Folger Theatre

Folger Theatre annually performs a three-play season of innovative productions designed to forge strong connections with modern audiences, continuing the lively legacy of Shakespearean stagecraft. While William Shakespeare's plays are central to its mission, the Theatre has produced a variety of other classical works, as well as new plays related to or inspired by Shakespeare.

For further information, visit the Folger theatre blog, Folger Theatre Production Diary. If you miss a performance, listen to five plays performed by Folger Theatre available as Folger Audio Editions through Simon & Schuster on audio CD or as a download.

About Folger Theatre

Karen Peakes (Isabella), Michele Osherow (Mariana), Ian Merrill Peakes (Angelo), Measure for Measure, directed by Aaron Posner, Folger Theatre, 2006. Carol Pratt.

Since 1992, led by Artistic Producer Janet Alexander Griffin, Folger Theatre has staged more than half of the plays in Shakespeare’s First Folio.

Highlights from Folger Theatre’s producing history include numerous Helen Hayes Awards nominations and wins. Nominees for outstanding resident play: The Taming of the Shrew (Folger Theatre, 2012): recipient, Hamlet (Folger Theatre, 2010): recipient, Henry VIII (Folger Theatre, 2010), Arcadia (Folger Theatre, 2009) Macbeth (Folger Theatre, 2008), Measure for Measure (Folger Theatre, 2006): recipient, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Folger Theatre, 2004), Melissa Arctic (Folger Theatre, 2004), She Stoops to Conquer (Folger Theatre, 2002), Shakespeare’s R & J (Folger Theatre, 2000), Much Ado About Nothing (Folger Theatre, 1998), and Romeo and Juliet (Folger Theatre, 1997).

In collaboration, Folger Theatre produced with The Classical Theatre of Harlem a sell-out King Lear (Folger Theatre, 2007) starring André DeShields and with Two River Theater Company staged two productions—a magical Macbeth (Folger Theatre, 2008) co-directed by Teller and Aaron Posner and the world premiere of Anne Washburn’s adaptation Orestes, A Tragic Romp (Folger Theatre, 2010).

Exhibitions at the Folger inspire memorable productions like David Garrick’s The Clandestine Marriage (Folger Theatre, 2005), Maxwell Anderson’s Elizabeth the Queen (Folger Theatre, 2003) which starred Michael Learned, and Henry VIII (Folger Theatre, 2010). Cross-disciplinary projects with Folger Consort—such as The Second Shepherds' Play: A Medieval Mystery for the Yuletide Season (2007), Brave New World: Music of the Tempest (2014), and Purcell’s The Fairy Queen (2007) with Sir Derek Jacobi, Richard Clifford, and Lynn Redgrave—take advantage of the Folger’s unique resources. Folger Theatre not only produces Shakespeare’s classics but is also a stage for new plays, including Roger Rees’ What You Will: By and About the Bard (Folger Theatre, 2007) and Lynn Redgrave’s Shakespeare for My Father (Folger Shakespeare Library, 1991) and Rachel and Juliet: An Evening with Lynn Redgrave (Folger Theatre, 2009).

For more information about the Folger Theatre's performance space, read our article on the Folger's Elizabethan Theatre.

About the Artistic Producer

Janet Alexander Griffin has been artistic producer of the Folger Theatre since its establishment in 1992. Under her leadership Folger Theatre has garnered a reputation for producing innovative interpretations of Shakespeare’s works as well as his contemporaries and has been recognized for its excellence by the Helen Hayes Awards. She also serves as the director of the Folger’s Division of Public Programs, which produces a series of early music by the Folger Consort, poetry, lectures, and, in conjunction with the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, the fiction readings series.


Folger Theatre employs members of Actors Equity Association, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and United Scenic Artists. It is a member of the League of Washington Theatres, Cultural Tourism DC, the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, Theatre Communications Group, and Shakespeare Theatre Association.

2015-2016 Season

Visit the Folger Box Office to order your tickets for the 2015-2016 season.

Current season

Past seasons