April 23 is William Shakespeare’s birthday (and also his death day, coincidentally). A one-name celebrity on par with Madonna and Oprah, no other English-language writer has so thoroughly engaged our imaginations or provided us with such enduring stories. (Actually, this might be a fun point to debate, but out of respect for the bard’s birthday will save the arguments for another time.)
Whether you mean to be or not, you’re surely familiar with Shakespeare. Perhaps you read his plays in school or saw a live Shakespeare production. Or maybe you’re a Shakespeare fan and don’t even know it. The musical Kiss Me Kate, and the movie/TV show 10 Things I Hate About You? Those are both adaptations of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Or how about the musical West Side Story, which is a take on the tragedy Romeo and Juliet? Shakespeare shows up just as frequently in modern fiction; Jane Smiley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning A Thousand Acres, for instance, puts Shakespeare’s King Lear on an American farm.
But whether you’re an avowed or accidental fan of Shakespeare, there’s no better way to experience his magic than to speak his words yourself. That’s why we host Read Along Shakespeare each month at the Library. At 7 pm, on the first Monday, you can come play a part (or three) in one of Shakespeare’s plays. From the tragedies to the comedies, come unleash your inner dramatist and see why Shakespeare’s words have endured for so long. No costumes required.
Upcoming dates for Read Along Shakespeare
Monday, May 7, 7 p.m. King Lear (the second half).
Monday, June 4, 7 p.m. The Tempest