Celebrating Shakespeare's birthday
Sunday, April 19, 2015, noon to 4:00
- Tour the Folger reading rooms—not usually open to the public—and see their paintings and stained glass windows
- Five-minute versions of Shakespeare’s plays from the Nickel Shakespeare girls
- A mobile unit from the DC Public Library, where students can get a library card and hear stories about Shakespeare and his time.
- Musical performances by WETA Classical Players
- Swordfighting demonstrations by Casey Kaleba, the fight choreographer for an array of Folger Theatre productions.
- A scavenger hunt of the current exhibition, Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude
- Shakespeare’s Lounge, a space to hear engaging talks about rare book conservation, the upcoming 2016 celebration of The Wonder of Will, and the science of navigation (with a guest speaker from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)
- An opportunity to speak Shakespeare in the Folger Theatre
- Performances from local students
- And...birthday cake!
Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture
Lynne Magnusson: Shakespeare and the Language of Possibility
Thursday, April 16, 2015, 7:30pm
In this free lecture, Professor Lynne Magnusson of the University of Toronto will explore how Shakespeare’s language challenged, edited, and reframed early modern conceptions of speech. This is a lecture about how a set of small words—may, can, will, would, ought, must, shall, should—is used creatively in Shakespeare’s plays to ground situations in potentiality. Focusing especially on “shall” and “may” in Julius Caesar, this talk explores how Shakespeare grounds his plots in imagined and contested futures. Brutus reflects that Julius Caesar “would be crowned. / How that might change his nature.” Deliberating his course of action, Brutus is driven by what “Caesar may. / Then lest he may, prevent.” Professor Magnusson will explain how these common auxiliary verbs play key roles in dramatic dialogue and in the complex mental deliberation of individual characters.
Magnusson’s lecture opens the Folger Institute's symposium, Shakespeare’s Language.