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Illinois Gov Pat Quinn Proclaims April 23 Talk Like Shakespeare Day

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has proclaimed William Shakespeare's 447th birthday on April 23, 2011, Talk Like Shakespeare Day in the State of Illinois-"a day on which all citizens are encouraged to express their inner thespian, incorporating Shakespearean lines into everyday conversation." Since Regional Theatre Tony Award recipient Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) inaugurated Talk Like Shakespeare Day in 2009, the celebration has become an international phenomenon, with serving as the virtual home base for revelers. CST's "Where's William?" contest goes global this year to connect fans across the world with the chance to win an iPad by "dressing up" like the Bard. Revelers can download and construct a mask from, and send in pictures for their chance to win the digital device. (No doubt Shakespeare's complete works are easier to tote around in digital format!) Entries will be accepted online until 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time on April 23, 2011. For more information about Talk Like Shakespeare Day, visit Information about Chicago Shakespeare Theater is available at

"Chicago is recognized as the home not only of 'Da Bulls and 'Da Bears, but also 'Da Bard," Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley said in last year's proclamation of Talk Like Shakespeare Day in Chicago. CST honored the occasion by sending Shakespeare look-alikes throughout the city to entreat Chicagoans to speak his speech "trippingly off their tongues," and one lucky everyday thespian won two round-trip flights to London courtesy of American Airlines and tickets to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Chicago Shakespeare also hosted students and teachers for an exclusive Shakespearean hip-hop performance by Flocabulary artists Blake Harrison, Mervin Jenkins (a.k.a. Spectac) and Alex Rappaport.

Since the inauguration of Talk Like Shakespeare Day in 2009, the joyous celebration has spread across the country and around the globe, thanks to national and international press coverage-with more than one million hits to Visitors to the website can contribute stories, photos, videos and quotes, in addition to listening to a hip-hop anthem about Talk Like Shakespeare Day by Chicago's own GQ and JQ (The Q Brothers), who are currently on tour with their internationally-acclaimed CST production Funk It Up About Nothin' at London's Theatre Royal Stratford East. also features instructions on how to talk like Shakespeare; activities for celebrating the Bard at school, at the office and at home; and a "best of the Bard on the web" collection, with cameos by Abbott & Costello, the crew of the S.S. Minow and Sesame Street.

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