If you haven’t see Shakespeare’s First Folio in Boise, you’re running out of time. An edition of one of the world’s most famous books is on display until Wednesday, Sept. 21, at the Boise State University’s Arts and Humanities Institute Gallery in the Yanke Family Research Center, 220 ParkCenter Blvd., in Boise
Admission to the exhibit and all events are free.
The book is impressive in its cradle and case. The folio is the collection that elevated theater to the status of literature and preserved 36 of the Bard’s plays, including “Hamlet,” “Twelfth Night” and “Macbeth.”
The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., sent 19 of its 82 folios to one location in each state to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death in 1616. The celebration opened Saturday, Aug. 20. Its visit coincides with the Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s 40th anniversary season.
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Also on display with the Folio exhibit is a retrospective of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s history curated by BSU professor Stephanie Bacon and her students, along with a selection of 17th-century books and other items from the period.
The First Folio was printed in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death. His colleagues John Heminges and Henry Condell of the King’s Men theatrical troupe and publishers Edward Blount and William and Isaac Jaggard organized and printed the book. Without it, many of Shakespeare’s most important works may have been lost.
Here are some remaining events tied to the First Folio visit:
▪ Monday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m.: Idaho Scholar Talks: “All the World’s A Stage Direction: Shakespeare’s First Folio for Actors” by BSU theater professor Gordon Reinhart.
▪ Wednesday, Sept. 14, 6- 8:30 p.m.: Film screening: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” 1935, staring James Cagney, Dick Powell and Olivia de Havilland. Boise Public Library, main branch.
▪ Friday, Sept. 16, 7 p.m.: Idaho Scholar Talks: “Shakespeare’s Typeface: Fonts from the First Folio to the 21st Century,” Idaho State University professor Curtis Whittaker.
▪ Saturday, Sept. 17, 1-5 p.m.: First Folio Family Day with performances, activities, including Matt Hansen’s “Shake It Up After School,” a performance by sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.
▪ Wednesday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m.: “Our Revels Now Are Ended” wrap-up of the Folio events that includes a panel discussion about how the folio came to Boise and a performance of Idaho Dance Theatre’s “Friends and Lovers,” performed to spoken Shakespearean text and poetry.