About Fortnight of Festivities

The year 2023 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s First Folio. Only 235 copies of the roughly 750 printed First Folios have survived. To the envy of many, West Chester University possesses one of these surviving copies (in fact, WCU can boast of having a complete set of the Folios in its collections, including two copies of the second Folio). To mark the First Folio’s milestone birthday, faculty from F.H. G. Library’s Special Collections, Department of Theater and Dance, WCU’s Poetry Center, and the Department of English have been planning a semester-long, highly interdisciplinary celebration, culminating in a Fortnight of Festivities that will run from 10 April through 23 April 2023. Talks on Shakespeare’s legacy in Philadelphia, exhibitions of the Folios, and more will pave the way for this two-week concentration of activities, performances, and talks. During the actual fortnight in April, numerous events are in the works from a sonnet contest for area high school students, to talks on adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, Botanical Shakespeare, a bookmaking workshop, directors and actors on staging Shakespeare for the 21st century, an edible Folio bake-a-thon, Diverse Shakespeare, and much, much more. Fittingly, the Fortnight of Festivities will conclude with an outdoor performance of Twelfth Night on April 23rd, Shakespeare’s birthday.

Special thanks to the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, College of Arts and Humanities, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Francis Harvey Green Library, College of Education and Social Work, WCU’s Poetry Center, Frederick Douglass Institute, and the Departments of English and Theatre and Dance for their generous support.