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CINDERELLA, MATILDA and More Give Out Shakespeare Sonnets Today

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CINDERELLA, MATILDA and More Give Out Shakespeare Sonnets Today

In celebration of William Shakespeare's 450th birthday today, April 23, 2014, the Broadway League has announced a series of joint activities with World Book Night U.S, a non-profit campaign to give printed books to light or non-readers.

World Book Night U.S. will provide free copies of the Dover edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets to the Broadway League for use at national Family First Nights events for students and families, Kids' Night on Broadway programs throughout the country, and will be distributed to students participating in the Broadway League's high school internship program. These events will occur throughout the year in New York and on the Road at Broadway League member venues that are hosting Touring Broadway productions.

Family First Nights provides specially-priced theatre tickets for families, selected by local partner social service agencies, who may not otherwise be able to attend Broadway and Touring Broadway shows. Kids' Night on Broadway, a national audience development program, is when kids ages 6 to 18 can see Broadway shows for free when accompanied by a full-paying adult. A Kids' Night on Broadway ticket includes restaurant discounts, parking discounts, educational programs, and special events.

Additionally, copies of the sonnets will be placed on theatre seats during today's matinee and/or evening performances of Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, Matilda The Musical, Newsies, and The Lion King. Curtain speeches and letters in the books will encourage audience members to give their book to someone who may not be a regular reader.

Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, said, "Theatre is about storytelling. The Broadway League devotes significant time and resources on educational programs to nurture future theatregoing audiences, so we are happy to collaborate with the organizers of World Book Night to increase awareness of a notable Broadway playwright!"

World Book Night U.S. Executive Director Carl Lennertz said, "We are thrilled to be partnering with The Broadway League and all the great work they do. Obviously, we share a love for the words and work of William Shakespeare, and The Broadway League is committed to increasing awareness of the arts as we are of reading, so this is a wonderfully natural fit. Theatre and books bring joy and light into many lives."

Sue Frost, Tony Award winning producer of Memphis and Co-Chairman of The Broadway League's Audience Engagement Committee, will participate in the open-to-the-public World Book Night launch event on April 22 at 6:30 PM at the New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Seven authors will be in attendance, including Esmeralda Santiago, Malcolm Gladwell, Walter Dean Myers, and Garrison Keillor.

Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg

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