“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.”
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Building Museum announced today its partnership with Folger Shakespeare Library, in association with the University of South Carolina, to design the 2020 Summer Block Party exhibition for the Museum’s Great Hall. Shakespeare’s Playhouse, will be the seventh in the Museum’s annual summer series and the stage for Folger Theatre performances from July 4 through September 7, 2020.
Shakespeare’s Playhouse is an exciting Elizabethan-inspired outdoor stage, developed at the University of South Carolina, which comfortably fits into the immense—and air conditioned —atrium of the National Building Museum. By day it provides unique experiences related to Shakespeare’s world—from stage combat to ruff-making. At night the Playhouse transforms into a stage for Shakespeare’s most famous, fairy-filled comedy: Folger Theatre’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
“We look forward to exploring the interconnections of architecture, construction, theater, performance, and design,” said Chase Rynd, executive director of the National Building Museum. “The Museum is honored to host this living art in a way Washington has never seen. We present a building within a building, engaging in one of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays through the lens of the building arts.”
Shakespeare’s Playhouse follows Lawn by LAB at Rockwell Group, FUN HOUSE by Snarkitecture, Hive by Studio Gang, ICEBERGS by James Corner Field Operations, the BIG Maze by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), and Snarkitecture’s The BEACH.
“The Folger already knows a thing or two about glorious buildings, which is why we are particularly delighted to partner with the NBM to bring Shakespeare’s playhouse to a new space,” said Michael Witmore, director of the Folger Shakespeare Library. “Shakespeare said ‘all the world’s a stage.’ But stages are buildings too. We want to explore the space of play with a whole new generation of Washingtonians, and this is our golden opportunity.”
Robert Richmond of the University of South Carolina directs the creation of the Playhouse and Folger’s Midsummer. Both will explore the role of place and architecture in shaping a unique theatrical experience. Folger Theatre’s Artistic Producer, Janet Alexander Griffin, says, “This colorful, portable, and freestanding theater provides a perfect platform for entering this dream of a play, where real and imagined worlds blend. Bringing favorite Folger actors and artistic team members to undertake this theatrical adventure is the extraordinary beginning of partnerships and performances off-site during the Folger’s renovation.”
Folger Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream will perform Tuesdays through Sundays from Sunday, July 7 through Sunday, August 30, 2020. Tickets to Midsummer will be available in advance to Folger Theatre subscribers starting January 15, 2020 and to the public on April 1, 2020, online at folger.edu/theater and by phone at 202-544-7077.
Details of the installation design are forthcoming. Shakespeare’s Playhouse will be complemented by programs and events, and ticket purchasers will be able to visit all of the Museum’s exhibitions, including the forthcoming The Wall/ El Muro: What is a Border Wall and Architecture is Never Neutral: The Work of MASS Design Group.
Rosie Grant, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.272.2448, ext. 3402
Peter Eramo, Jr., peramo@FOLGER.edu, 202.675.0344
The National Building Museum inspires curiosity about the world we design and build. We believe that understanding the history and impact of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, construction, and design is important for all ages. Through exhibitions and educational programs, we show how the built world has power to shape our lives, communities, and futures. Public inquiries: 202.272.2448 or visit www.nbm.org. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
The Folger Shakespeare Library is the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the ultimate resource for exploring Shakespeare and his world. The Folger welcomes millions of visitors online and in person. We provide unparalleled access to a huge array of resources, from original sources to modern interpretations. With the Folger, you can experience the power of performance, the wonder of exhibitions, and the excitement of path breaking research. We offer the opportunity to see and even work with early modern sources, driving discovery and transforming education for students of all ages. Beginning this year, the Folger’s historic building is undergoing a major renovation to expand public space, improve accessibility, and enhance the experience for all visitors, During the multi-year renovation, Folger programs and events will continue at other locations in Washington, DC, and around the country. Join us online and on the road. Learn more at www.folger.edu. Sign up for one of our newsletters or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Shakespeare’s Playhouse is generously supported by presenting sponsor AARP and lead sponsor CoStar.
Folger Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is supported by the Share Fund, with additional funding from the University of South Carolina Excellence Initiative, a grant program that promotes transformative teaching, research, creative activity, and community engagement.