Event—Public Programming

Shakespeare’s First Folio at 400

Celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio at the Newberry.

View a video of this event.

Esteemed Shakespeare director Gregory Doran is visiting Chicago this fall on a personal expedition to see copies of the First Folio – the original compilation of most of Shakespeare’s plays, published in 1623 – around the world. The 400th anniversary of the First Folio coincides with the release of Mr. Doran’s new book, My Shakespeare: A Director’s Journey through the First Folio.

Join us for a lively conversation between Mr. Doran, Barbara Gaines, founder of Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and Newberry curator Jill Gage about the significance and legacy of the Newberry’s copy of the First Folio, as well as Mr. Doran’s and Ms. Gaines’ Folio-based methods to directing Shakespeare’s works.

My Shakespeare is available to purchase at the Newberry bookshop, and the author will sign copies after the talk.

This program is cosponsored with Chicago Shakespeare Theater and the Free For All Foundation at the Chicago Community Trust.


Gregory Doran is a leading theater director, described by the Sunday Times as “one of the great Shakespeareans of his generation.” He was Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2012 until 2022. In 2002 he won the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement of the Year and in June 2012 he was awarded the Sam Wanamaker Award by the Globe Theatre, in recognition of his work in increasing the understanding and enjoyment of Shakespeare.

Barbara Gaines has directed nearly sixty productions at Chicago Shakespeare since founding the theater in 1986, including thirty of Shakespeare’s plays. Honors include the 2008 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre and the prestigious Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, in recognition of her contributions to strengthening British-American cultural relations, as well as multiple Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best Production and for Best Director. Ms. Gaines has directed at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-on-Avon, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Old Globe in San Diego.

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 Library. She curated the 2016 Newberry exhibition, Creating Shakespeare.

Cost and Registration

This program is free and open to all. Advance registration required.

In-Person Registration

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Check out video recordings of past Newberry public programs on our YouTube channel.


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