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.
Searching for Shakespeare events will take place at DC Public Library 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.
Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Library
- Performance: Our Verse in Time To Come: April 14
- DC & Me Workshops: April 17
Georgetown Neighborhood Library
- Performance: Our Verse in Time To Come: April 15
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
- 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
West End Neighborhood Library
- Performance: Our Verse in Time To Come: April 11
- Make-a-Folio workshop: April 18
Tenley-Friendship Neighborhood Library
- The Bard, the Griot & the Hip Hop Tradition: April 6
- Performances: Our Verse in Time To Come: April 13
Petworth Neighborhood Library
- Performance: Our Verse in Time To Come: April 8
Shepherd Park/Juanita E. Thornton Neighborhood Library
- 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
Lamond-Riggs/Lillian J. Huff Neighborhood Library
- The Bard, the Griot & the Hip Hop Tradition: April 1
- Performance: Our Verse in Time To Come: April 3
Northeast Neighborhood Library
- Page to Stage Book Club: Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story (DCPL event): April 27
- Reading Challenge: Shakespeare (DCPL event): April 30
Southeast Neighborhood Library
- Book Club: These Violent Delights (DCPL event): April 20
Southwest Neighborhood Library
- Performances: Our Verse in Time To Come: April 6
- Story-Making with Evan Keeling: April 7
Francis A. Gregory Neighborhood Library
- Performance: Our Verse in Time To Come: April 5
- Story-Making with Evan Keeling: April 8
Anacostia Neighborhood Library
- Performance: Our Verse in Time To Come: April 4
- DC & Me Workshops: April 12, 13, 14
About the First Folio
What is the First Folio?
Without this collection of Shakespeare’s works published in 1623, half of his plays might have been lost forever.
About the Folger First Folios
The Folger has 82 copies of the First Folio, the largest collection in the world.
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
Chris Laoutaris explores the Shakespearean printing mystery behind the Pavier-Jaggard Quartos, published a few years before the First Folio.
Publishing Shakespeare's First Folio, with Chris Laoutaris
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…