Bash up on Shakespeare: Celebrating the Bard’s 449th

William Shakespeare, entertainment, famous birthdays, what’s happening in NY, Shakespeare birthday celebrations

As we approach William Shakespeare’s 449th birthday, there are many Bardaroos – performances, tours, parties, and activities for big and little kids – something for Shakespeare fans of all kinds happening here in the US, and internationally. Last year’s bash kicked off with the World Shakespeare Festival in the UK, but this year is a bit more subdued. Everyone must be saving the big stuff for Will’s 450th.

Here’s a list of some interesting events, if you’re looking for a Bard bash.

NYC Celebrations

Sonnets for the City / The Public Theater
Actor Sam Waterston will read selections of the Bard’s sonnets. Along with authors and critics, the evening offers insights into the Bard’s inspirations, his work and its relationship to contemporary culture.

New York Shakespeare Exchange / Five-borough sonnets
The Sonnet Project
: Beginning on 23 april 2013 and for the entire year leading up to Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, The Shakespeare Exchange is releasing internet videos of all 154 sonnets, performed by 154 different actors, in 154 unique locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The videos will be available to the world.

Sonnet Slam 2013 / Central Park, New York City
Shakespeare’s Birthday ~ Sonnet Slam 2013
is a crowdfunding project designed for 154 readers of all ages to recite all 154 sonnets on stage at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, New York City.

US Celebrations

Folger Shakespeare Library / Washington, DC USA
Open House
: Jugglers and jesters, song and dance, stage combat workshops, + more. The Folger reading rooms are open to all – plus, there’s birthday cake for everyone!

Fiske Public Library / Wrentham, MA, USA
William Shakespeare’s Birthday Post Card Contest
: Kids are encouraged to make a postcard with a quote from Shakespeare, and add an image that relates to that quote. Design, mix, submit. Creative Awards will be given for postcards in three categories.

American Shakespeare Center / Staunton, VA USA
Party at the Blackfriars Playhouse
for a Bard birthday celebration with performances, music, door prizes, tours, and festive games for the entire family. You bring family, friends, and neighbors, and the cake is on the ASC.

The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival / Cleveland, OH USA
It’s a Cakes and Ale party! Enjoy selected Shakespearean scenes of drinking, dissoluteness and debauchery. Play games/win prizes, have cake and ice cream too. Go for a drink, or stay for the evening!

International Celebrations

Stratford Festival / Stratford, Ontario, CA
Shakespeare Slam
: The Festival travels to Toronto to present a thought-provoking and irreverent event marking the launch of its new initiative, The Forum. This celebration of culture explores how Shakespeare continues to entertain and inspire. Experience the Bard’s 449th with an evening of debate, music and more.

Shakespeare’s Globe / London, England, UK
The Birthday Whirligig
: Party like it’s 1564! Celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday and the launch of the 2013 Season of Plenty with an evening of music, magic and merriment!

Royal Shakespeare Company / Stratford-upon-Avon and London, England, UK
Birthday performance, As You Like It
: Celebrate Will’s 449th with free events and activities around the theater. Crafts, theater skill workshops, and storytelling for all ages are featured.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust / Stratford-upon-Avon, England, UK
Celebration and procession
in the Bard’s birthplace include tours, luncheons, pageantry and performance throughout the region.

Oxford Castle Unlocked / Oxford, England, UK
Painted Room
: To celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday, visitors to Oxford are getting a peek into the room where the Bard stayed when he was traveling between London and Stratford-upon-Avon. It’s a rare glimpse of its 16th century paintings, and the stories of the room’s celebrated guests.

William Shakespeare, entertainment, famous birthdays, what’s happening in NY, Shakespeare birthday celebrations

Which of Shakespeare’s works would you quote back to him on his birthday?

Ottendorfer Branch
/ New York Public Library, New York City
Celebrations of Juliet and Other Events for Teens:
Shakespeare week focuses on the novel, The Juliet Club, winners of the recitation contest, and lessons in stage combat! 

2 Responses to “Bash up on Shakespeare: Celebrating the Bard’s 449th”

  1. Tim O'Leary Says:

    Great list of events for a great celebration.


  2. Janet Says:

    Thanks Tim. Hope you are participating in one of these events, or an event near you.


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