Looking for a fun way to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death? Take a drive up to the campus of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks for the Kingsmen Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare-a-thon on Saturday and Sunday, April 23 & 24.
They’ll be celebrating with 24 hours of activities including a sonnet marathon, a candlelight reading of Macbeth and Shakespeare yoga. It’s a free Bard-day bash beginning with a welcome reception at 4pm on the 23rd, which is the date of Shakespeare’s death and also, according to tradition, his birth in 1564.
Events will continue with a game at 6:30 pm, a panel discussion on setting plays in traditional and alternative settings at 7 pm, and an interactive Shakespeare slam at 8 pm. Macbeth will be read by candlelight at 9:30 pm. and musical works inspired by the Bard will be played starting at midnight.
Additional events include a presentation on the concept of time in Romeo and Juliet at 5:30 pm by Bill Walthall, a former high school English and drama teacher in Oxnard who writes The Bill Shakespeare Project blog. Then at 6 pm, the Kingsmen Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare Educational Tour will give a workshop demonstration.
April 24 will begin with yoga incorporating Shakespeare quotations at 8am (just think about that for a moment) and continue with a sonnet brunch at 10:30, a cabaret 11:30, and conclude with a reception at 3:30 pm. A panel of actors will share their experiences portraying Hamlet at 9:30 am and a full reading of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which will be featured at this year’s summer festival, will begin at 12:30 pm. Also part of the summer festival is Henry V, an educational tour to local schools, an apprentice company, and a theater camp.
Throughout the marathon, visitors will be able to step into a video-recording booth to talk about their connections to Shakespeare and the Kingsmen Shakespeare Company. Snippets will be shared prior to the closing reception.
All events will be held in or around Overton Hall, which is located on the south side of Memorial Parkway near Regent Avenue. Free parking is available in the lots at the corner of Olsen Road and Mountclef Blvd.