St. John's College & Shakespeare's First Folio



Performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Saturday, February 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 21 at 2:00 p.m.
Peterson Student Center, Great Hall
Admission, $20

The New Mexico Shakespeare Project’s plays, events, and educational programs bring together professional theatre artists, students, and community members into ensembles that closely engage with the works of Shakespeare and other classical authors through a process of collaborative inquiry. The New Mexico Shakespeare Project and St. John’s College, Santa Fe will collaborate during the 2015-2016 school year to explore William Shakespeare’s Hamlet through a series of public seminars and open rehearsals culminating in a final performance of the play in February 2016.



Friday, February 5, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Peterson Student Center, Great Hall
Natalie Elliot
“Shakespeare’s Poetics of Science”

In the past several years, a small group Shakespeare scholars have begun to take note of the many allusions to scientific theories and technological innovations that appear in Shakespeare’s plays. Some have explored Shakespeare’s presentation of Copernican astronomy in Hamlet; others have explained the significance of atomism and corpuscularism for King Lear; and still others have observed Shakespeare’s attention to novel technologies, including gunpowder, the compass, and the printing press. This line of research is significant because it draws our attention to the fact that Shakespeare, in addition to being a profound interpreter of human nature, also used his plays to explore the challenges of scientific change. By familiarizing ourselves with the science that Shakespeare explores, we can begin to see how one of the greatest poet-philosophers used his dramatic poetry to respond to the burgeoning scientific world. To explore Shakespeare’s poetics of science, I will turn to Hamlet, King Lear, and a selection of other plays to show how Shakespeare presents to us the human implications of scientific change. In doing so, I will make the case that Shakespeare offers a historically fascinating view of the scientific debates of early modernity, and presents a model for responding to the scientific debates of our own time.


Piraeus Seminar—open only to SJC alumni and their spouses

February 5-7, 2016; check-in at 5 p.m. on February 5 in the Senior Common Room
The Uses of Adversity: Shakespeare’s As You Like It and The Tempest
Led by J. Walter Sterling A93 and Sarah Stickney A04

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”

We’ll journey with the playful and masterful Rosalind, “the first modern lover” (Bloom), to the forest of Arden, then endure the “rough magic” of Prospero on his isle. Each great play stands on its own, but the juxtaposition of these remarkable “comedies” may illuminate shared themes of love and marriage, of course, but also of usurpation and exile, justice and forgiveness, court and wilderness, and the magic of the theatrical.

Participants will have a chance to view together the exhibition of Shakespeare’s First Folio (1623), opening at the New Mexico Museum of Art on February 5, as part of its national tour from the Folger Library.
Seminar tuition: $400; special rate of $200 for recent alumni (2006-2015). On-campus housing not available; see registration page for information on special rates at local hotels.


Community Seminar
The Experimental Hamlet,

St. John’s College tutor Natalie Elliot will lead this multifaceted seminar. 
Shakespeare not only lived and wrote during the scientific revolution of the early seventeenth century, he also explored poetically its profound philosophical and cultural consequences. In this set of seminars, which are being held in honor of the arrival of Shakespeare's Folio to Santa Fe from February 5 through 28, 2016, we will turn to Hamlet to explore how Shakespeare illuminates the beginnings of modern science on both the stage and on the page.

Attend the live production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  The performance will be the focus of the second half of the seminar.  Admission to the performance of your choice, based on availability, is included in the seminar fee.

SEMINAR:  SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21 FROM 1 PM – 4 PM            
COST:  $80

Register Online at

Register by Phone: (505) 984-6118
Register by Email:  ygruber(at)