New Mexico History Museum

The Book’s the Thing: Shakespeare from Stage to Page program events

January 20, 2016


Santa Fe—Where would Shakespeare be without the printing press? Likely we wouldn’t had the thousands of editions of his plays produced over the last four centuries. Not a bad run for one of the most mysterious playwrights in history. From February 5–28, the Palace Press at the New Mexico History Museum presents a special exhibition in collaboration with the New Mexico Museum of Art’s First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare.

In The Book’s the Thing: Shakespeare from Stage to Page, award-winning Palace Press printers Thomas Leech and James Bourland mount a multi-part exhibit with a hands-on twist: The printers will print facsimiles of a First Folio page using a replica “Gutenberg” wooden hand press. Printing sessions will be held 1:30–3:30 pm Tuesdays through Sundays. The Book’s the Thing takes over a previously unused room in the Palace of the Governors, which was built during Shakespeare’s time.

Other exhibit details include:

  • Handmade artist books inspired by the works of Shakespeare.

  • A marbled-paper-and-calligraphy collaboration Leech and artist Patricia Musick.

  • A selection of items ranging from cigar labels to rare books that reveal how Shakespeare’s works have been published and interpreted over time.

Public programs throughout the month:

Tuesdays–Sundays, February 6–28, 1:30–3:30 pm, Printing demonstrations

Palace Press printers Thomas Leech and James Bourland demonstrate Shakespeare-style printing on a replica Gutenberg press in the exhibit space for The Book’s the Thing: Shakespeare from Stage to Page. Free with admission.

Saturday, February 13, 11 am: Music and design preview for the Santa Fe Opera’s UnShakeable

To commemorate both Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary and its own 60th, the Santa Fe Opera commissioned a new work from composer Joseph Illick and librettist Andrea Fellows Walters. Mixing Shakespeare and sci-fi, UnShakeable travels 25 years into the future after a pandemic called “Erasure” has corroded people’s memories. Will Shakespearean actors and former lovers Wyatt and Meridian reconnect and restore their bond? Hear selections performed by baritone Samuel Schultz, soprano Jacquelyn Stucker, and Joseph Illick.

Free in the New Mexico History Museum auditorium; reservations required. Go to the Santa Fe Opera box office or call (505) 986-5900 or (800) 280-4654. Seating is limited.

Sunday, February 21, 1:30–3:30 pm: Family Fun Day

Check out First Folio and The Book’s the Thing, then come to the History Museum classroom to learn how to use crow quill pens and practice calligraphy, Shakespeare-style. Free with admission; Sundays free to NM residents and all children.  

Tuesday, February 23, 10 am: Community-in-Residence at the History Museum

Local arts organizations and Gary Glazner, founder of the internationally acclaimed Alzheimer’s Poetry Project, lead a fun-filled morning creating poetry and song inspired by The Book’s the Thing: Shakespeare from Stage to Page. This event is crafted especially for people with memory illnesses and their care partners, though everyone is welcome to participate. Free.

Friday, February 26, 6 pm: “Hamlet, Hamlet, Hamlet”

Literary scholar Joshua Calhoun analyzes the three distinct versions of Hamlet produced in the 1600s. The Bad Quarto, Good Quarto, and First Folio are often mixed into one during modern performances. The result? A Hamlet who seems more passive and indecisive than the one in the First Folio. Free; seating is limited.

Phone number for publication: (505) 476-5200

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