Speak of poets and playwrights, and Shakespeare is tops. He really is, and there is little room for debate. He is, after all, the one and only, the quintessential, The Bard. And celebrate his life and work we did at Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street on the occasion of his 450th birthday last April 23, 2014.
To get things started, during the afternoon we went full blast with #shakespearebomb, a creative activity where we encouraged passersby to join the Fully Booked team as we ‘tagged’ the front of Bonifacio High Street store with quotable quotes by the man himself. A special shout out to the young members of our Junior Book Crew who enthusiastically joined the fun. Here are some images of #shakespearebomb!
Will with Bill
In the evening, we held ‘Shakespeare at 450’ an event presented together with the National Book Development Board in celebration of World Book and Copyright Day; the event had two segments. The first presentation was ‘Will with Bill’, headlined by Bill Atwood, a 30-year veteran in educating people about Shakespeare at the renowned American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and New Jersey. A seasoned performer, host, and emcee, Bill trained at New York’s Herbert Berghof Studio and having studied Dramatic Writing at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Co-presenting was Bill’s Filipino wife, Carolyn, a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, and a 20-year theater veteran, herself.
To begin his session, Bill illuminated on the immense cultural relevance and genius of William Shakespeare. Did you know that there is no other playwright, dead or alive, with more of their plays being staged? Furthermore, many of Shakespeare’s plays have been adapted to cinema, giving him more films to his credit than any other screenwriter. Bill Atwood also deconstructed iambic pentameter, a ten-syllable device used by The Bard to break down his plays into easily digestible segments. The same device facilitated the work of actors giving them ample breathing space between lines. Imagine the challenge of writing your plays to fit iambic pentameter, suggested Bill, emphasizing the genius of William Shakespeare in bringing his work to the masses.
Following his engaging lecture, Bill’s wife Carolyn took to the stage together with Filipino actor and educator Nic Campos and participants in Bill’s Manila classes, a happy troop of young Shakespeare enthusiasts. (More on the players here.)
Macbeth Over Easy
Following ‘Will with Bill’ was ‘Macbeth Over Easy’, Macbeth condensed into fifteen minutes with just four actors, as adapted by Palanca Awardee and playwright, Dr. Joachim Antonio. Taking the stage were Kat Mendoza, Leoren Violan, Larizze Bonifacio, and Lorenze Visco, who took the infamous ‘Scottish play’ to the international audience with much energy and enthusiasm.
Shakespeare at 450 at Fully Booked was truly a testament to the immense impact of William Shakespeare who, though long passed away, continues to speak loudly and clearly, across cultures and ages. If anything, the event accomplished what The Bard always intended: to take great, timeless stories to everyday people.
To The Bard, we salute you!