News: Free Open Mic Shakespeare Sonnet Marathon in Cuyler Gore Park, Brooklyn, April 1st

It’s William Shakespeare’s birthday next month, and Brooklyn’s Irondale Ensemble Project is planning a free birthday celebration fit for a (literary) king! An open mic sonnet marathon will take place on Saturday, April 1st at Cuyler Gore Park, one of the city’s oldest parks, inviting passersby to stop and read one of his 154 sonnets live from 2pm-5pm. Joined by members of the Irondale Ensemble, now celebrating forty years of artistically ambitious, cutting-edge theater, and members of the Irondale Young Company, this free event will continue through the evening, inviting the community into the ensemble’s Fort Greene theater for Shakespeare trivia, games, and improv from 6:00-9:00pm.

The company held its first Shakespeare Sonnet Marathon over zoom on April 23, 2020. The 8-hour event welcomed over 100 participants from ages 9 to 90, including Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes; Grammy nominee Rufus Wainwright; comedian, actress and jazz singer Lea DeLaria; Tony winner Cady Huffman; Tony nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega; Blue Bloods and The Sopranos actor John Ventimiglia, and more.

This year, the three-part Shakespeare Sonnet Marathon - Take 2, again celebrates one of the playwrights who has informed the ensemble’s body of work across four decades. After the open mic portion, there will be a themed trivia, games, and improv event hosted at The Space at Irondale later that evening. Enthusiasts not local to Brooklyn are also invited to recite and submit a sonnet on film virtually throughout April, continuing the celebration all month long.

Making a commitment to the community this fortieth year, Irondale has curated an entire season of programming to engage, inspire, and educate patrons of all ages at no cost. The open-mic event invites the public to play alongside members of the ensemble to explore the works and words of Shakespeare, while also building upon its larger global reach and connectivity. 

“Our 2020 event was one of our most memorable events in our forty years because it was a testament to the resolve and resilience of our community in such a dark and uncertain time.” explains Irondale’s Executive Director Terry Greiss. “It will be such a joy to gather on a lovely early Spring afternoon and celebrate! We will celebrate community, togetherness, our birthday, Shakespeare’s birthday, and the power of theater for all.”

EVENT SCHEDULE AND LOCATION DETAILS:

Shakespeare Sonnet Marathon- Take 2 will be held on Saturday, April 1st:

2:00-5:00 p.m.: Sonnet Open Mic at Cuyler Gore Park, located the intersection of Carlton Avenue and Green Avenue. No reservations required.

Please not that all performances will be recorded and streamed on Irondale’s social channels and YouTube page throughout the month as part of the virtual marathon

6:00-9:00 p.m.: Shakespeare Trivia and Game Night at The Space at Irondale, located at 85 S Oxford Street

Ongoing, April 1st-30th: Irondale is accepting digital sonnet submissions at https://www.irondale.org/on-stage/sonnet-marathon. All submitted videos will be streamed on Irondale’s Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube platforms.

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