for King John is approximately two hours, fifteen minutes plus a fifteen minute intermission.

Enjoy select production photos below.

Consider joining us for a special performance of King John to enhance your theater-going experience.

Visit Folger Digital Texts to view a detailed synopsis and download a free copy of the full Folger Shakespeare Library edition of King John.

Explore the play as well as its performance history and highlights from the Folger collection through the King John topics page.    


Who's Who

The Dauphin
John, King of England
Austria, Salisbury
Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, Bigot
Arthur, Prince Henry
Blanche of Spain
Philip Faulconbridge, the Bastard
Chatillion, Cardinal Pandulph
Philip, King of France, Melun
Robert Faulconbridge, Citizen
Lady Faulconbridge, Constance, Pembroke
Scenic Design
Costume Design
Lighting Design
Original Music and Sound Design
Resident Dramaturg
New York Casting
Folger Casting
Production Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager

King John_005_TW_web.jpg

Photo by Teresa Wood
Photo Credit: 
Teresa Wood

The cast of Shakespeare’s political power play King John at Folger Theatre.

King John_470_TW_web.jpg

Photo by Teresa Wood
Photo Credit: 
Teresa Wood

A fretful King John (Brian Dykstra) upon his throne in Shakespeare’s King John

King John_385_TW_web.jpg

Photo by Teresa Wood
Photo Credit: 
Teresa Wood

Cardinal Pandulph (Sasha Olinick, left) lends some cautionary counsel to Louis the Dauphin (Akeem Davis).

King John_061_TW_web.jpg

Photo by Teresa Wood
Photo Credit: 
Teresa Wood

King John (Brian Dykstra) honors Philip Faulconbridge, the Bastard (Kate Eastwood Norris). Also pictured l to r: Brian Reisman, Elan Zafir, Kate Goehring. 

King John_245_TW_web.jpg

Photo by Teresa Wood
Photo Credit: 
Teresa Wood

Hubert, King John’s personal attendant (Elan Zafir), stops Constance (Holly Twyford) from physical attack, as her son Arthur (Megan Graves) looks on.

King John_105_TW_web.jpg

Photo by Teresa Wood
Photo Credit: 
Teresa Wood

A joyous court of France as Austria (Maboud Ebrahimzadeh) takes hands with young Arthur (Megan Graves), with King Philip (Howard W. Overshown) and Louis the Dauphin (Akeem Davis) showing their support.





Folger Theatre gratefully acknowledges the kind support of the following sponsors.

Season Sponsors:

Maygene and Steve Daniels
Helen and David Kenney and Family
Roger and Robin Millay
Neal T. Turtell
Scott and Liz Vance

Production Sponsors:

John and Connie McGuire
Nicky Cymrot
Nancy and Steve Howard 


Contributing Sponsor:

Jeffrey P. Cunard 
Keith and Celia Arnaud

Associate Sponsors:

Pam McFarland and Brian Hagenbuch
Howard M. Brown
Barbra Eaton and Ed Salners
Rick Kasten
Julianna Mahley
William and Louisa Newlin
Carolyn and Mark Olshaker

Media Sponsor:

​Maryland Public Television 

Folger Theatre's production is part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a national program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

This project was supported by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanties, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.