To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the University of Virginia will host a celebration of the bard’s work – and offer the public a chance to see his first folio – published in 1623.
Students from the University’s school of drama will present the witches from Macbeth, along with monologues and sonnets that give voice to the pages on display. Professor Kate Burke calls the program a Vigil for the Bard.
“Speakers of Shakespeare – my actors and others who are interested– will be entering the gallery at selected times throughout the month of October, standing on a wooden platform in the gallery, speaking Shakespeare in tribute.”
And tomorrow, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. the American Shakespeare Center will offer workshops for would-be actors at UVA’s special collections library. Craft tables will invite kids and their parents to make props – including fake blood and royal crowns, and Burke says visitors can learn Shakespearean compliments and insults.
“There are going to be two people at a table dispensing them, and you never know when you might need one.”
And for a dollar, kids accompanied by an adult can take in a performance of the Comedy of Errors. Of course, the star of this show is the folio itself – a collection of 36 plays published by two actors who had worked with Shakespeare. They issued a thousand copies, and about 300 remain. Known as one of the most valuable books in the world, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen paid $6 million for one.