The traveling exhibit, “First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare,” left Norman on January 30 after a very successful run. A team of English Department members and other colleagues initiated the proposal to bring the First Folio to OU, and organized six events to entertain and inform the public about this extraordinary book.
The launch and Family Day on January 16 brought in almost 1,400 people to enjoy Dean Kelly Damphousse's welcome to the First Folio; David Anderson's explanation of the book's history; a discussion and demonstration of stage-fighting by Kenneth Hodges, Whitney Whitaker, Matt Ellis, and Luke Eddy; and the Drama Department's production of The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet--along with a variety of family activities in the Great Hall.
Other events included a Members' Reception, with a talk on "Shakespeare and Love" by Amrita Sen and a wonderful performance by Tom Houston Orr and Alissa Mortimer of three different Shakespearean love scenes. Kenneth Hodges and Alissa Mortimer led a well-attended Teachers' Workshop; Hodges, Jim Yoch, Sara Coodin, and Amrita Sen participated in a panel discussion of "Living Shakespeare"; and, closing out the series, Sara Coodin gave a Medieval Fair talk on the character of Shylock. The slideshow above gives a sample of some of the action.
OU acquired the honor of hosting this exhibit due to the desire of its sponsors--the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Cincinnati Museum Center, and the American Library Association--to honor the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by touring the exhibit to all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Generous funding to support the events has been supplied by the Oklahoma Humanities Council and OU's College of Arts & Sciences, English Department, and Department of Classics & Letters.
There was extensive media coverage, including the OETA interviews featured in the slideshow above. Some sites:
Susan Stamberg's report on NPR, mentioning Norman as the First Folio exhibit's first host and touring the Folger Library's vaults, here.
The Oklahoma Gazette
OETA (starts about 20 minutes in)