Play Sonnet 81

Or I shall live your epitaph to make,
Or you survive when I in earth am rotten,
From hence your memory death cannot take,
Although in me each part will be forgotten.
Your name from hence immortal life shall have,
Though I, once gone, to all the world must die:
The earth can yield me but a common grave,
When you entombed in men’s eyes shall lie.
Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
Which eyes not yet created shall o’er-read;
And tongues to be your being shall rehearse,
When all the breathers of this world are dead;
     You still shall live, such virtue hath my pen,
     Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.



In Sonnet 81, the poet decides he must die and be forgotten in order for his verse to give immortality to his subject.

Will decides that either he will live to write your epitaphor his love will survive rotting in the grave. Death can’t obliterate memory of one placed in verse, although everything about the poet will be forgotten. The youth’s name will live forever, whereas Will shall be nothing to the world once gone. A poet gets only a simple grave, but a poet’s muse is entombed in everyone’s eyes. The loving poems serve as a monument, which will be read by eyes not yet born. Tongues not yet born will will recite them long after everyone breathing at the time of writing is dead. Will’s pen has that power – to bestow eternal life in the very mouths of men.


Will’s Wordplay

“From hence” is self referential– this poem is what freezes the memory of the subject for us to read hundreds of years later.

To “rehearse” the subjects being is to retell and retell for newer and newer audiences. Re-hearse, rehash… recycle?

We as readers cannot be unconscious of the fact that we are the “eyes not yet created” and the “tongues to be”… kinda gives you chills.


East River Amphitheatre, Manhattan

“The East River Park runs alongside the Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Drive and the East River from Montgomery Street to East 12th Street. It was conceived in the early 1930s when Robert Moses (1888-1981) was designing the FDR (also known as East River) Drive. Moses knew that the expressway would pass through the Lower East Side, a neighborhood sorely in need of parkland. He was determined not to let the land between the expressway and the river go to waste. Moses envisioned a tree-shaded esplanade with abundant recreational facilities and windswept views of the East River and beyond.

Moses soon faced a problem: the acquisition of enough land for a park in this densely populated area. Condemnation, the process by which the City may acquire private land for public purpose, was prohibitively expensive and fraught with legal difficulties, especially along this heavily industrialized waterfront. Moses arrived at an imaginative solution. To provide more parkland, he built a 10-foot wide concrete extension to Manhattan’s eastern shoreline spanning 20 blocks in length. The combination of the added platform and Moses’s energetic legal wrangling was enough to secure the needed land, and in 1939, East River Park — the Lower East Side’s largest open space — opened alongside the FDR Drive.

East River Park has undergone a great many changes since then. In 1949, when the FDR Drive was widened, a portion of the park between Montgomery and Jackson Streets was eliminated. South Street was extended in 1963, protruding onto another 30-foot section of the park. In 1951, Parks built the 10th Street pedestrian overpass above the FDR Drive, connecting the park with East Village residents, and with residents of the neighboring Lillian Wald Houses.

In 1941, an amphitheater was built in the park, along with an adjacent limestone recreational building, as part of an urban renewal project for the Lower East Side. Joseph Papp (1921-1991), founder of Shakespeare in the Park and the Public Theater, staged Julius Caesar there in 1956. During the 1950’s, the amphitheater was the site of frequent free Evening-in-the-Park concerts. Local schools held their graduation ceremonies there, and the Group of Ancient Drama performed the Greek classics (gratis). In 1973, however, the amphitheater closed due to budget cuts. Vandals attacked the neglected theater and by 1980 it was unusable.” [1]

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, the city rebuilt the amphitheater! Companies throughout the U.S. donated materials for the reconstruction and the project was finished in record time. The project was dedicated to those children who lost parents in the attacks.

In 2008 the City Parks Foundation brought free music, dance, and theater arts programming to the amphitheater in an effort to further engage the surrounding communities in the revitalization of the park. The first performance held was a music concert by Fiery Furnaces which drew an audience of 1,500. KRS-One and Willie Colón also performed in 2008, drawing crowds upward of 3,000 people.





ACTOR – Raye Levine

Raye Levine is a native New Yorker and NY based Actress and Producer. She completed the 2-year Meisner training program at the William Esper Studio under Barbara Marchant and continued her studies with Bill Esper, Nancy Mayans and Deb Jackel. She performed in a reading of THE VOTE IN ORANGE as part of an awards ceremony for the insignia of Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres on Playwirght Israel Horovitz from the Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy, along with Kevin Kline, Bobby Cannavale, Judith Ivey and Angelina Fiordellisi. Raye is an Ensemble Member and Artistic Associate of the Barefoot Theatre Company and has performed with Barefoot in staged readings including PARKSLOPE, POUND FOR POUND, ON THE 5:31 by Mando Alvarado, directed by Jerry Ruiz, RESTLESSNESS OF DESIRE by Kristina Poe, directed by Shira-Lee Shalit, PIRATE by Jennifer Skura, directed by Molly Marinik, and most recently performed FINALLY, a new short at the Calderwood Pavillion as part of the Boston Theatre Marathon.


DIRECTOR – Nikhil Kamkolkar

Nikhil Kamkolkar studied film at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. His passion for filmmaking led him to the Visual Effects industry in Los Angeles, and then to New York where he directed his first feature film “Indian Cowboy.” Kamkolkar is currently in the TV Writing Professional Program at UCLA. His latest script is an espionage action-thriller with a broad worldview. Reach him on twitter @indiancowboy and