Folger and the Community

Engaging with the District

Welcome to CrossTalk DC


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The Folger Shakespeare Library, partnering with organizations across the city, will bring together people of all ages, races, religions, lives, and professions to talk across and about intolerance based on race, religion, and identity.  From mid-May through November 2016, at seven CrossTalk DC public forums across the city, folks will gather and begin by considering questions posed by two plays written 420 years apart, using bits of both plays as the catalyst for dialogue:

  • The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare’s play of justice, prejudice and betrayal among Jews and Christians, probably written in 1596, and
  • District Merchants, a world-premiere commissioned retelling of The Merchant of Venice set in 1870 Washington, DC, which juxtaposes the experiences of two DC merchants: a newly emancipated Black man and an immigrant Jew.


CrossTalk DC Partners

7 partner


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