The Cornelia Street Café celebrates William Shakespeare’s birth each year by bringing to the stage actors to read a selection of the bard's sonnets. Robin Hirsch was the master of ceremonies, Paul Hecht directed, and the readers included André De Shields, Barbara Feldon, Kate Forbes and Hecht, himself. In the spirit of Elizabethan times, Hank Heijink played the lute. The performers covered favorites, such as sonnet number 18 (“shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”), as well as some lesser-known lines.
Use the audio player above to listen to the actors reading Shakespeares' timeless verse.
Highlights from the event. Download the full audio above.
Sonnet 43, On Love:
All days are nights to see till I see thee,
And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.
Sonnet 19, On Verse Conquering Time:
Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong,
My love shall in my verse ever live young.
Sonnet 76, On Writers Block:
Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
So far from variation or quick change?
Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new-found methods and to compounds strange?