The Return of Shakespeare for Life

Reading Two Gentlemen of Verona

Reading Two Gentlemen of Verona. Photo © by Chris Shea. Used with permission.

Free Shakespeare! is back in downtown Dayton. All this week (24×7), Chris Shea and a parade of volunteers are down at the Dayton Visual Arts Center for Shakespeare for Life, reading the complete works of Shakespeare.

You should be too.

I’ve participated both times that it’s been done here (the inaugural run was back in 2010). This past Friday, some coworkers (+1) and I had just finished enjoying Cap’n Johnny’s Whiz Bang Show at Gilly’s, and I asked them if they wanted to go read some Shakespeare. They were game, and we arrived in time to get in on The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

The "rules" of Shakespeare for Life

The “rules” of Shakespeare for Life. Photo by J. Hunter Johnson, released under CC-BY-3.0

Reading the Bard is fun, or can be. The Shakespeare for Life venue is laid back (no one is going to argue pronunciation or character motivation with you), and reading it aloud is a different experience than studying it in high school or seeing it on the stage—although you should do those too! It’s certainly something different to engage your brain with, and that kind of diversion is good for you too.

The Shakespeare for Life event is being held to raise money for Free Shakespeare! (they put on other productions throughout the year) and Grandview Hospital’s Oncology Clinic, so even if you can’t read, consider sponsoring someone who is.

—jhunterj

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