April 10, 2007 "Shakespeare's Birthday Reading" on April 17

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Patricia Gray (202) 707-1308

William Shakespeare’s 443rd birthday will be duly celebrated at the Library of Congress with a reading of his works by six professional actors from the Shakespeare Theater Company’s Academy for Classical Acting.

The reading, at noon on Tuesday, April 17, will occur nearly a week earlier than the Bard’s official birthday of April 23. The event will take place in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C., and is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed.

After the actors read, audience members are invited to participate, either by asking questions of the actors or by reading their favorite Shakespeare passages. Patricia Gray, coordinator of the Library’s Poetry at Noon series, said, “Often there is a shortage of books. Folks who are hoping to read should bring their own copies of the plays or sonnets.”

The featured actors are Dan Crane, Melora Kordos, Stephen Martin, James Ricks, Bob Rogerson and Erin Sloan. They are all students and/or graduates of the Shakespeare Theater Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University.

The Shakespeare birthday reading is part of the Poetry at Noon series. The series’ final reading, “Innocence and Experience,” will be on Tuesday, May 15, also in the Mary Pickford Theater. Guest poets will be Joy Gonsalves of Lexington, Ky.; Mary Elizabeth Murphy of Mobile, Ala.; and Jean Nordhaus of Washington, D.C.

The Poetry and Literature Center administers the annual poetry and literature reading series at the Library, sponsored since 1951 by the Library’s Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund. The center is the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1936. The Poet Laureate suggests authors to read in the literary series and plans special literary events during the reading season. For more information about the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center, the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry and related events, visit the Web site at www.loc.gov/poetry/.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with more than 134 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. As the world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity, the Library is a symbol of democracy and the principles on which this nation was founded. Today the Library serves both the U.S. Congress and the nation on site in its 21 reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning Web site at www.loc.gov.


PR 07-074
ISSN 0731-3527