Skip to Main Content
  • Photo of First Folio

First Folio at Boise State

To be, or not to be, that is the Question:

How do we know about Shakespeare’s plays? For many of them, the answer is one book: the 1623 First Folio. Without it, 18 plays that had never been printed before could have been lost.

Now you have the chance to see one of the world’s most influential books firsthand! Boise State University is honored to host First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC.

This free exhibition explores Shakespeare’s impact, both during his lifetime and now, and is accompanied by digital content and a month of interactive activities.

The exhibit features an original First Folio – the first published collection of Shakespeare’s plays – printed in London in 1623, which contains the saved plays All’s Well That Ends Well, Antony and Cleopatra, As You Like It, Comedy of Errors, Coriolanus, Cymbeline, Henry VI Part 1, Henry VIII, Julius Caesar, King John, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Timon of Athens, Twelfth Night, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Winter’s Tale.

This year, to honor the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the First Folio will be traveling to all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. The locations include 23 museums, 20 universities, six public libraries, and three historical societies. This is the first time a First Folio will visit Idaho!

Share your experiences with the First Folio exhibit and events on social media using the hashtags #FirstFolio and #BoiseState!


August 20 – September 21, 2016

Arts and Humanities Institute Gallery
Yanke Family Research Park
220 Parkcenter Blvd, Boise, ID 83706
Click for a map to the First Folio location

Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday 12 – 5 p.m.

First Folio Official Logo from the Folger Shakespeare Library

First Folio Decorative Border colored Orange



Opening Celebration

Saturday August 20, 1-5pm
Join us, along with Folger Shakespeare Librarian Daniel DeSimone, to celebrate the opening of our month-long exhibit. Experience performances by Boise State and Idaho Shakespeare Festival actors, music, food, demonstrations, and activities for all ages throughout the afternoon.

10 Things I Hate About You

Thursday August 25, 7pm
See the 1999 teen romance adaptation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, starring Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger.

This event is part of #BroncoWelcome, screened at the Student Union intramural field.

Keynote Speaker, Eric Rasmussen

Thursday September 1, 7pm
In November of 2014, Professor Eric Rasmussen authenticated a newly discovered Saint-Omer copy of the Shakespeare First Folio at a public library in the north of France. News of its discovery ‘went viral’, receiving an astonishing 12.5 billion online page views worldwide. Rasmussen will share the tale.

All The World’s A Stage Direction

Monday September 12, 7pm
Boise State Professor Gordon Reinhardt and actors compare modern editions of Shakespeare’s plays side-by-side with the First Folio, exploring how spelling, capitalization, italics, and other aspects offer clues and hints to the actor. Q & A.

Family Day

Saturday September 17, 1-5pm
Performances and activities for the whole family, featuring Boise Public Library’s “To Bee or Not to Bee”, Shake It Up After-School 6-8th Grade performers, fold your own folio, and other hands-on activities.

Closing Celebration

Wednesday September 21, 7pm
Join a panel of Folio event coordinators on the final evening of the First Folio in Idaho as they discuss the nearly 2 year process from application to exhibit. Afterward, experience a special, remount performance of Friends and Lovers by Idaho Dance Theatre which brings Shakespeare’s language to life in voice and movement, choreographed by Marla Hansen.

Click to see all First Folio events, including plays, films, classes, and special opportunities for teachers

Image of First Folio Decorative Border colored Orange

First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library, has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor, and by the support of, Vinton and Sigrid Cerf, the British Council, Stuart and Mimi Rose, and other generous donors.