Many go to Washington, D.C. without ever visiting the Folger Shakespeare Library. I have gone to D.C. many times over, and this last time was the first time I went to this building. And I didn't regret going, despite having to walk the long way around to avoid construction, and not recognizing the building because of its inappropriate exterior.
But once you find it, the Shakespeare Library is one of those 'off the beaten path' places that are simply wonderful. Unfortunately, the actual collection is closed to all but researchers, save those in the exhibit, but it is still wonderful.
The best part is the theatre, which is made to appear like the theatres of Elizabethan time. In this theatre, they perform plays from Shakespeare. The current play (through May 14th) is the Game of Love and Chance. They also have concerts, poetry recitals, and book recitals in the theatre.
Then there's the exhibits. The current exhibit (until May 13, 2006) is Shakespeare for Children, and was very eye-opening and fascinating (especially for someone who likes to do children's activities at events!). An upcoming exhibit that I think many SCAdians would thoroughly enjoy is "Noyses, sounds, and sweet aires": Music in early modern England. I'm guessing this is Elizabethean England, though it doesn't specify, save to say that there will be displays of instruments, popular ballads, teaching manuals, courtly masques, and ecclesiastical hymns. This will be there June 2-September 9, 2006. I personally can't wait!
To those who don't know this magnificent museum, I apologize for the happy rant. But those who don't, I full-heartedly recommend that you visit the museum, especially if your persona is Elizabethean. They put a lot of work into making it historical, and yet still appeal to all audiences. If you can, visit! Further information can be found on the website.
Oh, and for scribes, there's a GREAT book for explaining scribal stuff to the public and to children. It's a children's book called Maugarite Makes a Book, and it is very obvious to me that they put a lot of care into making the book accurate to early 14th century France.
Vivats the Dream,
Julienne fille Gaspard, mka Jewel
Scribe of the Barony of Marinus