Image - speaker photos and street painting of Shakespeare
Image - speaker photos and street painting of Shakespeare

Humanities West Presents Shakespeare’s First Folio’s 400th Anniversary

On November 8, 1623, just seven years after Shakespeare’s death, his plays were collected and published in what is now known as The First Folio. It is surmised that half his plays might have been lost if the First Folio had not been created when it was, and Humanities West is celebrating not losing that much literary gold with a 400th anniversary program on Shakespeare’s cultural contributions.

Roland Greene will speak on "The First Folio as Cultural Engine." If the Folio had not been published, we would have been left without several famous plays, but also without many other cultural influences that still resonate centuries later. Shakespeare’s plays continue to have such a strong effect on our world today that it is hard to imagine our culture without them. But imagine that; Professor Greene will.

Kip Cranna will speak on "Shakespeare in Song: Operas Inspired by the Bard." Shakespeare has been the source of more operas than any other writer. Generations of composers have brought his dramas to musical life in fascinating ways in a vast variety of styles. Cranna will explore some of these intriguing page-to-stage transformations using video examples (with subtitles) that will take you on a brief literary tour of Shakespearean operas. To quote the Bard, “If music be the food of love, sing on till I am fill'd with joy!”

A Humanities Member-led Forum program. Forums at the Club are organized and run by volunteer programmers who are members of The Commonwealth Club, and they cover a diverse range of topics. Learn more about our Forums.

In association with Humanities West and the Stanford Humanities Center.

Image - Kip Cranna

Clifford (Kip) Cranna

Dramaturg Emeritus (Scholar in Residence), San Francisco Opera; Opera Appreciation Lecturer, the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes (OLLI) at University of California Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and Dominican University

Image - Roland Greene

Roland Greene

Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Stanford University; Director, Stanford Humanities Center; Author, Five Words: Critical Semantics in the Age of Shakespeare and Cervantes

Image - George Hammond

George Hammond

Author, Conversations With Socrates—Moderator