They’re artifacts, nearly 400 years old, and only 233 are known to have survived to today. But what else has driven collectors to pay as much as $6 million for copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio? What renders this 900-page book so important that it merits a nationwide tour?
Join professional theatre artists from the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival in exploring the world of magic and superstition in Shakespeare’s plays. Students learn about the role of otherworldly creatures in the Elizabethan Age and the deep-rooted traditions of the time, using acting exercises, crafts, and the brilliant works of Shakespeare as a guide.
This interactive Friday Night Family Fun event is suitable for all ages.
Learn to duel – safely, of course. The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival offers an interactive presentation of stage combat techniques, allowing participants to try their hands at wooden-sword dueling in scenes from Shakespeare’s plays. Suitable for grades 3-12.
More than 400 years have passed since William Shakespeare penned his last play. And yet his prose, plots, and characters are as alive today as they were in the late 16th and early 17th centuries – performed on stage in almost every language around the world, required reading for high school English students, and reimagined by filmmakers.
While Shakespeare wasn’t a composer, he made his love of music apparent. “How sweet sour music is,” he wrote for instance in Richard II, “(w)hen time is broke and no proportion kept.”
Kansas City’s Bach Aria Soloists and Heart of America Shakespeare Festival meld the Bard’s poetry and prose with baroque musical masterpieces, joining onstage for an evening of rich, emotional storytelling.
Hollywood has adapted, sampled, and stolen from William Shakespeare for more than a century – seeing his works as a source of prestige as soon as the commercial possibilities of narrative movies were apparent. The Ciné Shakespeare series features four of the best films featuring the Bard or his works in the past 20 years. Joan FitzPatrick Dean, the Curators Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, introduces the selections and leads a discussion after each Sunday afternoon screening.
Ralph Fiennes makes his directorial debut and casts himself in the lead role of Caius Martius, the banished Roman general who aligns with a sworn enemy (Gerard Butler) to take revenge on the city. Fiennes shot this brilliant adaptation in war-ravaged Serbia. This title is Rated R and is recommended for adult audiences only.
Learn and then apply the art of wooden-sword dueling in two interactive sessions offered by the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. Participants first are taught the basics of hand-to-hand combat and swordplay. In the second session, they modernize dialogue from Shakespeare’s plays and employ both that dialogue and their new sword fighting skills in enacting short scenes. Appropriate for teens.
The late 19th- and early 20th-century millionaire businessman Henry Clay Folger and his wife Emily spent a lifetime tracking down one of literature’s greatest treasures, the first collection of Shakespeare’s plays. Known as the First Folio, it was published seven years after the Bard’s death in 1616 and surviving copies are valued at upwards of $5-6 million today. Folger and his wife founded the Shakespeare Folger Library to house his volumes and other Shakespeare materials, and it now holds 82 of the 233 copies of the Folio known to still exist.
Take Shakespeare’s mistaken-identity farce, The Comedy of Errors. Give it a modern, hip-hop flavor. And you get The Bomb-itty of Errors, a unique, clever, often laugh-out-loud musical adaptation that debuted off-Broadway in 1999.