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7th Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Sonnet Slam to be Held 4/21 in Central Park, Kick Off Reader Maulik Pancholy

The 7th Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Sonnet Slam will be held Friday, April 21st from 1-4pm at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park. The Sonnet Slam features 154 readers of all ages performing all 154 of Shakespeare's Sonnets in numerical order. The event is free to the public. This year, the kickoff Reader for Sonnet #1 will be Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock, Weeds) who appears on the upcoming CBS series Star Trek: Discovery.

Pancholy's career spans a wide range of work including animation, theater, television and film. He has worked with the industry's most prolific directors including Andy Tennant, Nicole Holofcener, Mike Nichols, Taylor Hackford and most recently Nick Stoller; and he has been nominated for and won the Screen Actors Guild Award on multiple occasions. Pancholy is best known for playing Alec Baldwin's intrepid assistant Jonathan on the classic NBC comedy30 Rock. Its long run garnered the show 80 awards and 310 nominations. He is also widely recognized for playing Sanjay over six seasons of the Showtime hit series Weeds, created by Emmy award winner Jenji Kohan (Orange Is the New Black). He will appear on the upcoming CBS series Star Trek: Discovery, which will be the first Star Trek series to air since 2005. It was created by Transformers producer/writer Alex Kurtzman. He will also be seen in the soon to be released Netflix series Friends From College.

Willful Pictures, Artistic Director, Melinda Hall created the Sonnet Slam for the people of New York to celebrate Shakespeare. "I created a unique opportunity for the Sonneteer and Shakespeare to be together on the Bandshell stage, even if it's only for a minute."

Over the last seven years, there have been many notable Readers from various walks of life. In addition to professional actors from the Broadway community and film stars, the Sonnet Slam welcomes children of all ages and there have been middle and high school groups from NYC, NJ, and even the Pacific Northwest that participaTed Keeping the spirit of Shakespeare alive for future generations.

The 7th Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Sonnet Slam is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement / Creative Learning, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (

For more information visit:

To donate to the Sonnet Slam through Fractured Atlas 501(c)(3):

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