VIP visitors and rare works: Salman Rushdie, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and more

By Esther Ferington A vital role that the Folger Shakespeare Library plays is to bring people together with materials from Shakespeare’s world, whether through exhibitions, digital content, or special tours. As you’ll see, some famous visitors have brought that notion to life in an unusual way. Located in Washington, DC, the Folger has found in… Continue Reading »


What turns a good writer into a superstar? 200 years and plenty of spectacle

In commemoration of the approximate 200th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, the London actor and theatrical entrepreneur David Garrick launched the first celebration of Shakespeare as “the god of our idolatry” in 1769, helping to fashion the Bard as the larger-than-life, iconic representation of English literary achievement. The events that Garrick planned on the sacred site… Continue Reading »




What happens when actors, musicians, and scholars collaborate on a Restoration Shakespeare play

Part of what makes the Folger Shakespeare Library special is that while scholars are busy creating new knowledge in the reading rooms, actors and musicians in the adjacent theater are busy creating world-class performances. Amazing things result when scholars and artists break down the wall that traditionally separates them and start collaborating. That’s what happened… Continue Reading »


Measure for Measure + Dido and Aeneas: A Shakespeare-opera mash-up from 1699 takes the stage

Sometimes characterized as a “problem play,” Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure was first performed in the early 1600’s and was printed in the 1623 First Folio where it is listed as a comedy. During the Restoration, many of Shakespeare’s plays were adapted to suit the times, and Measure is no exception. Playwrights deleted problematic characters, moral complexities, and language that Restoration audiences would have found objectionable…. Continue Reading »