Year of the Bard

WIlliam Shakespeare, The World Shakespeare Festival, 2012 Cultural Olympiad, multicultural Shakespeare, festivals and celebrations, plays and perfomrancesIt’s been a great year for Bard lovers. As part of the Cultural Olympiad, The World Shakespeare Festival was formed by over 50 global arts organizations. It’s the biggest celebration of Shakespeare ever undertaken, with events planned all around the world.

Some of the many great things about Shakespeare’s plays make them enduring, adaptable, and flexible in interpretation, presentation, language and location.

One of the Festival highlights was the Globe to Globe Festival: A unique Shakespearean event – 37 plays in 37 languages. It began in April on Will’s 448th birthday, and concluded with The Globe’s own production of Henry V, the only English language production.

Two more English powerhouses, Simon Russell Beale and Mark Rylance, are currently taking on Timon of Athens and Richard III respectively. Anyone in or around London these days has been, and will continue to be, enthralled.

There’s still a lot more to come before the Festival concludes. Check out about.com’s great roundup of events.

Locally, The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot! is back with its popular form of free summer delivery (expect to pay the meters) in New York City.

Speak the speech

To celebrate this year of Shakespeare, WNYC’s Sara Fishko put together a fun piece from Shakespeare’s most famous play.

Listen to nine actors play segments from The Be or Not to Be soliloquy, covering about 100 years of Hamlet on film and radio, and with interpretations ranging from posh to modern speak.

Who’s your favorite Hamlet?

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