See Folger’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Building Museum

See 'The Playhouse', Stage Built in Museum's Great Hall for Folger Performances

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Image: Folger Theatre

The Folger Theatre is back to in-person performances, presenting A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The performance takes place at the National Building Museum (401 F St. NW) while the Folger building continues with its massive renovation project.

The romantic and mischievous romp A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be produced as part of the National Building Museum’s Summer Block Party on stage at The Playhouse, a theatre being built from the ground up inside the museum’s Great Hall.

In the evenings, The Playhouse transforms into the enchanting setting for Folger Theatre’s performance.

Midsummer is everybody’s favorite Shakespeare play: young lovers, fairy intrigues, and the hilarious machinations of the mechanical players which will enchant us through a delightful, romantic dream.

“There’s been so much change in our lives, in our world and truly, in our organization,” says Folger Director of Programming and Folger Theatre Artistic Director Karen Ann Daniels. “Midsummer represents an opportunity for us all to have some respite through adventure, some magic and romance and joy.”

The Playhouse will serve as the home for the National Building Museum’s Summer Block Party, providing visitors with unique and lively theater-related experiences throughout the day. Behind-the-scenes tours, workshops, sword-fighting demonstrations, face-painting, and other fun activities will be offered daily beginning Saturday, July 2 and running through August 28, 2022.

Visitors enter the National Building Museum summer experience through an immersive installation based on Joanna Robson’s A Knavish Lad, a double-concertina artists’ book from the Folger Shakespeare Library collection that visually narrates every scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The book was completed in 2016 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and the installation allows visitors to step inside its pages.

Artist’s rendition of west court entrance to The Playhouse. Image: Folger Theatre

Visiting The Playhouse during the day and participating in all of the hands-on activities is included with admission to the National Building Museum. Tickets to performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, are a separate purchase, but include access to Robson’s installation. 

There’s also an illustrative narration of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and costume displays and descriptions.

There are sword fighting demonstrations, scavenger hunts, guided backstage tours showing the art and mystery of stagecraft, and opportunities to get on stage and act Shakespeare’s words.

Design an Elizabethan city using found objects, build your own Shakespeare’s Globe-styled theater, learn about the intricacies of The Playhouse’s construction, and so much more.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream plays at the National Building Museum from July 12 through August 28, 2022. The Playhouse at the National Building Museum can be explored July 2 – August 28, 2022, Thursday – Monday, 11am – 4pm. The Museum is located at 401 F St., NW in Washington, DC.

Tickets are $20-$85 and can be purchased at the Folger Theatre Box Office or by calling (202) 544-7077. Tickets will also be on sale at the National Building Museum Visitor’s Center Thursday to Monday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning in June.