Shakespeare's Birthday at Home

Join us in celebrating Shakespeare's birthday at home on Friday, April 23, using the hashtag #ShareYourShakespeare.

Share your creations on social media—from quick-and-simple selfies to readings and birthday recipes.

This virtual birthday event is open to all ages, with many options for kids and families.

Watch a performance

Great Performances on PBS presents Romeo & Juliet, an original film for television by the National Theatre, premiering Friday, April 23, at 9pm ET. In this contemporary rendering, a company of actors in a shuttered theater bring to life the tale of two young lovers striving to transcend a world of violence and hate. The production stars Josh O'Connor and Jessie Buckley, directed by Shakespeare Theatre Company Artistic Director Simon Godwin. Listen to our interview with Godwin on the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast.

Our Romeo and Juliet resources  |  Read the play

Want more Shakespeare? Watch Folger Theatre's magic-filled Macbeth (2008), co-directed by Teller and Aaron Posner. The full performance is available for free on the Folger's YouTube channel, along with special features and interviews with the cast and creative team.

Speak the speech

You may be new to Shakespeare, or you may have a favorite passage. Try a line or a speech and read it aloud. If it means something to you, tell us. Or, with your family or friends, turn a single speech into a group “choral” reading (at home or on Zoom). Check out our short, curated scenes for one or more actors and give it a go.

Strike a pose

Recreate one of our famous Folger Shakespeare bas-reliefs of scenes from the plays—or take a selfie as your favorite Shakespeare character.

Make a picture

Tip your hat to the Bard and his plays with works of art or visual shenanigans, including paintings, drawings, cartoons, photos, dioramas, and more—or put the words of a Shakespeare passage on display in cards, signs, or videos.

Write a sonnet

In keeping with a long-standing Shakespeare's Birthday Open House tradition at the Folger, write your own 14-line sonnet. We've also included other interesting sources about Shakespeare's sonnets—and the modern-day Pop Sonnets based on pop songs—including episodes from our podcast Shakespeare Unlimited.

Cook a meal

We've assembled a celebratory menu inspired by the Folger's collections and programs. Pick a recipe from each of the courses to make a special Shakespearean dinner, then share your meal on social media with #ShareYourShakespeare.

Throw a Shakespeare party

Celebrate the Bard's birthday at home and share some photos! We hope our recipes and other ideas add to the occasion.

Still more activities and resources

Support the Folger and sustain what you love

At the Folger, we are deeply proud of the incredible community that we have fostered in these uncertain times. Please join with us in sharing Shakespeare with growing, diverse audiences at home and around the world by making a gift.

Make a gift

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