To be or not to be there, that shouldn’t be a question when Brooklyn’s Brave New World Repertory Theatre is celebrating one of the greatest dramatists of all time, William Shakespeare, with a birthday bash on Sunday, April 28. 

In homage to Shakespeare’s birthplace Stratford Upon Avon, the celebration is set to take place on East Flatbush’s Stratford Road, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.

The free, family-friendly Shakespeare on Stratford festival invites attendees to wander from porch to porch, along Stratford from Cortelyou Road to Slocum Place, while listening to costumed actors perform some of the bard’s celebrated and lesser-known sonnets. Following at 3:00pm,  a madrigal singalong will take over Stratford Road with performers and audience members singing one of the period’s most famous madrigals, “Now is the Month of Maying. 

The festival culminates with “courtly line dancers” filling the street, performing Afro-Haitian dances celebrating Spring and re-birth.

“We’re here both to celebrate spring and bridge the cultural, economic divide of the communities on either side of Flatbush Avenue,” says BNW Producing Artistic Director/co-founder Claire Beckman. “Everyone should have access to theatre, music and dance so we hope our neighbors in Ditmas Park and East Flatbush will come together for this free secular celebration of spring.”

For the Shakespeare on Stratford festival, Beckman will direct the sonnets, many performed by professional actors/company members. Nancy Shankman, director of NYU Steinhardt’s Adult Chorus and former director of the NYU Modern Madrigal Singers, will serve as the festival’s musical director. Haitian-American multidisciplinary artist Sheila Anozier, currently on faculty at the Mark Morris Dance Center, will be directing the dance performances.

Shakespeare on Stratford

When: Sunday, April 28, 2:00pm – 4:00pm | Rain date: Sunday, May 5

Where: Stratford Road, between Cortelyou Road and Slocum Place

How much: Free!

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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