Folger Celebrates Shakespeare’s Birthday with Open House (photos)

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Queen Elizabeth I, portrayed by Penelope Rahming, makes her appearance at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She is accompanied by Lawrence Plotkin as William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley. Photo by Jeff Malet.

William Shakespeare is arguably the worlds most famous playwright, and deserves to have his birthday celebrated accordingly.

Hundreds came to celebrate the 454th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth at the Folger Shakespeare Library on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, April 22 on what has become an annual tradition. There were plenty of activities for young and old alike, including jugglers, jesters, sword fighting demonstrations, music recitals, workshops and arts and crafts. It was also the one day of the year when the Folger reading rooms are open to all.

Home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the Folger Shakespeare Library at 201 E Capitol St SE is a world-renowned center for scholarship, learning, culture, and the arts. Currently on view til June 3, a special exhibition “Beyond Words: Book Illustration in the Age of Shakespeare” includes more than 80 illustrated rare books and prints from the 15th to the 18th century from the collection. The Folger’s building and exhibitions are open to the public every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, Mondays through Saturdays from 10am through 5pm and Sundays from noon to 5pm.

The birthday celebration concluded with a grand appearance and cutting of the cake by Queen Elizabeth I herself,  accompanied by her favorite, William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, ably portrayed by Penelope Rahming and Lawrence Plotkin since 2003.

View Jeff Malet’s photos of Shakespeare’s Birthday celebration at the Folger Shakespeare Library by clicking on the photo icons below.

 

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