Sponsored by The Folger Shakespeare Library and The Royal Shakespeare Company, this virtual birthday event is open to all ages, with every activity including many options for kids and families. Please join us by sharing your creations—from super quick-and-simple ideas to more ambitious ideas—or just get ready to enjoy and revel in others’ contributions. Try any of the following options:
You may be new to Shakespeare, or you may have a favorite passage. Try a line or a speech and read it aloud. If it means something to you, tell us. Or, with your family or friends, turn a single speech into a group “choral” reading (at home or on Zoom). Check out our short, curated scenes for one or more actors and give it a go.
Recreate one of our famous Folger Shakespeare bas-reliefs of scenes from the plays—or take a selfie as your favorite Shakespeare character.
Tip your hat to the Bard and his plays with works of art or visual shenanigans, including paintings, drawings, cartoons, photos, dioramas, and more—or put the words of a Shakespeare passage on display in cards, signs, or videos.
In keeping with a long-standing Shakespeare’s Birthday Open House tradition at the Folger, write your own 14-line sonnet. We’ve also included other interesting sources about Shakespeare’s sonnets—and the modern-day Pop Sonnets based on pop songs—including episodes from our podcast Shakespeare Unlimited.
Celebrate the Bard’s birthday at home and share some photos! We hope our recipes and other ideas add to the occasion.