Susan Withee, Adult Services Manager
Manhattan and KSU are in the throes of a full-out Shakespeare First Folio frenzy this month! Joining in that spirit, Manhattan Public Library invites you to share the genius, joy, and fun of Shakespeare with us at three different events – a Shakespeare Faire here at the library on Saturday, February 20, with programs for all ages; a series of four modern film adaptations of Shakespeare plays on Saturday afternoons from February into March; and a casual evening Shakespeare Reading Party (with delicious hors d’oeuvres) on Thursday, March 3, at 6:30 p.m. at the Little Apple Brewing Company.
To kick it all off, join us for a Shakespeare Faire for all ages on February 20 from 10:00-3:00 p.m. The day’s programs will include a workshop for kids, insightful and informative talks, live music, Renaissance instruments, open mic poetry and readings, experimental theatre, and a critically acclaimed film. You’re welcome to come for a single program, come for all, or choose from the buffet.
Here’s the program line-up for the Shakespeare Faire:
10:00 a.m., auditorium: “Shakespeare Workshop for Kids.” Recommended for age 6-14, but all are welcome. Warm up by shouting some pithy Shakespearean insults (“You beetle-headed, flap-eared knave!”). Then discover more about Shakespeare’s world and Elizabethan England, play a trivia game, and explore the language of the time through word play. Presenter: Melissa Poll, KSU College of Music, Theater, and Dance.
11:00 a.m., Groesbeck Room: “Tinkering with Shakespeare’s Text” presented by Michael Donnelly, with an afterword from Don Hedrick, both faculty members in the KSU English Department.
11:30 a.m., auditorium: KSU Collegium Musicum presents a Renaissance Instrument Petting Zoo. If you’ve ever been curious about sackbuts, viols, cornetti, crumhorns, frame drums, and lutes, here is your chance. Some instruments are to see and some are to try. There will also be examples of turn-of-the-17th-century printed music.
12:00 noon, auditorium: KSU Collegium Musicum directed by David Wood offers a program of Renaissance vocal music and recorders that is sure to be a delight.
12:30 p.m., Groesbeck Room: Speed Scholars from the KSU English Department present short, TED-style talks on a variety of Shakespeare-related topics. Presenters include Kara Northway, Wendy Matlock, Tosha Sampson-Choma, and Joe Sutliff Sanders, and their topics include the history of the First Folio, the literary roots of Shakespeare’s plays, Shakespearean characters reimagined, and the modern uses of Shakespeare in comic book format.
1:00 p.m., main atrium: “Sonnets & Soliloquies: Open Mic” will be your chance to step up to the microphone and declaim from the library’s atrium balcony. Join KSU students at the open mic as they and you read favorite passages from Shakespeare’s drama and poetry. Selections for you to choose from will be available at the event, or bring your own script!
2:00 p.m., auditorium: “Experimenting with Shakespeare: Short Plays Inspired by Hamlet” presented by the students of the Manhattan Experimental Theater Workshop led by Jim Hamilton and Gwethalyn Williams.
Also on Saturday, February 20, from 3:00-5:00 in the auditorium we’ll show the first in a series of four modern film adaptations of Shakespeare plays. This first film is a 2012 black-and-white contemporary reinterpretation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies. Filled with scheming, mistaken identity, betrayal, and a contentious romance, the film showcases the human tendency to create a lot of fuss, bother, and drama about …, well, nothing! Rated PG-13, this film is more suited to older teens and adults.
Join us at the Little Apple Brewing Company on Thursday, March 3, at 6:30 p.m. for a casual evening Shakespeare Reading Party, accompanied by generous hors d’oeuvres courtesy of the Manhattan Library Association. Drinks and dinner available at your own expense. We’ll take turns reading our way through Shakespeare’s shortest play and one of his most farcical comedies, “The Comedy of Errors,” with plenty of time-outs for conversation, food, and beverages. The play centers around two sets of identical twins separated at birth and is full of mistaken identities, slapstick humor, confusion, wordplay, and puns. Copies of the play are available for free download to your e-reader device from Project Gutenberg and are available for purchase from amazon.com for $4.95 (the Signet Classic paperback edition). A few paperback copies will be available at the event for those who decide to drop in and enjoy the fun.