Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Folger Shakespeare Library presents Shakespeare + Manga

March 7, 2007

Press Contact:
Tim Swoape, 202.675.0344 / tswoape
Teri Cross Davis, 202.675.0374 / tdavis

Folger Shakespeare Library presents Shakespeare + Manga as part of the Words on Will lecture series

Shakespeare’s plays adapted into Japanese-style illustrated books

(WASHINGTON, DC) The plays of William Shakespeare meet the highly stylized Japanese illustration form known as manga (Japanese for “whimsical pictures”) in The Manga Editions. Writer/adaptor Adam Sexton and illustrator Yali Lin discuss their work on The Manga Editions during Shakespeare + Manga at Folger Shakespeare Library on Monday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m. They will be joined by moderator Marc Singer, a comics scholar and assistant professor of English at Howard University. Their discussion is the final installment of this season’s Words on Will, a lecture series in which luminaries from across the world of arts, letters, and other fields discuss the role Shakespeare has played in their lives and work.

Tickets, which include the discussion and a reception, are $12 for adults and $6 for students. Tickets may be purchased at the Folger box office, 202.544.7077, or online at

Published by Wiley, The Manga Editions present four newly adapted and fully-illustrated editions of Shakespeare’s plays: Macbeth, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, and Romeo and Juliet. The Manga Editions are the latest in a 400-year tradition of translating and adapting Shakespeare’s plays into different languages and multiple media.

In order to fit their adaptations into books of less than 200 pages, the writers and editors of The Manga Editions have cut words, lines, speeches, and even entire scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, a practice almost universal among stage and film directors. However, they never paraphrased Shakespeare’s language or summarize the action. Every word in The Manga Editions was written by William Shakespeare himself.

According to the publisher, manga is potentially more visual than a theatrical production of Shakespeare’s plays. Unbound by the physical realities of the theater, the graphic novel can depict any situation, no matter how fantastical or violent, that its creators are able to pencil, ink, and shade.

Writer/adaptor Adam Sexton is author of Master Class in Fiction Writing and editor of the anthologies Love Stories, Rap on Rap, and Desperately Seeking Madonna. He has written on art and entertainment for The New York Times and The Village Voice, and he teaches fiction writing and literature at New York University and critical reading and writing at Parsons The New School for Design. He is a graduate of Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Manga illustrator Yali Lin was born in southern China and moved to New York with her family in 1995. She earned a BFA in Cartooning from the School of Visual Arts in 2006. Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, The Manga Edition is her first published work. She currently teaches cartooning and manga courses to young teens in Manhattan.

Moderator Marc Singer is an assistant professor of English at Howard University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Singer regularly reviews new works of comics scholarship for the International Journal of Comic Art, and he is the former chair of the International Comic Arts Forum, an academic conference on comics. His own research on comics has twice won the M. Thomas Inge Award for Comics Scholarship.

DATE & TIME: Monday, March 31, 2007 at 7:30 p.m.
LOCATION: Folger Theatre at Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC
TICKETS: $12 adults / $6 students; Purchase at Folger box office, 202.544.7077, or online at
METRO: Capitol South (blue/orange lines)
PARKING: Street parking in neighborhood. Please read and obey all posted signs.

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