Searching for Shakespeare: Celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare’s First Folio
A citywide festival, free and open to all
The Folger is celebrating Shakespeare—and the 400th anniversary of the printing of the First Folio—the entire month of April, in partnership with DC Public Library (DCPL).
Searching for Shakespeare includes an exhibition, a world-premiere play, a citywide scavenger hunt, Shakespeare’s Birthday Lecture, family programs, workshops, and more at DCPL locations in all eight wards of Washington, DC.
“We want to take the story of the First Folio—a memory capsule for Shakespeare—and meet DC residents whose stories need to be discovered, told, and remembered.” Folger Director Michael Witmore
All events: At a DC Public Library near you
All events and programs are free and open to the public.
Our Verse in Time to Come @ DC Public Library
Pass the Story On: Shakespeare’s First Folio at 400
Searching for Shakespeare Scavenger Hunt
Words! Words! Words!
The Bard, the Griot, and the Hip Hop Tradition
Tell Your Story: Story-Making Workshop with Artist Evan Keeling
DC & Me Living Folio Workshop Series - Anacostia
DC & Me Living Folio Workshop Series - Mt. Pleasant
DC & Me Living Folio Workshop Series - MLK Memorial
Teacher Conversation with Dr. Ian Smith: Shakespeare and Race
Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture: Ian Smith on "Making Blackness"
Events by location
Find the closest library to you and see which events are taking place there.
- Performance: Our Verse in Time To Come: April 15
- Exhibition: April 1-30
- Words! Words! Words! Family Program, April 1
- Performances: Our Verse in Time To Come: April 18-23
- DC & Me Workshops: April 19, 20, and 21
- Ian Smith Educator Talk: April 22
- Shakespeare’s Birthday Lecture with Ian Smith: April 22
- The Bard, the Griot & the Hip Hop Tradition: April 6
- Performances: Our Verse in Time To Come: April 13
- Performance: Our Verse in Time To Come: April 8
- The Bard, the Griot & the Hip Hop Tradition: April 5
- Performance: Our Verse in Time To Come: April 12
- Shakespeare Masquerade Crafternoon (DCPL event): April 20
- The Bard, the Griot & the Hip Hop Tradition: April 1
- Performance: Our Verse in Time To Come: April 3
- Page to Stage Book Club: Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story (DCPL event): April 27
- Reading Challenge: Shakespeare (DCPL event): April 30
- Book Club: These Violent Delights (DCPL event): April 20
About the First Folio
Creating Shakespeare's First Folio
Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 47 We likely wouldn’t have half of Shakespeare’s plays without the First Folio of 1623. Imagine a world without Macbeth, Twelfth Night, or Julius Caesar. Our guest on this episode of Shakespeare Unlimited is Emma Smith, a…
How Shakespeare's First Folio Became a Star
Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 56 Today, the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s works, printed in 1623, can sell for millions of dollars. But the First Folio wasn’t always valued so highly. In this podcast episode, two experts in the First Folio…
A New First Folio Discovery
Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 17 In the fall of 2014, the world learned of a remarkable discovery: An old book in a French library, acquired in the 1790s, was identified as an unknown copy of the 1623 First Folio of Shakespeare—the…
Andrea Mays on The Millionaire and the Bard
Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 36 Henry Clay Folger paid a world record price for a book—not once, but twice—as he became the world’s leading collector of Shakespeare First Folios. The Folger Shakespeare Library celebrated its 90th birthday this past April. Did…
Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 31 Just what exactly does it mean to edit the works of Shakespeare, particularly since we have no surviving manuscript copies? Why is it that new editions of the plays continue to be published? In this episode…
Inside the Folger Conservation Lab
Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 44 The Folger is the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, and the crown jewels of that collection are the 82 First Folios. To celebrate 400 years of Shakespeare, eighteen of these rare books are traveling the country throughout…
Related blog posts
Excerpt: "Shakespeare's Book" by Chris Laoutaris
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We talk with Chris Laoutaris about his new book, an in-depth look at the First Folio, its creation, and its legacy.
“The book of his good acts”: Shakespeare’s First Folio onstage and on the page
Folger Finds: A carved oak casket for holding a Shakespeare First Folio
Casket, carved in an Elizabethan style 1866.Imagine buying a book and having the queen of England give you a special case in which to store it! That’s what happened after wealthy heiress Angela Burdett-Coutts purchased a Shakespeare First Folio in…
Up Close: Shakespeare's First Folio
A Wyncoll's Tale
Let’s face it, every special collections library has at least a few mystery items in the vault that are quietly passed down over the decades from curator to curator (or cataloger to cataloger, or acquisitions librarian to acquisitions librarian). These…