With William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday just around the corner on Wednesday, April 23, the Free Library is set to is set to celebrate Shakespeare's big day with programs throughout the city, and we hope you'll join us! From a big birthday bash at Parkway Central Library to children's programs and engaging lectures, Shakespeare's birthday celebrations are part of the Year of the Bard: Shakespeare at 450, presented with The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre and other regional cultural organizations. The Year of the Bard is packed full of engaging, enlightening, and entertaining programs designed to celebrate Shakespeare in all his classic and modern incarnations. Party on in true Shakespearean style at these and other great events throughout the Free Library system on April 23:
Shakespeare for Kids: Excerpts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream | 10:30 a.m. | Parkway Central Library, Children's Department
Presented by Old Academy Players. For children in grades 3-5. Homeschoolers welcome.
Shakespeare’s Birthday Bash | 12:30 p.m. | Parkway Central Library, Shakespeare Park
Gather in Shakespeare Park in front of the Parkway Central Library for a lunch-time party featuring music, jugglers, performances, and a birthday cake!
Shakespeare on Film: Kiss Me Kate | 2:00 p.m. | Philadelphia City Institute
Join The Friends of The Philadelphia City Institute as they will celebrate the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare through the musical film Kiss Me Kate, based on The Taming of the Shrew.
Hands-On Tour: Shaping Shakespeare | 3:00 p.m. | The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation | 2008-2010 Delancey Place
Tickets: General admission plus $5; advance registration required; rosenbach.org
After seeing some of the earliest printings and books that inspired Shakespeare’s plots, we'll explore how his plays have fared at the hands of actors, editors, and forgers. Visit rosenbach.org for more details and registration info.
Birthday Party for William Shakespeare | 3:30 p.m. | Fishtown Community Library
Join the Fishtown Community Library as they celebrate the Bard of Avon’s birthday with special crafts and snacks.
Shakespearean Crafts | 4:00 p.m. | Widener Library
Join us for a delightfully creative craft program! All children and teens will learn to create make-and-take Renaissance jester hats.
Shakespeare on Film: Deliver Us from Eva | 6:00 p.m. | Haverford Avenue Library
Adults and teens are invited to join us for this screening of Deliver Us from Eva, based on The Taming of the Shrew.
Science and a Story: Shakespeare and Science | 6:30 p.m. | Philadelphia City Institute
This “Science and a Story” session will discuss what people in the Renaissance knew about science and medicine and will use excerpts of children’s versions of Shakespeare’s plays for illustration. Children 5 years of age and older, along with their siblings and caregivers, are invited to explore the world through stories and hands-on learning.
Shakespeare’s Queen | 7:00 p.m. | Parkway Central Library, Room 108
This lecture will focus on both Queen Elizabeth herself and the visual and poetic propaganda that made her such a useful counterpoint to Shakespeare’s flawed kings. This lecture is presented by Margo Todd, a Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in early modern English and Scottish history and in the culture of Reformed (Calvinist) Protestantism in Britain and early America.
For a full listing of Year of the Bard events—as well as fun digital extras—visit freelibrary.org/bard.
Year of the Bard