Shaking Up Shakespeare

Celebrate the 400-year anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio with a year-long series featuring the Bard’s timeless works.

The library’s series Shaking Up Shakespeare celebrates the iconic playwright’s work through classroom-style discussions, theatrical performances and screenings of modern movies inspired by the plays. 

A collection of Shakespeare’s plays, the First Folio was published in 1623, seven years after his death. It’s estimated that nearly half of his plays had never previously been in print, including As You Like It, Julius Caesar, Macbeth and The Tempest. Without the First Folio, 18 of the Bard’s works might have been lost forever to history. 

The series will explore four of Shakespeare’s popular works: Romeo and Juliet, The Sonnets, The Taming of the Shrew and Macbeth.

Patrons can expect one program per month, all of which takes place on Wednesdays at 6 pm from January to December. The first 15 registrants of each lecture program will receive a free copy of a related No Fear Shakespeare. Check out the full lineup below. 

Click on the links to register. 

Romeo and Juliet

Jan. 18: Hear a lecture about Shakespeare’s tragic romance about star-crossed lovers from Dr. Parmita Kapadia, a professor of English at Northern Kentucky University (NKU), who has published extensively on Shakespeare in postcolonial cultures. 

Feb. 15: See Louisville-based group Kentucky Shakespeare bring key scenes from Romeo and Juliet to life in a free performance.

March 29: Watch Steven Spielberg’s 2021 Oscar-nominated film adaptation of the play. 


The Sonnets 

April 19: Dr. Parmita Kapadia returns with a lecture on The Sonnets, just in time for National Poetry Month. 

May 17: Enjoy a performance from The Shakespeare Pair, who will recreate select sonnets through lute and soliloquy as Shakespeare’s original audiences would have heard it. 

June 21: Learn about costume design in Shakespearean productions with NKU’s Ronnie Chamberlain, an associate professor of theatre and dance in costume and technology. Attendees will even see actual costumes used in NKU’s School of the Arts (SOTA) productions. 


The Taming of the Shrew

July 26: NKU’s Dr. Emily Detemer-Goebel, the director of general education, will provide a lecture and discussion on The Taming of the Shrew, a comedy following the courtship between the strong-headed Katharina and witty Petruchio. 

Aug. 23: Kentucky Shakespeare is back with another live performance; this time, enjoy select scenes from The Taming of the Shrew.

Sept. 20: Strings are pulled and antics ensue in Gil Junger’s beloved cult classic adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew



Oct. 25: Learn about Macbeth in a lecture from NKU’s Dr. Barclay Green. The tragedy follows General Macbeth, who is told in a prophecy from three witches that he will be King of Scotland. 

Nov. 29: Enjoy Kentucky Shakespeare’s last performance of the year at the library, which features select scenes from Macbeth.

Dec. 20: Close out Shaking Up Shakespeare with Billy Morrissette’s 2001 black comedy retelling of Macbeth. 18+