April 16, 2009 "Shakespeare's Birthday Reading" at Library of Congress on April 21

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

William Shakespeare’s 445th birthday will be celebrated at the Library of Congress with a reading of his works by 16 professional actors from the Shakespeare Theater Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University.

The reading will take place at noon on Tuesday, April 21, two days prior to Shakespeare’s official birthday. It will be held in the Whittall Pavilion on the ground floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street, S.E., Washington, D.C. The program is free and open to the public; tickets and reservations are not required.

After the actors read, audience members are invited to read a favorite passage from the Bard’s plays or one of his sonnets.

The featured actors are Michael Bartoli, Will Cooke, Morgan Duke, Madison Dunaway, Daniel Flint, Brit Herring, Darrell James, Erin Jerozal, Milan Malisic, Jason Marr, Mary McGloin, Dan Stearns, Donald Stewart, Tristan Vaughan, Rebecca Walters and Eva Wilhelm. The readings—scenes and monologues from Shakespeare’s tragedies and comedies, as well as his celebrated sonnets—will be introduced by Gary Logan, the current director of the Academy for Classical Acting program.

The academy at The George Washington University provides actors with intensive graduate study focusing on the study of Shakespeare and classical texts and is under the guidance of Michael Kahn, artistic director of The Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C.

Logan is the author of the recently published “The Eloquent Shakespeare: A Pronouncing Dictionary for the Complete Works, with Notes to Untie the Modern Tongue” (University of Chicago Press, 2009). From 1993-2005, he was chair of voice and speech at the National Theatre Conservatory and the voice, text and dialect coach for the Tony Award-winning Denver Center Theatre Company. He has taught Shakespearean voice and text at Canada's National Voice Intensive, and was a voice and dialect coach for the Stratford Festival of Canada during five seasons.

“Shakespeare’s Birthday Reading” is an annual event in the Poetry at Noon series. The Library’s Poetry and Literature Center administers it as well as the annual evening reading series, sponsored by the Gertrude Clarke Whittall fund and the Archer M. Huntington endowment. The center is the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, the only federally designated office for a literary artist in the nation. For more information about the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center, the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry and related topics, visit 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 upon which the nation was founded. Today the Library serves both the U.S. Congress and the nation in its 21 reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning Web site at www.loc.gov.


PR 09-079
ISSN 0731-3527