Title page of the "First Folio" with engraving of Shakespeare. Credit: Folger Shakespeare Library.
Title page of the “First Folio” with engraving of Shakespeare. Credit: Folger Shakespeare Library.

The first book of plays from the greatest playwright in the English language will be on display at the San Diego Central Library for four days beginning Saturday.

“Mr. William Shakespeare‘s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies,” published in 1623 and more commonly known as the “First Folio,” will be on view opened to the page with “To be or not to be” from Hamlet.

The Old Globe and the San Diego Public Library were selected as the only stop in California for a national traveling exhibition organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

The book, in which 36 of Shakespeare’s plays were first assembled, will be on display in the library’s art gallery on the 9th floor from June 4 through June 7.

There will also be a large exhibition detailing Shakespeare’s eight-decade presence in San Diego on The Old Globe’s stages, featuring original props, costumes, photographs, and ephemera from the theater’s archive.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.