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Happy Birthday William Shakespeare!

Quarantine birthdays don’t have to be sad, not when the whole world can watch your works in celebration! So grab some cake and join me in in wishing Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare! He would be a sprightly 456 years old this year and in spite of that, his works are still being produced and seemingly as relevant ever. Wondering how with everything closed what is the best way to celebrate the Bard’s birthday?

The Old Globe

Happy Birthday!

The Old Globe is throwing a virtual birthday party and everyone is invited! This is their 5th annual Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare! celebration and just because everyone has to stay home won’t stop them this year!

Saturday, April 25th from 11am – 1pm they will offer the following events on their The Old Globe Arts Engagement’s Facebook page.

Want to write a sonnet hip hop style? Want to make your own ruff to wear once we’re allowed to leave our houses again? Maybe learn some makeup and character from the San Diego Ballet?

Family-friendly offerings include the below and more!:

  • An introduction and speech from Shakespeare performed by Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein
  • Hip-hop sonnet writing workshop by Teaching Artist and hip-hop artist Miki Vale
  • Creative ruff-making craft offered by Master Teaching Artist and Programs Manager Lisel Gorell-Getz
  • A makeup and character workshop from A Midsummer Night’s Dream with San Diego Ballet
  • A Henry V Saint Crispin’s Day speech performed by actors in The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program

PBS Great Performances


PBS Great Performances series has many of Shakespeare’s plays ready for viewing with their all-star productions. To celebrate Shakespeare you can’t go wrong with The Public Theatre‘s production from last summer of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at the Free Shakespeare in the Park.

Just click here to go to their streaming page

Shakespeare’s Globe Streaming Live

Adetomiwa Edun and Ellie Kendric as ROMEO & JULIET
Photo: Shakespeare’s Globe

Go to the Globes streaming player (click here) to see the current streaming show which is their 2009 production of ROMEO & JULIET featuring Adetomiwa Edun and Ellie Kendrick as the young lovers. Click here to go to the streaming player. This show is available through Saturday, May 3rd.

National Theatre Live

Just in time for his birthday celebration National Theatre, Tamsin Greig, and the all-star cast bring Shakespeare’s mistaken identity romantic comedy. Available from 7pm UK time on Thursday, April 23rd through 7pm UK on Thursday, April 30th. Click here for their youtube channel

Tamsin Grieg in Twelfth Night Photo: National Theatre

Shakespeare Sonnet Marathon

You can watch from noon to 8 p.m. ET as Brooklyn’s Irondale hosts a Shakespeare Sonnet Marathon in honor of the Bard’s birthday. The more than 100 participants include Oscar nominee Ralph Fiennes, Grammy nominee Rufus Wainwright, Tony winner Cady Huffman and Tony nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega. Watch for free on the theatre’s YouTube channel.

Technically his birthday is thought to be on April, 23rd for those who are sticklers for dates, but that’s the best guess based on historical documents recording baptisms. So you can watch these and wish William Shakespeare a happy birthday whenever you want in April!

Looking for more  ideas of what to do during this time of quarantine? Click here for more suggestions

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