About the First Folio

Shakespeare is coming to Wisconsin!

University of Wisconsin–Madison Libraries, UW Arts Institute, and the Chazen Museum of Art, along with other partners across this state, will join together the 400 year legacy worldwide celebration of Shakespeare with the Wisconsin Idea with a Year of Shakespeare in Wisconsin!

The Wisconsin state Legislature honors the work of Shakespeare with 2015 Joint Resolution 96, recognizing the nationally touring exhibition of Shakespeare’s First Folio

As one of the exhibition destinations for the Folger Shakespeare Library’s First Folio Tour in 2016, UW-Madison is also helping to coordinate opportunities to experience the influence of Shakespeare across Wisconsin. Shakespeare in Wisconsin 2016 will include state-wide performance experiences, K-12 educational opportunities, among other events, to showcase the ways in which Shakespeare still influences the world, including the lives of those right here in Wisconsin.

The Shakespeare in Wisconsin 2016 will kick off on April 20 as we welcome actress Anna Deavere Smith to campus, thanks to collaboration between the Distinguished Lecture Series, the Libraries, and the Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries. Other key events include a special lecture in October, when luminaries from Wisconsin will present an original performance on Shakespeare’s endearing legacy. Finally, the First Folio exhibition will open in November at the Chazen Museum of Art. Additional events and exhibits showcasing other works by Shakespeare can be expected throughout the year as well, including exhibits in the Department of Special Collections and the Kohler Art Library.


Shakespeare’s legacy is as alive and well in Wisconsin as it is anywhere. His works are still studied in schools all over the state and his plays still grace stages like the ones at the Overture Center and the American Player’s Theatre. Earlier this year, UW-Madison launched its third Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), entitled “Shakespeare in Community.” A special series called “Holding History” was also developed by UW-Madison faculty and staff as a way to draw students of all ages to the wonders of Shakespeare.

As part of the Shakespeare in Wisconsin 2016 initiative, the UW-Madison Libraries, UW-Madison Arts Institute, and the Chazen Museum of Art will provide marketing materials via our Electronic Press Kit and opportunities for sponsors, partners, and participants involved in the program.

Information about becoming involved in Shakespeare in Wisconsin 2016 can be found in our sponsorship page.

Welcome to Shakespeare in Wisconsin 2016! Won’t you join us?

Join the conversation on social media using #UWShakespeare2016 or #ShakespeareInWisc2016.