A group of schoolchildren in white shirts and tan pants stand or kneel on a stage.
Photo by Carolina Dulcey.

The 16th Annual Lincoln Oratory Festival

Ford’s Theatre and Washington, D.C.-area schools commemorate Lincoln’s birthday by reciting historic speeches from notable orators.

February 6 and 7, 2024 at 10:30 a.m.

Join us for the 16th annual Lincoln Oratory Festival, which honors Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and skill as a compelling orator. Participating classrooms perform a historical speech from a curation of abridged texts. This year’s selection includes speeches by Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglas, Chief Canassatego, Seneca Chiefs, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mary McLeod Bethune and Eleanor Roosevelt. Reserve free tickets at the links below.

About the Lincoln Oratory Residency and Festival Program

The Lincoln Oratory Residency and Festival program involves 3rd – 8th-grade students experiencing and exploring the power of historical speeches. Ensembles work with a Ford’s Teaching Artist between October and January and throughout five in-person residency visits to learn oratory and performance skills. Throughout the program, students enhance their vocabulary, develop public speaking skills and build confidence as they bring historical speeches to life on stage at Ford’s Theatre.