The Free Library and The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre have declared 2014 the Year of the Bard, with celebrations to come throughout the months ahead. (Image courtesy Free Library of Philadelphia)
Rhymed couplets will be all the rage in 2014, as the Free Library of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre and other arts organizations join together to present the Year of the Bard: Shakespeare at 450, a celebration of the famed playwright.
Every month throughout the year, the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare will be marked with events including an ongoing exhibitions at the Free Library of Philadelphia, an outdoor birthday celebration, pop-up performances, chamber music concerts, literary salons and more.
This Wednesday, January 8 at 10:30 a.m., the yearlong commemoration kicks off with an engaging and free performance of music and theater at the Free Library of Philadelphia Parkway Central lobby.
See actors from The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre perform excerpts from Romeo and Juliet, students from West Philadelphia High School recite Shakespearean monologues, and catch an appearance from William Shakespeare himself.
Throughout the year, look for such Year of the Bard events as the Free Library’s Shakespeare For All Time exhibit (opening Monday, January 27), hands-on tours of Shakespearean works at the Rosenbach Museum and Library (January 12, February 7, March 2), a Lantern Theater Company production of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (February 6-March 16), and a big birthday bash on Shakespeare’s birthday, April 23.
Care to try your own hand at a bit of poetry? The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre is currently hosting its first sonnet competition. Submit an original sonnet in Elizabethan form — iambic pentameter, of course — by Friday, January 31 for a chance to see it chosen and performed in The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre’s 2014 production of Romeo and Juliet.
So, join in the Shakespearean drama. All of Philadelphia’s a stage in 2014.
The Year Of The Bard: Shakespeare At 450 Kickoff
When: Wednesday, January 8, 10:30 a.m.
Where: Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Lobby, 1901 Vine Street
More info: www.freelibrary.org and www.phillyshakespeare.org