Franklin Pierce Alum, Maribeth Cote '11 on the Road with Shakespeare

April 26, 2016

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Maribeth Cote '11, Franklin Pierce Alumnae and Public Engagement Coordinator for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, will discuss the First Folio! tour at Franklin Pierce University in Spagnuolo Hall on Thursday, April 28th at 4:30 pm. Her visit is part of Franklin Pierce's Alumni Speakers Series.

Cote, who has a B.A. in History and Minor in Public History, was hired in early 2015 by the Folger to be Public Engagement Coordinator for the tour, which is titled First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare. Her two-year appointment is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“They (the Folger staff) were really looking for someone who had a passion for getting this history out in new and innovative ways,” Cote says, “but also someone who knew British history, and loved Shakespeare, and had experience with public programs, with doing those out in the field -- and so I ticked all those boxes.”

The Folio tour contains 18 of Shakespeare’s plays, including Macbeth, Twelfth Night and Julius Caesar, -- works that had not been seen in print until seven years after the playwright’s April 1616 death. The tour is visiting all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico in 2016.

“First Folio” is a scholarly nickname for what was originally put on sale for about $150 in London. “Folio” refers to the printing format and the project was led by two of Shakespeare’s acting buddies from the King’s Men Company. Readers, actors, theatergoers and scholars owe them a huge debt of gratitude, as Shakespeare’s manuscripts have long ago disappeared.

About 750 of the editions were painstakingly printed in William Jagger’s London shop, and, thanks to the obsessive quest of Henry and Emily Folger in the late 1800s, the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington owns 82 of the surviving 233 copies. That makes it a special destination for Shakespeare scholars.

Since January of last year Cote has worked with the Folger team to create and facilitate the various educational events taking place at each of the tour’s 52 venues -- one in every state and also in Puerto Rico and the Folger’s home base of Washington, D.C. First Folio! kicked off January 2016 at the Sam Noble Museum on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman and wraps up in January 2017 at the historic Parthenon replica in Nashville, Tennessee.

The First Folio! tour is currently at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH until May 1. For more information on the tour visit



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Franklin Pierce University is a regionally accredited university grounded in the liberal arts, with a focus on personal attention and high-quality instruction. The University consists of the College at Rindge and the College of Graduate & Professional Studies with locations in Arizona and throughout New Hampshire. Degrees are offered through the doctoral level. The institutional mission embraces an education that matters: one that achieves academic success through the integration of liberal arts and professional programs. Our community of educators and learners creates an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity and encourages experiential and applied learning. A Franklin Pierce experience enables each student to discover and fulfill his or her own unique potential. We prepare students to become confident, knowledgeable individuals and leaders of conscience.

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