Mass. -- It's the most Shakespeare in the shortest time
College's Shakespeare Society hopes to go down in history
as having the honor (and the stamina) of presenting
the complete works of William Shakespeare – unabridged—all
within 24 hours.
Knowing the job is bigger than the 27-member society itself,
the Shakespeare aficionados are asking for help to achieve
their goal, hoping volunteers will help read the 37 plays
as well as the poetry and sonnets that comprise Shakespeare's
canon. The event will take place from Sunday, Feb. 15,
at 5 pm through Monday, Feb. 16, at 5 pm at the Shakespeare
Society House on the Wellesley campus.
marathon will take place in several rooms of the house
with "plays begun, sonnets read, plays finished, characters
explored, speeches expounded every second, through the
day and through the night," say its organizers. Senior
Maggie O'Grady of Yonkers, N.Y., is one of the students
behind the 24-hour extravaganza.
"The plan was hatched last semester when a few Shakespeare
Society members thought that it would be a great idea to
read the complete works," she said. "They determined
it would take four days, which was a commitment that we
didn't think too many people could make. We did think that
people could commit to 24 hours. Mathematically, with five
plays being read simultaneously for the 24 hours, we should
have enough time to finish the canon, ending with a full
group reading of Hamlet in the last three hours."
Shakespeare Society has been a mainstay among student
groups at Wellesley for 126 years. "Since 1878, we
have never performed the whole canon," said O'Grady. "Having
a 24-hour long reading of all the works would be a wonderful
way to do it. It is also great for community outreach,
since one of the society's main purposes is to bring Shakespeare
into the community."
event promises to keep Shakespeare Society members busy
over then next couple of weeks. "Everyone in
the society will be involved in some way, from getting
scripts, decorating the house, scheduling the plays, cooking
and procuring food during the event, publicizing it on
campus and making T-shirts to sell," O'Grady said.
effort will culminate in what the Society hopes will
be a unique opportunity to hear the most bard in the
time. "Come at any time, for as little or long as
you like," O'Grady said. "There will be so many
parts to read, and we'll go hoarse without the help of
the community." For more information, call 781-283-3192
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing
an excellent liberal-arts education for women who will
make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near
Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all
50 states and 68 countries.