Watch the recording of this program.
Few books are more celebrated than Shakespeare’s First Folio. Published in 1623, the First Folio (so-called because of its large folio format) was the first collected edition of the Bard’s drama, bringing together edited texts of 36 plays--including 18 that had never before been published.
Only 233 copies of the First Folio are known to survive. One is held by the Newberry.
In this virtual conversation, Peter Garino of the Shakespeare Project of Chicago and Jill Gage of the Newberry will use the First Folio as a jumping-off point to explore broader questions about Shakespeare’s work and influence in his day and ours. Are Shakespeare’s plays better read or performed? How does the First Folio shape our thinking about this question? How do historians, literary scholars, and actors think differently about the book
As artistic director of the Shakespeare Project, Peter will discuss how Shakespeare’s texts are translated from page to stage, how performers use different editions, and how cuts and edits are made. Jill Gage will draw on her role as the Newberry’s Custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing and Bibliographer for British Literature and History to discuss what makes the library’s First Folio special and what it can tell us about its past readers and owners.
About the Speakers:
Peter Garino is a founding member of the Shakespeare Project of Chicago and has served as its artistic director since June 2010. He most recently appeared as Polonius in the Project’s theatrical reading of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and as the Prince/Peter in Romeo and Juliet. He also directed Richard III in the Project’s 2019-2020 season. During the past season, he appeared as Marcus Andronicus in Titus Andronicus and as Helicanus in Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Peter attended the National Shakespeare Conservatory and holds an MFA in acting from Illinois State University and a BA in theatre arts from Hofstra University.
Jill Gage is Custodian of the John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing and Bibliographer for British Literature and History at the Newberry. In addition to contributing to the Oxford Companion to the Book and The Newberry 125, she has curated a number of exhibitions at the Newberry, including Creating Shakespeare (2016). Jill received her PhD in English literature from the University of London in 2015 and holds a BA and an MA in English literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as an MS in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Your generosity is vital in keeping the library’s programs, exhibitions, and reading rooms free and accessible to everyone. Make a donation today.