There will be much ado about Shakespeare on Sunday, April 24, when the Huntington celebrates the Bard’s birthday with a family festival and the publication of a new book.
As if to prove that all the world’s a stage, roving actors from the troupe Shakespeare at Play will stroll through the grounds throughout the day, performing scenes from The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merry Wives of Windsor, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure for Measure, and A Winter’s Tale.
Mingling with the actors, lords and ladies from the Elizabethan re-enactment group Guild of St. George will add historical context to the performances, standing in for both the boisterous audiences and noble patrons of Shakespeare’s day.
Period music, ranging from lively galliards to stately pavans, will be performed by the Southern California Early Music Consort, and children will be invited to take part in maypole dancing and a Shakespeare treasure hunt.
There will be signs of Shakespeare everywhere, including botanical quotes in the Shakespeare Garden, ‘Sweet Juliet’ and ‘Othello’ blooms in the Rose Garden, a portrait of “Lear and Cordelia” in the Scott Gallery, and the First Folio of his plays in the Library.
At 2:30 in Friends’ Hall, author Jane Purcell will give a talk and sign copies of her new book, Not of an Age But for All Time: Shakespeare at The Huntington, published by the Huntington Library Press.
Henry Huntington took great pride in the fact that an American library in California could match the Shakespeare collections of two of England’s most eminent libraries — Oxford’s Bodelian and the British Library, and Purcell chronicles the making of the landmark collection, and discusses why the early editions of Shakespeare’s plays continue to be important to scholars, readers, and performers.Activities will be offered from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and are included in museum admission: $15 adults, $12 seniors, $10 students (ages 12-18), $6 youth (ages 5-11), and free for children under 5. Members are admitted free. Information: (626) 405-2100 or www.huntington.org