Saturday, September 17, 2016

First Folio at the APK

We were so honored to be Alaska's host site for the national traveling exhibition First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library. The exhibit opened on July 26 and closed on August 24.
The exhibition featured an original First Folio, the first edition of Shakespeare's collected works, printed in 1623. Photo by MaryLou Gerbi.

The First Folio exhibit was different from our usual fare of Alaska history, and some visitors were surprised to find the nearly 400-year old treasure here in Juneau. One visitor remarked, "Last summer we were in London and didn't see a First Folio. This year we're in Alaska and we find one here!" It's been fun to hear about peoples' encounters with Shakespeare, from those who remember memorizing the To Be Or Not To Be speech in high school to people who have acted in Shakespeare's plays. One fifth-grade Shakespeare fan showed up wearing The Tragedie of Hamlet printed on her pants!
Enrique Bravo performs the To Be Or Not To Be speech from Hamlet with Theatre in the Rough on August 12, 2016.

The First Folio exhibit has been a wonderful way for us to connect with our community in our new facility. We had four weeks of diverse programming, including art and theater workshops for kids, performances in our beautiful atrium, and school visits by several brave teachers, who brought their classes during the first week of school! We shared lectures via the Online With Libraries videoconferencing system, thanks to a little bit of ingenuity from our IT wizard and the OWL support team at UAF.
Participants in Shakespeare's costumes & crafts youth activity, led by guest artist Valerie Snyder of BrownBoots Costume Co., show off their creations.

If you read a part in the Theatre in the Rough dramatic readings, led a workshop or gave a lecture, or came by to enjoy the exhibit, thank you for making this incredible opportunity so fantastic. And thank you to the generosity of the project sponsors and the fearlessness of the Folger Shakespeare Library in sending their intrepid First Folios out into the world.  

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, is made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and by the support of Google.org, Vinton and Sigrid Cerf, the British Council, Stuart and Mimi Rose, and other generous donors. It is produced in association with the American Library Association and the Cincinnati Museum Center.

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