First collection of Shakespeare's plays on display in Montgomery - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

First collection of Shakespeare's plays on display in Montgomery

The book, a 1623 original, is the first collection of William Shakespeare's plays and is considered one of the most influential books in history. (Source: WSFA 12 News) The book, a 1623 original, is the first collection of William Shakespeare's plays and is considered one of the most influential books in history. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
The book is opened to the page holding one of the most famous quotes in history, "To be or not to be..." (Source: WSFA 12 News) The book is opened to the page holding one of the most famous quotes in history, "To be or not to be..." (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

"First folio! The book that gave us Shakespeare" is on display at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. The book, a 1623 original, is the first collection of William Shakespeare's plays and is considered one of the most influential books in history.

The book is opened to the page showing one of the most quoted lines in the world, "To be or not to be..."

Montgomery was one of only 51 sites selected through a collective application process by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and the Alabama
Shakespeare Festival, with additional support from Huntingdon College, Auburn University at Montgomery, and Alabama Public Television.

“We are honored to be selected as one of the institutions to help share this extraordinary part of the world’s cultural heritage from the Folger Shakespeare
Library’s collection,” said Mark Johnson, MMFA Director. 

Seven years after Shakespeare's death, his friends and colleagues in the King's Men collected almost all of his plays and grouped them into categories: tragedies, histories, and comedies.

Researchers believe only 750, or fewer, were printed. Just 235 survive today. 

“For most people this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come within inches of one of the most influential books in history. We are delighted to
share this experience with the MMFA, ” said Geoffrey Sherman, ASF Producing Artistic Director.

The museum is also presenting a collection of costumes, props, and designs from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival's 2010 production of Hamlet.
The exhibit opens Thursday, with a free reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by a dramatic reading of Hamlet's soliloquy by ASF's Sherman at 6:00 p.m.

Other events centered on the exhibition in October include:

Teacher Workshop: First Folio! (MMFA Galleries)
Saturday, October 1, 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.

Short Course: Shakespeare Today (MMFA Galleries)
Tuesdays: October 4, 11, 18, and 25 at 12 noon 
Co-hosted by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Huntingdon College, and with an appearance by the Montgomery Chorale.

College Night:  First Folio! (MMFA Wilson Auditorium)
Thursday, October 13, at 6 P.M.
Co-hosted by Huntingdon College

Shakespeare Celebration! (ASF and MMFA)
Saturday, October 15, 12 noon to 7 P.M.

The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival will present a day for families to view the First Folio! exhibition with family-oriented activities on the grounds of the theatre including performances, creative children’s activities, artisan demonstrations, theatrical fighting presentations, and talks on Shakespeare. 

Copyright 2016 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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