About This Documentary
As we looked for ways to commemorate our 75th anniversary on April 23, 2007, the staff of Folger Shakespeare Library knew we had a wonderful opportunity in the topic of Shakespeare in American life.
How did the national poet of Britain, an English playwright who lived 400 years ago, become an integral part of American life and culture? And who better to explore that question than Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, and located just a block from the US Capitol?
Our programs on Shakespeare in American life have included theater, music, readings, lectures, exhibitions, scholarly conferences, catalogs, this website, and more. Each one has deepened our understanding of both Shakespeare and the American identity. But the Shakespeare in American Life radio documentary has been a special part of our anniversary adventure. A true departure for us, this Folger production of three one-hour shows, narrated by Sam Waterston and created by producer Richard Paul, reaches out to new audiences as it brings to life an extraordinary range of topics in radio’s theater of the imagination.
All of us at the Folger Shakespeare Library are grateful to those who have lent their expertise and creative talents to this documentary project. Anniversary funding has come from many, but we are especially gratified to receive support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which designated not one but two anniversary initiatives, including the radio documentary and its accompanying website, as “We the People” projects.
Go behind the scenes to learn more about this documentary by selecting from the list at left. And on behalf of us all at the Folger, we hope that you enjoy Shakespeare in American Life as much as we do!
Gail Kern Paster, Director
Folger Shakespeare Library