Play Sonnet 65


Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o’ersways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O! how shall summer’s honey breath hold out,
Against the wrackful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong but Time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall Time’s best jewel from Time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
     O! none, unless this miracle have might,
     That in black ink my love may still shine bright.



Sonnet 65 bemoans the ravages of time on beauty, and our impotence to stop it.

Bill admits that no earthly force or material is strong enough to resist mortality, so how can beauty possibly hope to resist death? It is as delicate as a flower. How could the young man’s fragile beauty hope to hold out against the assaults of time when stone and steel are strong are mangled in its clutches? Bill wants to shield this beauty and hide it from time, but how? Sadly, no one, save the written word!

Scholar’s Corner

Shakespearean scholar Helen Vendler characterizes Sonnet 65 as a “defective key word” sonnet. Often, Shakespeare will use a particular word prominently in each quatrain, prompting the reader to look for it in the couplet and note any change in usage. Here, however, he repeats the words “hold” and “strong”, but omits them in the couplet, thus rendering them “defective.” Vendler claims that these key words are replaced by “miracle” and “black ink” respectively in the quatrain, citing as evidence the shift of focus from organic to inorganic, which parallels the same shift occurring more broadly from the octave to the sestet.[1]


1. Vendler, Helen. The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1997. 


Berlin Wall, Urban Plaza, Manhattan

The Berlin Wall (German: Berliner Mauer) was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. [1] The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the “death strip”) that contained anti-vehicle trenches, “fakir beds” and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc claimed that the wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the “will of the people” in building a socialist state in East Germany. In practice, the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that marked Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period.

The Berlin Wall was officially referred to as the “Anti-Fascist Protection Rampart” (German: Antifaschistischer Schutzwall) by GDR authorities, implying that neighbouring West Germany had not been fully de-Nazified. The West Berlin city government sometimes referred to it as the “Wall of Shame”—a term coined by mayor Willy Brandt—while condemning the Wall’s restriction on freedom of movement. Along with the separate and much longer Inner German border (IGB) that demarcated the border between East and West Germany, both borders came to symbolize the “Iron Curtain” that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.

In 1989, a series of radical political changes occurred in the Eastern Bloc, associated with the liberalization of the Eastern Bloc’s authoritarian systems and the erosion of political power in the pro-Soviet governments in nearby Poland and Hungary. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, a euphoric public and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the wall; the governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of the rest. The physical Wall itself was primarily destroyed in 1990. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification, which was formally concluded on 3 October 1990.

In New York

At least three segments of the wall are located in New York City. One can be found between Gateway Plaza and the North Cove marina in the World Financial Center near the World Trade Center site. A second segment can be found in the gardens at the United Nations headquarters, among the sculptures.

A third segment exists in Urban Plaza on 53rd Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues. Thierry Noir and Kiddy Citny are the two painters, their work created in September 1985 along the Waldemarstrasse in Berlin Kreuzberg. [2] This graffiti among others along Waldemarstreet were well documented in 1985 through ten poster photos made by photographers Liselotte and Armin Orgel-Köhne.


1. Video: Berlin, 1961/08/31 (1961). Universal Newsreel. 1961. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
2. “Photo Essay 11/5/99 – The Wall: Where Is It Now? Page 2”. Time.
3. Berlin – Seite für Seite. Literaturauswahl zur 750-Jahr-Feier. A bibliography about Berlin, with 10 photos showing the Berlin wall segments along Waldemarstreet. Edition: Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek / Berliner Zentralbibliothek. Berlin, 1986. 52 pages, ISBN 3-925516-04-2


ACTOR – John Fennessy

From the late 60s through the early 80s John was virtually a fixture on Broadway. He was a member of the original company of Grease and also appeared in and/or staged managed, among others, Fiddler on the Roof, Over Here! (Starring The Andrews Sisters), the legendary Frankenstein, Got tu Go Disco, and Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Currently he is serving as Producer/Creative Consultant for the new musical, Mr. Douglass, 

based on the life of Frederick Douglass.

He has trained at New York University, The American Academy of Dramatic Art and HB Studios. In the world of Business Theater and Corporate Events his reputation and list of accomplishments is considered nothing short of legendary.In fact, John has helmed well over a thousand Industrials (Business Theater) and Special Events as Director, Production Stage Manager and Executive Presentation/Speech Coach.

He directed Time Magazine’s 75th Anniversary Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall and the live theatrical elements for Super Bowl XXXVI featuring U2. He also directed The Coca-Cola Centennial; the largest and most complex business-theater production ever mounted. 

He trained as a director with the CBS daytime drama, The Guiding Light, and has directed dozens of musicals and plays including Legends In Our Time starring Hal Holbrook and Cliff Robertson.

As Executive Speaker Coach he has shaped senior management presentations for a wide range of companies in a variety of industries. They include Microsoft, Oracle Corporation, Sun Microsystems, IBM, Ford, General Motors, Subaru, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Smith-Klein, Forest Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson as well as a number of government focused associations in Washington, DC.

By creating a fusion of the disciplines of Theater and Corporate Communications, John has completely redefined the processes of preparing and delivering public presentations. He reveals each speaker’s own true voice and brings out the authenticity, integrity and command that audiences need. He understands the difference between the “page and the stage” and crafts the written words into conversation. Throughout his career, he has been considered by virtually every client with whom he’s worked in these areas as the single most effective and dynamic person they’d ever encountered.


DIRECTOR – Melissa Balan

Melissa Balan is an independent filmmaker based out of Brooklyn, NY. Obsessed with storytelling from a young age, she was heavily involved in theater and creative writing throughout childhood, before developing a love of cinema in her early teens. Originally from metro-Detroit Michigan, she relocated east in 2008 and is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Film and Television Production.

Passionate about culture, travel, and storytelling, she writes, produces, shoots, directs and edits various video content, from web series to music videos to narrative films. Her work has been showcased at the Blackbear Film Festival, the East Coast Student Film Festival, and the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival. Her most recent short film, Brothers in Arms, was awarded the prestigious George Heinneman/King Family Foundation Production Award, distributed through New York University.

Her latest film, Sanskriti, is a feature-length documentary shot in five countries around the globe and is currently in production, slated to be finished in late 2014.

She is an avid fan of guitars, outer space, and cat videos, and is currently working as a freelancer in New York City.