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First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare: Events and Lectures

On tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, at the UNLV University Libraries Special Collections on September 1-29, 2016.

Opening Event

Opening Celebration

September 1, 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

  • Goldfield Room, 3rd floor, Lied Library
  • Featuring a sneak preview of The Bomb-itty of Errors, a hip-hop theatre adaptation of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors by the Nevada Conservatory Theatre, and an interview with cast and staff members
  • Cosponsored by the UNLV University Libraries, the Nevada Conservatory Theatre, and the UNLV Dept. of Theatre
  • Free event, but reservations are required.

The First Folio Teaches Teachers: Shakespeare’s Text Demystified

Workshop for Teachers: The First Folio Teaches Teachers: Shakespeare’s Text Demystified

September 10, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

  • Goldfield Room, 3rd Floor, Lied Library
  • This interactive workshop for school teachers focuses on the First Folio and is designed to increase teachers' knowledge.
  • Cosponsored by the Shakespeare Institute of Nevada
  • Recommended for middle school and high school teachers.
  • Free event, but reservations are required.

Performances: A Taste of Shakespeare

Performances: A Taste of Shakespeare from the Shakespeare Institute of Nevada

Sunday, September 11, 2016

  • Families, teachers and students of all ages are welcome to experience a must-see sampling of iconic Shakespeare plays. We promise a fun and engaging learning experience!
  • Goldfield Room, 3rd floor, Lied Library
  • Free event but reservations are highly recommended. 

11:30am Romeo and Juliet
12:30pm Othello
1:30pm   A Midsummer Night's Dream
2:30pm   Romeo and Juliet
3:30pm   Othello
4:30pm   A Midsummer Night's Dream

Families and the First Folio

Workshops for Children and Families

Saturday, September 17, 2016

  • 11:00 am - 12:00 pm:  Have Fun with Hamlet
    • Goldfield Room, 3rd Floor, Lied Library
    • Introduces families to Shakespeare’s language through Hamlet and familiar lines
    • Recommended for children ages 6-9 and their families
    • Free event but reservations are required.

  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm:  Words, Words, Words!
    • Goldfield Room, 3rd Floor, Lied Library
    • Invites participants to play with Shakespeare’s language with insults
    • Recommended for children ages 9-12 and their families
    • Free event but reservations are required.

  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm:  Create a Folio
    • Goldfield Room, 3rd Floor, Lied Library
    • Learn firsthand about the way the First Folio and other early modern books were printed
    • Recommended for children ages 6-12 and their families
    • Free event but reservations are required.

Lecture: Eric Rasmussen - "The Saint-Omer Shakespeare First Folio Goes Viral”

Sunday, September 18, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Saint-Omer Shakespeare First Folio Goes Viral
Eric Rasmussen, Foundation Professor and Chair of English at the University of Nevada, Reno

  • Goldfield Room, 3rd floor, Lied LibraryEric Rasmussen
  • Free event but reservations are required.
  • Cosponsored by the UNLV University Libraries and the Great Works Academic Certificate Program.
  • In November of 2014, within hours after the Saint-Omer copy of the Shakespeare First Folio discovered at a public library in the north of France had been authenticated by Professor Eric Rasmussen, news of its discovery ‘went viral’, receiving an astonishing 12.5 billion online page views worldwide, and occasioning widespread claims that the volume proved that Shakespeare was a secret catholic. Professor Rasmussen will provide a fascinating insiders’ account of these extraordinary events.
  • Eric Rasmussen, Foundation Professor and Chair of English at the University of Nevada, Reno, has been called "the Robert Langdon of the Shakespearean world" by The Washington Post. His narrative account of The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios (Palgrave) was serialized by both the London Sunday Times and Australia’s national newspaper, The Age, and has been translated into Portuguese and Japanese. He co-edited The Royal Shakespeare Company's Collaborative Plays by William Shakespeare and Others, The Shakespeare First Folios: A Descriptive Catalogue, and The Royal Shakespeare Company's Complete Works of William Shakespeare. He received the Falstaff Award for Best Shakespearean Book of the Year from in 2007, 2012, and again in 2013. Rasmussen has served on the Board of Trustees of the Shakespeare Association of America and the Council of the Malone Society. He is currently a General Editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and of the Internet Shakespeare Editions Project.

UNLV School of Music presents "Art Songs to Shakespearean Texts”

Performance:  UNLV School of Music presents "Art Songs to Shakespearean Texts”

Sunday, September 25, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Goldfield Room, 3rd floor, Lied Library

Advanced singers from UNLV's School of Music will perform songs from a selection of composers from the 19th and 20th centuries who have set Shakespeare’s texts to music. Performers will speak briefly about the composers and their different settings.


All colloquia are in the Goldfield Room, 3rd floor, Lied Library.  Colloquia are free and open to the public, but reservations are strongly encouraged.

Thursday, September 8, 2016 -  4:00pm

What We Can Learn about Shakespeare from the First Folio
Richard Harp, Professor of English at UNLV

The tributes made in the First Folio by some of Shakespeare's famous contemporaries reveal much about the author and his art.

Friday, September 9, 2016 - 3:00pm​

"Hazard All He Hath":  Shakespeare's Gambling World
David Schwartz, Director of the Center for Gaming Research at the UNLV University Libraries

Gambling has a long presence in English life, a presence that grew steadily over time. By the Elizabethan era, gambling was so engrained within the English consciousness that it can be found throughout the works of William ShakespeareShakespeare incorporated references to specific games ranging from novum to primero into several of his plays, and, to prove that gambling was more than just a pastime, incorporated larger themes of gambling, and particularly “hazard,” into his work. This talk examines the state of English gambling when Shakespeare wrote and traces the  presence of gambling action and themes throughout his plays.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - 4:00pm

21st Century Shakespeare
Evelyn Gajowski, Professor of English at UNLV

Why do Shakespeare's texts resonate so powerfully for us at the outset of the twenty-first century?  Why is Shakespeare more popular today than ever before?  What are the various ways in which we consume Shakespeare's texts 400 years after he produced them?  Professor Gajowski aims to suggest answers to these questions by elucidating the current state of the art of analyzing Shakespeare

Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 4:00pm

Searching For Shakespeare: Folger's Secret Search for First Folios
Stephen Brown,  Barrick Scholar, Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at UNLV

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 4:00pm

Capturing Shakespearean Performance in Print: The Edwin Booth Prompt Books
Lezlie Cross, Assistant Professor of Theatre at UNLV

This lecture stems from Dr. Lezlie Cross's in-progress book project which details the publication, sales, and use of Edwin Booth's acting editions of Shakespeare. Booth was the most popular and influential actor in nineteenth-century America and this study of his acting editions provides a rare glimpse into the history of the American theatre and print industry.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - 4:00pm

Shakespeare and Environmental Crisis
Charles Whitney, Professor of English at UNLV

The powers that be are not effectively addressing today’s existential crisis. Awareness and understanding must be increased, including through study of Shakespeare, whose work provides relevant insights.  

Thursday, September 22, 2016 - 4:00pm

"Bring Out Your Dead!":  Cashing in on Shakespeare in the First Folio
John Bowers, Professor of English at UNLV

William Shakespeare wrote his plays for box-office profits at the theater, not for a reading public.  When his old colleagues John Hemings and Henry Condell published his plays seven years after his death, they too were looking for financial profit and "packaged" the dramas -- as well as the dramatist himself -- to boost income by appealing to a new market of readers, thus making Shakespeare the subject of literary studies ever since.

Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 4:00pm

Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Printing Technologies
Michael Frazier, Special Collections Conservator in the UNLV University Libraries

Frazier will explain the expense and the labor that would have been required to produce a folio edition in the 16th and 17th centuries, and give comparative examples of printed works from the Renaissance.



Shakespeare Seen: Scene Study

Shakespeare Seen: scene study sessions feature video clips of film or theatre productions the pages of Shakespeare's plays with attention to interpretive decisions made by performers, directors or other artists.  

Saturday, September 24, 2016 - 12:00pm, Goldfield Room, Lied Library

The First Part of King Henry the Fourth, Act 5, Scene 3, presented by Scott Hollifield,  Assistant Professor in Residence in UNLV's English Department.

Saturday, September 24, 2016 - 1:00pm, Goldfield Room, Lied Library

Macbeth Act 1, Scene 7, presented by Kathryne Gargano, UNLV Master of Fine Arts student in poetry. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016 - 2:00pm, Goldfield Room, Lied Library

Antony and Cleopatra, Act 5, Scene 2, presented by Dorothy Vanderford, UNLV doctoral student in English concentrating on early modern drama.

Saturday, September 24, 2016 - 3:00pm, Goldfield Room, Lied Library

The Tempest, Act TBA, Scene TBA, presented by Alana Faagai, UNLV doctoral student in English.

Saturday, September 24, 2016 - 4:00pm, Goldfield Room, Lied Library

Titus Andronicus Act 4, Scene 2, presented by Ariel Santos, UNLV doctoral student in English.

Related Shakespeare Events in the Community

Know of a Shakespeare-related event in Southern Nevada? Share it with us and we will post it here. 

About the Tour

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, is a national traveling exhibition organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, and produced in association with the American Library Association and the Cincinnati Museum Center. First Folio! has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and by the support of, Vinton and Sigrid Cerf, the British Council, Stuart and Mimi Rose, and other generous donors. 

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