Shakespeare’s Birthday Bash
In Bryant Park Will Offer Performances, Music And Participatory Events, All Free.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
12:30 to 2:30 pm
Come for the Shakespeare Flash Mob, read a Shakespeare monologue & stay for lunch.
NEW YORK — William Shakespeare turns 451 on Thursday, April 23 and on that day, to celebrate the Bard’s birthday, The Drilling Company and Bryant Park Shakespeare will take over Bryant Park for the second year in a row with “Shakespeare’s Birthday Bash” from 12:30 to 2:30. An energetic, two-hour collection of live performances and participatory events will be offered, all free to the public.
Peppering the park from 12:30 to 1:00 PM, a “Shaksepearean Flash Mob” of over fifty actors from The Drilling Company will perform excerpts from every play in the Shakespeare Canon. Great speeches, scenes, sonnets and more will be offered. Performers will include (as of this writing) Robert Agis, Vanessa Altshuler, Marlain Angelides, Ivory Aquino, Ella Dershowitz, Adit Dilep, Lauren Downie, Tori Ernst, Noelle Franco, Lauriel Friedman, Ziv Gidron, Sara Glancy, Andrew Gombas, Tygar Hicks, Luke Hoffmaier, Kelsie Jepsen, Meg Kiley Smith, Kineta Kunutu, Amanda Lederer, Michaela Lind, Dave Marantz, Iris McQuilla-Grace, Tom McVey, Zlatomir Moldovanski, Michael Sazonov, John Smiley, Jack Sochet, Drew Valins, Ryan Ward, Grace Winchester and Katie Zaffran.
On the Fountain Terrrace Stage from 1:00 to 1:30, Shakespearean song stylings will be performed with vocals and string instruments by Thicket & Thistle, a NYC-based folk band and writing/performance collective which focuses on devising new works which interweave theater and original music. The ensemble is led by Jonathan Eric Foster, Artistic Director and Sarah George, Managing Director and includes company members Kyle Acheson, Sam De Roest, Nyssa Duchow and Corley Pillsbury. Songs based on sonnets will be the day’s fare.
On the Fountain Terrace Stage from 1:30 to 2:00, audience members can win a free T-shirt by grabbing a microphone and reading a Shakespearean speech aloud. Last year, bystanders formed a sizeable and appreciative mob of groundlings around the Fountain Terrace Stage for this event.
Througout the bash, on the Fountain Terrace, a Shakespeare’s Birthday Banner will be raised for all to enjoy. You can write your own sonnet or favorite Shakespearean quotation, or inscribe your own birthday greeting, on a large scrolling banner. Messages from last year’s attendees will be on display in what is becoming an installation of perennial contributions from New York aficianados.
Bryant Parks food service kiosks will be open, making this event a delightfully complete lunchtime diversion for Midtown.
The Drilling Company made its Bryant Park debut last Spring with this birthday celebration and a production of “Hamlet.” This year, The Drilling Company has been invited back to for a three-show season in Bryant Park, and will present “Two Gentlemen of Verona” May 15 to 31, directed by Hamilton Clancy; “Romeo and Juliet” July 10 to 26, directed by Dave Marantz and “The Taming of the Shrew” September 4 to 20, directed by Alessandro Colla.
The Drilling Company is well known as the producer of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, a series of free Shaksepare productions that have been presented on the Lower East Side for over 20 years. This year, the series is moving from its original space in the Municipal Parking lot at Ludlow and Broome Streets to a new parking lot behind The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center (CSV), 114 Norfolk located on the east side of Norfolk Street between Delancey and Rivington Streets. “As You Like It,” directed by Hamilton Clancy, will be presented July 9 to 26 and “Macbeth,” director TBA, will be staged July 30 to August 15.
Shakespeare’s Birthday Bash is presented by Bryant Park Corporation and The Drilling Company. For info on upcoming Drilling Company productions call 212-873-9050 or visit www.shakespeareintheparkinglot.com and www.drillingcompany.org. For info on Bryant Park events only, see: www.bryantpark.org, @bryantparknyc and #bpshakespeare.