It’s William Shakespeare’s birthday on April 23

…   Let’s party like it’s 1564!

Vanderbilt Libraries and the Nashville Shakespeare Festival are throwing a birthday bash for the Bard!  Join us on the Library Lawn for an afternoon full of festivities on April 23, beginning at noon.

There will be jugglers, troubadours, fight masters, and scribes on hand, as well as an open mic for reciting your favorite Shakespearean soliloquies, sonnets, and speeches. Puppeteers from the Nashville Public Library will be on hand and there will, of course, be cake and ale (ginger-ale).

At 2:15 p.m., we will crowd-source Shakespeare in an attempt at a Guinness World Record by performing the largest balcony scene ever from Romeo & Juliet.

At 3:00 p.m., Denice Hicks of the Nashville Shakespeare Festival will perform the world premier of a one-woman show, The Maiden Phoenix.

“We hope the celebration will become an annual Vanderbilt tradition,” says University Librarian Valerie Hotchkiss. “The Library Lawn is the perfect place for a literary party like this, and we are so pleased to be working with the Nashville Shakespeare Festival.”

This year’s festivities honor Ann Cook Calhoun, an internationally renowned Shakespeare scholar and a powerful force for making the Bard’s plays accessible to everyone. Calhoun, who died in 2017, was a professor of English, emerita, at Vanderbilt University and held leadership roles in Shakespeare organizations around the world.

The Bard’s Birthday Bash takes place on Library Lawn between noon and 2:30 p.m. The performance of The Maiden Phoenix caps off the day in the Central’s Library Community Room. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

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