(Henry VIII, I, ii)
After a successful public fund-raising campaign to digitise the Bodleian’s copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, the next stage of the project is to involve different groups of readers and help them to enjoy this great free resource.
On 22 June a workshop for teachers at KS5 on ‘Teaching with the First Folio’ took place at Hertford College. After introductions to the project and to the book from Pip Willcox and Emma Smith, colleagues worked on lesson plans showing how they might use the digitised folio in different teaching contexts.
We had contributions on a wonderful range of topics, from using stage directions to understand the power relations of a scene in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to the toggling between ‘thee’ and ‘you’ in speeches in The Tempest. We discussed ways that the marriage of Rosalind and Orlando at the end of As You Like It isn’t as straight as we might assume if we look at the Folio texts, and the ways that editors make decisions to clarify, but also to disambiguate, possible readings.
You can see some of their reactions in the post-it notes pictured (we especially liked “Inspirational: can’t wait to get started doing it!”).
Their lesson resources will be added to the First Folio site, under the same Creative Commons license as the images (CC-BY), over the summer.
Thanks to all who made the workshop such a success. Funding permitting, we have plans for another teachers’ day, and a day working with actors to understand the Folio’s performance possibilities.