Kathleen Chalfant, Michael Urie, Dana Ivey & More Perform At Free SHAKESPEARE SONNET SLAM
The 8th Annual Shakespeare's Birthday Sonnet Slam is being held tomorrow, Friday, April 27th from 1-4pm at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park. Notable Sonnet readers this year include Michael Urie, Dana Ivey, Brian Soliwoda as C.P. Shakes and Perdita, the pigeon, Peter Francis James, American painter Gerri Davis and Award-winning Orchestrator Michael Starobin. 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 Tony Award-nominee and Drama Desk-winner Kathleen Chalfant (Angels in America, Wit, Showtime's The Affair).
The Sonnet Slam will also feature cast members from the recent production of HAMLET which starred Michael Urie in DC at the Shakespeare Theatre Company: Ryan Spahn, Robert Joy, Federico Rodriguez, Maggie Thompson, Jack Doyle, Avery Glymph, Brayden Simpson many others to the festivities.
Kickoff reader Chalfant has appeared in over three dozen Off-Broadway productions. In 2015, she appeared in the Women's Project Theater production of Dear Elizabeth by Sarah Ruhl and as Rose Kennedy in the Nora's Playhouse production of Rose by Laurence Leamer. Chalfant was nominated for the 1993 Tony Award as Best Actress (Featured Role - Play) in Tony Kushner's Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. She earned the Outer Circle Critics, Drama Desk, Obie and Lucille Lortel awards for her performance as Vivian Bearing in Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit in 1998; she shaved her head for the role. For her 2003 performance in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads, Chalfant won a second Obie.
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, even if it's only for a minute." Over the last eight 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 8th 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 (www.LMCC.net).
The Sonnet Slam is held rain or shine. Twitter: @sonnetslam or @willfulpictures
For more information visit: http://www.sonnetslam.com
To donate to the Sonnet Slam through Fractured Atlas 501(c)(3): https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=12309