A copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio will arrive in Kansas City in June.
Throughout 2016, the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is sending out copies of the volume; one venue in each state will host an exhibit.
From June 6 through June 28 at the Central Library at 14 W. 10th St., the First Folio will be on display in an enclosed case, opened to Hamlet’s “To Be or Not to Be” speech.
The folio’s arrival and accompanying programming scheduled by the Kansas City Public Library leads the list of events and authors that readers across the Kansas City area can anticipate.
Researchers think that 750 or fewer copies of the First Folio were printed in 1623. Today 233 survive and, of those, 82 of are held by the Folger. Its collection represents the largest in the world.
Although the folio, along with six interpretive panels, won’t arrive until summer, the programming planned by the Kansas City Public Library begins in January.
Shakespeare will be at the center of the library’s annual Adult Winter Program, aimed at encouraging leisure reading among adults.
Also, on Sunday, Jan. 17, the library launches its 10th season of Script-in-Hand performances with a program at the Plaza branch, 4801 Main St. “Much Ado About Nothing” will be the first Script-in-Hand production to be staged by Kansas City’s Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.
Later Shakespeare performances will be produced by the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre.
Individual speakers scheduled to appear include Joan FitzPatrick Dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, who is collaborating on a continuing education course focusing on the teaching of Shakespeare in secondary and post-secondary schools (May 18); Eric Rasmussen, who, with others, has compiled a catalog of known copies of the First Folio (June 7), and Andrea Mays (May 24).
Her book, “The Millionaire and the Bard,” details the efforts of Henry Folger, a Standard Oil executive who with his wife, Emily, built what is now the Shakespeare library that bears their names.
In Kansas, a First Folio will be exhibited at Kansas State University from Feb. 1 through Feb. 28.
Author talks in 2016
Here’s a look at who is coming to Kansas City.
▪ On Tuesday, Jan. 5, actress Holly Robinson Peete will join Kansas City artist Shane W. Evans to discuss “My Brother Charlie,” a 2010 children’s book they collaborated on. The book, which Robinson Peete co-wrote with her daughter, Ryan, details a sister’s experience with a brother who is autistic.
▪ On Thursday, Jan. 28, Aaron Barnhart, former TV critic for The Star, will discuss his book “Firebrand,” a biography of Kansas free state fighter August Bondi written for young readers.
▪ On Wednesday, Feb. 24, Leo Damrosch, Harvard University literature professor, will discuss his new book, “Eternity’s Sunrise: The Imaginative World of William Blake.” Damrosch visited Kansas City in 2014 to discuss his recent book about Jonathan Swift, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography.
“We are excited to have Rick Russo back, since we have supported his writing and career from the beginning, long before he won the Pulitzer,” said Vivien Jennings, Rainy Day books founder and president. “The new book returns to North Bath and the characters from ‘Nobody’s Fool,’ his first great success.”
On Thursday, Jan. 21, Kansas City author G. William Quatman will discuss his book “A Young General and the Fall of Richmond: The Life and Career of Godfrey Weitzel.”
In April 1865, Union Army commander Weitzel led his troops into Richmond, the Confederate capital, capturing the city and serving as host when President Abraham Lincoln insisted on paying a personal visit.
Weitzel gave the president a carriage tour of the conquered city and served as the president’s witness in negotiations aimed at ending the war.
Quatman’s program begins at 6:30 at the archives building at 400 W. Pershing Road.
Finally, in December, the Mid-Continent Public Library announced that it had received a $300,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The grant will support the development of the library system’s Story Center Program and will be used for construction costs related to the re-use of the historic home that has been incorporated into the district’s Woodneath Library Center in Kansas City, North.
The district’s Story Center Program brought in several authors in 2015 as part of its speaker series, among them Jeff Guinn and Sara Parestky.