By Caitlin Phillips
To be or not to be, that is the question. To be there to see the First Folio that is. This Folio commemorates the four-hundredth anniversary of the death of Shakespeare. The actual copy of the First Folio was made in 1623, and is a compilation of 36 Shakespeare plays.
The Folio includes panels and First Folios from Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C., home of the largest collection of the folios. The folio will be showcased on the ground floor of Mead Hall with exhibit hours running from Tuesday to Friday 4-8 p.m. and on the weekends from 12-8 p.m.
So why Drew? Because of the theatre program, Folger Shakespeare Library, the owner of the folios in DC, chose to exhibit their collection here. Drew also offers many Shakespeare classes such as the class simply titled “Shakespeare,” and the “Shakespeare on Film” seminar as well as ways to study Shakespeare’s work during a semester abroad in London. The Shakespeare Theatre is on campus as well, so it makes sense that the Folio will be here, where many people love and study his work.
This celebration will also include a production of “Richard III” and discussions of the music from Shakespeare’s plays. Other books written and published in Shakespeare’s time period will be shown and discussed, like the beginnings of journalism in Shakespeare’s day and age. Productions, discussions and activities involving “Hamlet” will be occurring throughout the event as well.
Hayat Abdelal (’17), Samantha Depierro (’19), and Shayna Miller (’19), helped by Professor Hamilton, created their own exhibit called “Will and the Word: An Exhibition of Drew’s Rare Book Materials and an Interactive Map of Shakespeare’s London.” “Nuremberg Chronicles,” the “Book of Common Prayer” and “The History of the Worthies of England” will be showcased by the group.
Miller said, “I had a really great experience co-curating the exhibit, ‘Will and the Word.’” She especially enjoyed being able to work with such rare books, which dated from the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries and were printed in London. Miller added, “Our exhibit also includes an interactive map that will include information on where these books were published, places of religious suppression, and locations that were significant to Shakespeare.” The group’s exhibit will be located in the library and stretches to the Kean Reading Room.
For a full list of the events, click here.