Rare 1623 First Folio is the centerpiece of this free exhibition
The first published edition of a literary icon’s most famous works is coming to Cincinnati. Shakespeare and the Queen City will feature a rare First Folio, the first published collection of William Shakespeare’s most famous works. Published in 1623, the First Folio is the centerpiece of the exhibition that displays the ways Shakespeare’s plays, stories and characters have resonated, evolved and been adapted over time.
The First Folio, on loan from the Folger Shakespeare Library, is one of only 234 known surviving copies that preserved 36 of Shakespeare’s plays after his death in 1616. Compiled by fellow actors John Heminge and Henry Condell, the First Folio included 18 plays that appeared in print for the first time and otherwise would be lost to modern audiences.
Shakespeare and the Queen City also features collection pieces from Cincinnati Museum Center’s collections and local organizations including Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, University of Cincinnati’s Archives & Rare Books Library and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County to show how Shakespeare’s works hopped from the Elizabethan stage to American libraries, schools, homes and theaters. The exhibition explores how his works have been presented on stages and in non-traditional venues, how they have been adapted into film, television, illustrated works and in many written forms. Objects range from an encyclopedia in circulation during Shakespeare’s life to 19th century Cincinnati theater playbills to modern costumes and props.
In collaboration with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, the exhibition also includes a stage area that will be programmed by partner organizations at select times throughout the run of the exhibition. There will also be opportunities for guests of all ages to select their scenery, try real stage props, read from a script and try out stage directions from Shakespearean plays.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Performances
On select Saturday mornings during the exhibition, come see the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Touring Company perform the famous “balcony scene” from Romeo and Juliet on the exhibition stage. From 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., you’ll be able to catch a showing of the scene every half hour. In between, Company members will be available throughout the exhibit to answer questions, provide information on CSC’s Mainstage season and educational programs, or just geek out together about Shakespeare!
Scenes from our fans!