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City Artists Salute Shakespeare with Booze, Jazz, and Flashmobs

Host Intro: Tomorrow is the 400th anniversary of the death of famed poet and playwright William Shakespeare. His plays have been adapted, remixed and reworded thousands of times. From unexpected play recitals in Bryant Park to an “off-broadway” theatre production. Amina Lovell has the story on how people are remembering the sweet savon of avon.(0:16)

LOVELL 1:The lunch crowd at Bryant Park was likely not expecting Shakespeare today. But Adam Huff is standing on a park bench delivering a monologue from Julius Caesar.

HUFF 1: “O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!Thou art the ruins of the noblest man. That ever livèd in the tide of times.Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood”(0:17)

LOVELL 2: When he’s done he walks to the back of the park and gathers with about 19 others around a fountain. Its a flash mob – Shakespeare style.The group starts shouting out lines from plays like Hamlet, Julius Caesar and Henry the fifth.

Flash Mob Sound (0:10)

LOVELL 3: Organizer of this mele is Hamilton Clancy from the Drilling Company an agency  for budding playwrights, actors and musicians. He says Shakespeare can act as a bridge in literature and that’s why he organized this impromptu meeting.

CLANCY 2: “And so that’s been our approach all the time. Is to say that Shakespeare is for everybody and everybody is for Shakespeare.” (0:06)

LOVELL 4: The crowd is varied. Some festively dressed with capes and gowns, others making grand hand gestures trying to sell the scene, to the large crowd, Huff says that’s the whole point of Shakespeare.

HUFF 2: “Shakespeare is so about the audience you can’t do Shakespeare without an audience. You know they are the other character in the scene.” (0:07)

LOVELL 5: The audience in the park this afternoon were jaded New Yorkers. But last night at Roy Arias Studios – the crowd was fully engaged. In a small room covered with stacks of library books. Five actors play out Macbeth while ad libbing lines.

HABER 1: “Do you not hope your children shall be kings.When those that gave  the thane of Cawdor to me promised no less to them?”

BANQUO 1:That, trusted home might yet enkindle you unto the crown, you’re gonna be King breh!”

HABER 2: “I know (laughter) I didn’t want to think about it too much or I’ll just go crazy. Oh we don’t want that! (laughter) ( 0:16)

LOVELL 5 :The Drunk Shakespeare Society recites line after line of prose every night -while drunk. The troupe is always interacting with the crowd -making shakespeare something fun, and accessible is one of their aims.

SANCHEZ 1: “People and I used to be one of them – have an impression of what Shakespeare is. It’s something that’s a very stuffy thing, very highbrow.”(0:06)

LOVELL 6 : Monique Sanchez played Lady Macbeth last tonight.

SANCHEZ 2: “People come here and they have a good time and they understand it and then they laugh and they say it just seems like you guys were just having fun and I was part of you guys having fun and I was just in that. That’s just really great and really cool.” (0:12)

LOVELL 7:If you are searching for somewhere to celebrate tonight the drilling company will have a full brass band jazz funeral for Shakespeare at 6:30 in Bryant Park.

Amina Lovell Columbia Radio News


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