Archive for May, 2014

Photo Courtesy of New York Classical Theatre

Summer in New York City means Shakespeare!  Here’s what’s on this year:


May 15 – May 31
Shakespeare in the Parking Lot (The Drilling Company)
Bryant Park (Manhattan)

May 27 – July 27
A New York Classical Theatre Production
Central Park, Prospect Park  & Battery Park (Manhattan & Brooklyn) 

May 31 – June 22
Featuring Kenneth Branagh
Park Avenue Armory (Upper East Side)


June 3 – July 6
Shakespeare in the Park (The Public Theater)
Delacorte Theater (Central Park)

June 5 –  June 29
A Hudson Warehouse Production
Riverside Park (Upper West Side)

June 10 – August 31
A Hudson Valley Shakespeare Production 
Boscobel House and Gardens (Garrison, NY)

June 10 – August 31
A Hudson Valley Shakespeare Production
Boscobel House and Gardens (Garrison, NY)

June 21 – July 20
A Boomerang Theatre Company Production
Central Park


July 10 – July 26
Shakespeare in the Parking Lot (The Drilling Company)
Corner of Ludlow and Broome Streets (Lower East Side)

July 22 – August 17
Shakespeare in the Park (The Public Theater)
Delacorte Theater (Central Park)

July 23 – August 16
A Hip to Hip Theatre Company Production 
Various Parks (Queens)

July 24 – August 15
A Hip to Hip Theatre Company Production 
Various Parks (Queens) 

July 24 – August 17
Harlem Summer Shakespeare (Pulse Ensemble Theatre)
Riverbank State Park (West Harlem)

July 31 – August 16
Shakespeare in the Parking Lot (The Drilling Company)
Corner of Ludlow and Broome Streets (Lower East Side)

July 31 –  August 24
A Hudson Warehouse Production
Riverside Park (Upper West Side)


August 22 – September 14
A Titan Theatre Company Production
The Beckett Theater (Manhattan)

* Production by a Shakespeare Educators Roundtable Organization


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Teachers get Shakespeare up on its feet by acting out a scene.

The English-Speaking Union is again partnering with the New York City Department of Education to offer local educators the opportunity to brush up their Shakespeare this summer.  The Karen Jeff Scholarship, named for the ESU’s late Director of Education, is a competitive award open to New York City Board of Education middle and high school teachers.  Recipients receive a full tuition scholarship to the Shakespeare Teacher Intensive: Romeo and Juliet, a two-day workshop at the ESU’s National Headquarters in Manhattan (July 24 & 25, 2014).

Application Process:  To apply, please complete the scholarship application and return by June 23, 2014 to Katharine Moran, Manager of Shakespeare Education Programs, at kmoran@esuus.org.

The Shakespeare Teacher Intensives are a partnership program between the English-Speaking Union and the Folger Shakespeare Library, a national leader in Shakespeare education and home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare materials.  During the intensives, teachers participate in lectures, seminars, performance classes and classroom exercises with internationally-renowned Shakespeare scholars and educators.  Teachers return to their schools energized and enriched with new methods for teaching Shakespeare that meet the Common Core State Standards. Each participant also receives a Shakespeare Set Free Toolkit, with lesson plans, videos and textbooks for immediate use in the classroom.

Questions?  Contact: Katharine Moran at 212-818-1200 x 223 or kmoran@esuus.org.

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Shakespeare’s sonnets got some love from World Book Night this year; the organization (which celebrates books and reading) included a collection of his sonnets in their 2014 “reading list.”  Free copies of the sonnets were distributed to light and non-readers through a network of local libraries, bookstores and non-profits.  Many thanks to the hundreds of volunteer givers in our area, who helped us celebrate Shakespeare.
Learn more about World Book Night.

Fun fact:  In a gala reception at the New York Public Library celebrating World Book Night, the 2013 ESU National Shakespeare Competition winner and New York City high school student, Xavier Pacheco, recited Sonnet 29, in the company of such luminaries as Garrison Keillor, Malcolm Gladwell and Walter Dean Myers.


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Danny Lopez, the British Consul-General in New York, reads the proclamation from the Mayor onstage at Lincoln Center.


Whereas: Hark! What a sublime moment for New York. As our fair city emerges from a long Winter’s Tale, we proudly join lovers of wit and drama around the globe in celebrating the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare. While “time’s glory” may be “to blot old books and alter their contents,” the Bard’s words spring eternal, immortalized by performances and events like the 31st annual English-speaking Union’s National Shakespeare Competition.

Whereas: What began as a small event in New York with 500 students has, over three decades, grown to include 16,000 young people in communities across the nation. Challenging talented teens to showcase a sophisticated comprehension of Shakespeare’s prose, this competition not only offers participants a creative way to explore the boundless beauty of the English language but also introduces timeless classics to a new generation.

Whereas: From the page to the stage, tonight 60 finalists will once again breathe life into the enduring words of the Bard, transforming the Beaumont Theater into Lincoln-upon-Hudson. I commend every participant for their hard work, dedication, and enchanting heaven-hued performances. While “we know what we are, but know not what we may be,” always remember that, “it is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

Now therefore, I, Bill de Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York, do hereby proclaim Monday, May 5th, 2014 in the City of New York as: “William Shakespeare Day.”

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Captivating audiences with a performance of a sonnet and monologue from Shakespeare, Regan Sims from New York, New York, a student of Casey McClellan at the Professional Perfoming Arts School in New York, placed as a semi-finalist in the 31st annual English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition.  The Competition was held on May 5th at Lincoln Center Theater in New York City for 58 winners of ESU Branch competitions nationwide. Regan had previously won the ESU New York Branch regional competition.

This year’s winner of the English-Speaking Union Indianapolis Branch competition, Scott Van Wye, won first prize in the ESU National Shakespeare Competition, winning a full scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art’s Young Actors Summer School in London, England.  Second place winner, Chloe Bell, representing the Kentucky Branch, won a scholarship to attend the American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp.  Third place winner, Ashish Ramachandran, representing the Greenwich Branch of the ESU, won $500 from The Shakespeare Society (based in New York City).

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition is a school-based program designed to help students develop their speaking and critical thinking skills and their appreciation of literature as they explore the beauty of the language and timeless themes in Shakespeare’s works.  In three progressive competition levels, students memorize, interpret, and perform monologues and sonnets in their own schools, at ESU Branch-sponsored community competitions and at the National Shakespeare Competition.  The program has engaged more than 250,000 young people since its inception.  Citing its 31st season this year, the Honorable Bill De Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York, proclaimed May 5th as William Shakespeare Day.  Danny Lopez, the British Consul-General in New York, read the proclamation, and Josiah Bunting III, Chairman of the English-Speaking Union, awarded certificates to the competitors.

The ESU provided the Branch winners with two full days of educational and cultural activities in New York City, including an exclusive acting workshop at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and a performance of The Realistic Joneses on Broadway.  Perhaps best of all for these teenagers was the opportunity to spend a weekend in New York City with other students from across the country who share a love of theater, language and, particularly, Shakespeare.

The semi-finals competition judges were distinguished actors and educators:  Sybille Bruun-Moss (Executive Director and Co-Founder of The Shakespeare Forum)Maurice Charney (Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers University); Alexandra López (Associate Director of Education at Lincoln Center Theater); Geoffrey Owens (Actor and Director); and Ross Williams (Founder of the New York Shakespeare Exchange).

The English-Speaking Union of the United States is a non-profit, non-political educational organization whose mission is to celebrate English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators and members.  The ESU carries out its work through a network of 68 Branches, sponsoring a variety of language and international education programs.

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