Highlights from the 2018 Shakespeare's Birthday Open House

Esther French

The Folger Shakespeare Library celebrated William Shakespeare’s 454th birthday at its annual birthday open house, held this year on April 22.

Here's what your sample itinerary for the day might have looked like:

Noon

Listen as the U.S. Army Baroque Ensemble opens the celebration with horns.

Photo by Chester Simpson
Photo by Chester Simpson

12:30pm

Watch Casey Kaleba’s stage-fighting demonstrations on the Folger front lawn.

Photo by Chester Simpson
Photo by Chester Simpson

1:30pm

Learn how to do English country dancing after watching a demonstration by costumed dancers.

Photo by Chester Simpson
Photo by Chester Simpson

2pm

Listen to a performance by WETA Classical Players in the historic Paster Reading Room.

Photo by Chester Simpson
Photo by Chester Simpson

2:30pm

Take a tour of the Beyond Words exhibition.

Photo by Lloyd Wolf
Photo by Lloyd Wolf

3pm

Stand up on the Folger stage to be one of the readers in a play written by the creators of the Kill Shakespeare comics.

Photo by Chester Simpson
Photo by Chester Simpson

3:30pm

Watch some juggling by Nicolo Whimsey in the Elizabethan Garden.

Photo by Chester Simpson
Photo by Chester Simpson

4pm

Cheer on the Eastern High School marching band, listen to a speech by Queen Elizabeth, and eat Shakespeare's birthday cake.

There was plenty for children to see and do at this family-friendly event, including storytelling from DC Public Libraries and a Shakespeare puppet show in the Elizabethan Garden, dress-up costumes and coloring activities in the New Reading Room, and crafts inside the Haskell Center across the street.

Join us for next year's birthday open house in April.

Photo credits: Chester Simpson and Lloyd Wolf

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