By Hannah Hacker
On August 29 through September 25, the University of Iowa Libraries’ Main Gallery will be featuring the Folger Shakespeare Library’s traveling exhibit First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare. This exhibition will mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
This exhibition will also be marking another anniversary more pertinent to the history of Iowa City and the University. One hundred years ago, on May 12, 1916, the University and the city hosted a Shakespeare parade in honor of the Bard’s 300th death anniversary. A procession of people walked from campus to the City Park, roughly a mile away, to present portions of Shakespeare’s plays under the guidance of the Iowa City Center of the Drama League of America. There were roughly 5,000 participants, with three hundred and fifty Shakespearean characters represented.
Pictures of this event can be found at the University Libraries’ Frederick W. Kent Collection of Photographs, as well as digitized online through the Iowa Digital Library.
The University of Iowa Libraries will be hosting a similar event at the City Park. This event is not only meant to highlight the Folger exhibition and anniversary, but will also serve as a throwback to the parade held 100 years ago.
Dost Thou Speak Masterly?: Iowa Reads Shakespeare, the Shakespeare public reading will be held at the Festival Stage in Lower City Park on Saturday, September 24. All are welcome to participate in, and watch, the performances. (See on the events calendar). The event will also include a costume contest.
Interested in reading? Gather your troupe, choose your scene from Shakespeare’s plays, and register to deliver your lines on the Riverside Festival Stage at City Park in Iowa City. Pick a 5 minute section of your favorite play, and get assigned a time to jump up onstage and practice your elocution in memory of Shakespeare, and how Iowa City has celebrated his legacy through time. SIGN UP here for a five minute slot HERE.
Don’t forget to VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE PLAY and professional actors will perform a scene of the winning play at the event.
There will also be a variety of other events in honor of the First Folio!, so keep an eye on the University of Iowa Libraries website http://shakespeare.lib.uiowa.edu for all the details.
Ottumwa tri-weekly courier. (Ottumwa, Iowa), 13 May 1916. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86061215/1916-05-13/ed-1/seq-5/
The Monthly Bulletin of the St. Louis Public Library. New Series, Volume XIV, Saint Louis Library, 1916. Pg. 92. Google Books, Aug. 23, 2016.