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Arts Playlist: Delaware Shakepeare Festival joins Shakespeare Day celebration

This weekend, literary fans around the world will celebrate Shakespeare on Saturday’s 400th anniversary of his death. 

The Delaware Shakespeare Festival is joining in with a unique event planned Friday in Wilmington.

The festival is presenting highlights from every one of the Bard’s plays during an hour-long lunchtime performance outside of The Grand Opera House.

The Delaware Shakespeare Festival’s producing artistic director David Stradley says there was plenty of material to choose from as they prepared

“Even in some of the obscure plays that people don’t know, there’s typically always a line of dialogue that people don’t realize comes from Shakespeare.  Like ‘The world is my oyster’ comes from Shakespeare and I don’t think we know that," said Stradley.  "So, as I was selecting the passages I was trying to get those lines that have entered into our consciousness that maybe we didn’t realize started with Shakespeare."

Stadley adds  to make the performance even more unique they made a unconventional casting decision – recruiting non-actors to perform.

“We made a conscious choice that we didn’t want to fill this with performers.  Part of the ethos of the day is that Shakespeare is for everyone.  We wanted to have people from all walks of life share their spin on Shakespeare," said Stradley.  "So we just tried to get a good collection of arts, business, and government – and just tried to make sure it wasn’t dominated by one field or one particular industry."

Friday’s performance runs from noon until 1 pm.

This piece is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.
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