” The month of April is most commonly associated with spring and April showers. For Shakespeare fans, it is also associated with the great poet and playwright’s birthday. Although it is has been established that Shakespeare was born in April, nobody is sure of the exact birth date.””
The month of April is most commonly associated with spring and April showers.
For Shakespeare fans, it is also associated with the great poet and playwright’s birthday.
Although it is has been established that Shakespeare was born in April, nobody is sure of the exact birth date. April 23 is the traditionally accepted date.
The English department is celebrating his birthday by holding their annual Shakespeare in the Spring festival on Thursday, April 2 at the Martin Center.
Dr. Joseph Ceccio, who has been a professor in the English Department for 31 years, chairs the Shakespeare festival committee.
He explains that the committee works all year planning each Shakespeare in the Spring festival.
The Shakespeare festival committee works year-round on identifying possible speakers and on planning the early April events,’ he said.
The festival, which has always been held at the Martin Center, is on its 11th year.
This year’s theme is Calling on Shakespeare. Ceccio said the committee chose this theme to indicate how widespread Shakespeare’s influence continues to be, even more than 400 years after his lifetime.
We in the 21st century can still call on Shakespeare for sensitive responses to many of the problems, fears and emotions we face today, he explained.
Ceccio also mentioned a quote from dramatist Ben Jonson, a contemporary of Shakespeare.
He was not of an age, but for all time.
The festival begins at 3:30 p.m. with a performance session led by University of Akron director Stephen Skiles. Local actors will be performing scenes from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
At 5 p.m., speaker Dr. Craig Dionne will present the lecture, Commonplace Shakespeare: The Bard in the Codex and Its ‘Table of Memory.’
Dionne, a professor of English literature at Eastern Michigan University, was chosen for his research, teaching and publications on Shakespeare.
Skiles was selected because of his research on Shakespeare, as well as his directing and performing of the poet and playwright.
Ceccio described both men as outstanding Shakespeare scholars.
The festival is free and open to the public. Ceccio suggested arriving five to ten minutes before the 3:30 p.m. performance.
The Shakespeare essay prize contest awards ceremony will be held immediately following the lecture.
Students competing in the contest were to submit a Shakespeare paper written for a University of Akron English department course in the last 12 months by March 2.
There will be one undergraduate prize and one graduate prize. Both winners will receive $150. There will also be at least three honorable mentions for graduates and undergraduates. The prize for honorable mention will be $100.
After the Shakespeare essay prize contest awards ceremony there will be a Shakespeare gala birthday party.
Guests can enjoy hors d’oeuvres and birthday cake and mingle while the festival winds down.
Ceccio said his favorite part of the festival is seeing students and staff of the University community come together with members of the public to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday.
It’s great to see them come together to recognize the contribution Shakespeare’s works make for humanity, he added.