Shall I Compare Thee to PSiP’s Week of Will Shakespeare Events?
For 10 years, Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks (PSiP) has been serving the ‘Burgh with, well, Shakespeare…in the parks. The free shows, which began in Frick Park, are performed every autumn at various natural venues. Beginning with Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” in the fall of 2005, the company has grown and now performs a monthly reading series, as well. The series, called Bring Your Own Bard (BYOB), features both actors and non-actors alike who feel compelled to take a stab at a Shakespearian scene.
PSiP has relied on donations for the past 10 years to continuously offer free, engaging Shakespeare performances for the Pittsburgh community. In hopes to perpetuate this accessibility, PSiP is hosting an entire week full of Shakespeare-themed events, including dinners, hot dogs, scenes, BYOB, and so much more. Week of Will (WoW) is spread throughout the city from April 20 to April 27, falling on the day-of (and surrounding days) to the late great poet-playwright’s birthday.
WoW begins with the Mid-Spring Revels Dinner at Piccolo Forno in Lawrenceville. Known for their woodfire pizza and gourmet pasta, the BYOB restaurant will open the dinner with appetizers at 6:30PM. After everyone’s shuffled in, the Shakespeare-style supper will be served at 7PM. Special guests from PSiP’s “King Lear” production will be in attendance, in addition to Artistic Director Jennifer Tober and the PSiP Board of Directors. Entertainment, surely in the style of Shakespearian works, and a silent auction will take place at this kick-off event. RSVP online here for $65, or buy a ticket at the door for $75.
If you can’t make it to dinner, don’t worry. The rest of the week through Monday, April 27, is filled with even more homages to Shakespeare. Tuesday’s event, in the usual PSiP style, is a pop-up set of Shakespeare scenes, sonnets, and more, all performed during your lunch hour in Mellon Square Park. The PSiP actors will take over the square from 12-1PM to fulfill all of your theatrical lunchtime needs.
Poets Corner, a performance group and venue, is hosting PSiP at Calvary United Methodist Church for Wednesday’s WoW event. Beginning at 7PM, the Bard’s Birthday Bash will transform Poet’s Corner into a Shakespeare haven, including birthday cake, cookies, and performances. PSiP will be accompanied by Poor Yorick’s Players, South Park Shakespeare, Unrehearsed Shakespeare Project, and comedic improvisational group, the Amish Monkeys. On the night before Shakespeare’s 451st birthday, come out to celebrate the event and help support PSiP by making a donation.
Shakespeare’s birthday is on Thursday and will be packed for PSiP. From 12:15PM to 1PM, Mrs. Shakespeare herself will be honoring the poet-playwright at the Shakespeare statue in Oakland. Located outside of Carnegie Music Hall, the statue is the site for Mrs. Shakespeare’s annual celebration of the legend’s birth. She will serve even more cake and cookies, and lay out flowers in his honor. But that’s not all for Thursday’s events. Don’t miss the Shakespeare Happy Hour at Franktuary in Lawrenceville from 5-7PM. Featuring Shakespeare-themed hot dogs and beer, the happy hour will ring in Will’s 451st birthday with no shortage of a good time.
On Friday from 7-8PM, join @pghshakespeare for a Twitter party. The Tweetfest will be orchestrated by Jeff Chips and will commence at Social at Bakery Square. Grab a bite and tweet your Shakespeare-loving heart away!
From Saturday to Sunday, the Shakespeare-themed events will take place online, including a #FindWillPGH scavenger hunt on social media, during which you are invited to take and post pictures of where you see Shakespeare in your daily life. On Sunday, PSiP’s Facebook page will be taken over by their Facebook Trivia Contest – the winner receives plenty of PSiP swag!
Unfortunately, WoW does have to end, but have no fear – PSiP is finishing off the week with a bang. At Te Cafe in Squirrel Hill, this month’s BYOB will begin at 7:30PM. The event invites anyone and everyone to take a stab at scenes from Shakespeare’s Murders. The suggested donation for this event is $10 and will be followed by Shakespeare’s Rome in April and Shakespeare’s Storms in June.
PSiP relies on donations from this event series in order to continue producing their free, outdoor shows for Pittsburgh. Make sure to hit up as many WoW events as you can.