EVENT: UCI Libraries is hosting a reception to celebrate the opening of its newest exhibit, “400 Years of Shakespeare’s First Folio.” The event begins at the Irvine Barclay Theatre with a discussion between Derek Quezada, exhibit curator and rare-books librarian at the University of Southern California, and Eric Rasmussen, Regents Teaching Professor and Foundation Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno. There will then be a short performance from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Afterward, attendees are invited to Langson Library for a reception and exhibit viewing.

WHEN/WHERE: The event runs from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, beginning at the Irvine Barclay Theatre and concluding at Langson Library (grid D5, bldgs. 1 and 102, respectively, on this campus map: https://parking.uci.edu/maps/documents/UCI-CampusCoreMap-REV012320-23.pdf).

INFORMATION: Media planning to attend should contact Cara Capuano at 949-501-9192 or ccapuano@uci.edu for both parking and event credentials. Attendance and parking are complimentary for media who RSVP in advance.

This in-person event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the Student Center Parking Structure, located near the intersection of Pereira Drive and West Peltason Drive on campus. Langson Library is a short walk from the Irvine Barclay Theatre.

5:30-6:30 p.m. Opening program at the Irvine Barclay Theatre
6:30-7:30 p.m. Reception and exhibit viewing at Langson Library; refreshments will be served 

BACKGROUND: Published in 1623, Shakespeare’s First Folio was a landmark of printing at the time and, as of 2020, is the most expensive piece of literature ever auctioned. Printed seven years after Shakespeare’s death, First Folio was the first compilation of his plays, 18 of which had never been published before.

In celebration of the book’s 400th anniversary, this exhibit delves into what makes First Folio so treasured, with special attention paid to the copy housed in UCI Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives. “400 Years of Shakespeare’s First Folio explores the diverse influences on Shakespeare in the late Renaissance as well as his contributions to the English language and far-reaching impact on the visual arts. Incorporating four centuries of rare books and artwork, the exhibit traces the growing recognition of his genius and his rise in popularity both in England and around the globe.

The exhibit will be on display in Langson Library from May through December 2023 during regular library hours.


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