TALK LIKE SHAKESPEARE DAY
April 23, 2012—Shakespeare’s 448th Birthday
“Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc’d it to you,
trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of our
players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines.”
“There was a star danced, and under that was I born.”
- William Shakespeare
Monday, April 23, is Talk Like Shakespeare Day, an occasion for citizens from Chicago and across the globe to celebrate Shakespeare’s 448th birthday by bringing the spoken words of Shakespeare into their daily lives. The holiday, which originated in Chicago in 2009, became a worldwide sensation garnering extensive national and international media coverage and more than one million hits to TalkLikeShakespeare.org.
Shakespeare is being celebrated around the world next week, from Chicago to London to Armenia, in recognition of the man who engineered more than 154 sonnets, 37 plays, 1,700 original words and innumerable phrases. On April 23 Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London will launch its Globe to Globe Festival, part of London’s Cultural Olympiad, beginning a two month international event presenting all 37 plays from Shakespeare’s canon in 37 different languages (including Chicago Shakespeare’s Othello: The Remix, The Q Brothers’ hip-hop adaptation of Othello, opening in London May 5). Talk Like Shakespeare Day has even sparked a movement, originating in Armenia, lobbying for the inclusion of “Shakespearean” alongside “Pirate” and “Upside Down” as an official language option on Facebook.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 2008 recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, will be talking like Shakespeare throughout the upcoming birthday week. On the morning of April 23, Chicago Shakespeare’s production of The Taming of the Shrew will be performed for Chicago Public School students at Sawyer Elementary School on the City’s south side and that evening, celebrated British actor Simon Callow’s one-man show, Being Shakespeare will play a special Monday performance at the Broadway Playhouse, preceded by a birthday party for the Bard in the theater’s lobby beginning at 5:30 p.m. At ChicagoShakespeare’s home on Navy Pier, Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Tony Award-winning actor Ian McDiarmid begin preview performances of Timon of Athens, while the cast of Othello: The Remix prepares for the world premiere of its new work in London the following week.
Among the many visitors to Navy Pier, the Midwest’s most visited tourist destination, on April 23 will be William Shakespeare himself. Those who talk like Shakespeare to “the Bard” will receive free rides on Navy Pier’s iconic Ferris Wheel from 10 a.m. to noon. Shakespeare will then dine at Harry Caray’s Tavern on Navy Pier, where a special Shakespeare-inspired menu will be available from noon to 2:00 p.m.