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Caltech Playreaders 70th Season: Shakespeare Sonnets

Tuesday, March 16, 2021
7:30pm to 10:00pm
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  • Public Event

You are cordially invited to attend the one-time-only showing of the Caltech Playreaders' virtual performance of Shakespeare Sonnets on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 7:30 PM PST.

On June 23, 1592, London theatres were closed due to the plague and the possibility of civil unrest. They were not reopened until June of 1594. Shakespeare, unable to pursue his emerging career as an actor and playwright, turned to literary art, publishing two dramatic poems, Venus and Adonis in 1593, and Lucrece in 1594, which brought him fortune and fame as a poet. Scholars think that the writing of Shakespeare's sonnets was also begun during these plague years. The sonnets were first circulated among his private friends and not published in full until 1609, well after Shakepeare's fame as a dramatist had surpassed his initial fame as a poet. For centuries these breath-taking sonnets have been the subject of scholarly scrutiny and attempts to mine clues to the poet's own life and loves. With their glorious language, dazzling imagery, and profound meditations on love, art, time, and immortality, his "sugared sonnets" still remain tantalizingly elusive in their meanings.

And so we come full circle, in the midst of our own plague year and civil unrest, to find solace and delight in sonnets begun during plague years over 400 years ago. The Caltech Playreaders will present a varied assortment of Shakespeare's sonnets as interpreted for today's world. The Zoom presentation will be broken up into two halves, with a brief prerecorded discussion after each half. There will be a follow along program with the text of all sonnets available at production time on this website.

We have a brilliant cast of performers: Kathryn Bikle, Todd Brun, Carol Elaine Cyr, Greta Davidson, John Davidson, Barbie Insua, Phoebe Kellogg, Cara King, Douglas Smith, Diana St James and special guest Tiffany Kim, and we can't wait for you to see them in action under the direction of Ann K Lindsey.

This performance will be virtual. Please go here: on the date of the performance for the link to the performance.

Please note that this performance is only available at the scheduled time and will not be available afterwards.

P.S. You will have to supply your own glass of sherry and cookies until we meet again in person!

For more information, please contact Joanne Doyle by email at [email protected] or visit Shakespeare Sonnets.