Play Sonnet 68

Thus is his cheek the map of days outworn,
When beauty lived and died as flowers do now,
Before these bastard signs of fair were born,
Or durst inhabit on a living brow;
Before the golden tresses of the dead,
The right of sepulchres, were shorn away,
To live a second life on second head;
Ere beauty’s dead fleece made another gay:
In him those holy antique hours are seen,
Without all ornament, itself and true,
Making no summer of another’s green,
Robbing no old to dress his beauty new;
     And him as for a map doth Nature store,
     To show false Art what beauty was of yore.



Sonnet 68 lauds the beloved for his natural beauty– others steal theirs from the dead.

Bill continues where Sonnet 67 left off, deciding that the youth’s face is the incarnation of how things were in the old days, when beautiful people lived and died among us often. This was before false beauties were created, or anyone dared attempt them. But now the golden locks of corpses are cut off and made to live a second life as a wig– dead beauty. The old-fashioned beauty of the youth uses no ornament: it is the real thing in all its honesty, nothing borrowing or stolen. Nature preserves him as a map, to show cosmetics what beauty used to be.


Scholar’s Corner

This sonnet mentions wigs being made from hair removed from corpses. Presumably barbers would have supplied some for a less macabre product. Sir Walter Raleigh’s has this to say on wigs and makeup:

“True golden hair was held in the highest estimation, but naturally all shades of auburn and red were favoured in a court whose Queen set the fashion by her own Tudor tresses, supplementing them as they faded with various wigs of these tints… Women of fashion incurred much censure from the pulpit and scorn from the satirist for the general practice of dyeing their hair and wearing wigs. Face-painting was common among women and at court, and evidently was carried much farther than ever before… other writers of the time see in it a token of a depraved mind, and imply that the use of face-paint is incompatible with moral behaviour.”

1. Raleigh,Walter. Shakespeare’s England: An Account of the Life and Manners of His Age, Oxford University Press, 1916, ISBN 9780198212522.


Gandhi Statue, Union Square Park, Manhattan

“This bronze sculpture depicting Mohandas Gandhi (1869–1948) was sculpted by Kantilal B. Patel (born 1925). After its dedication on October 2, 1986, the 117th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth, the sculpture joined monuments to Washington, Lafayette, and Lincoln in Union Square Park as a quartet of works devoted to defenders of freedom. Noted civil rights leader Bayard Rustin (1912–1987) was the keynote speaker at the dedication.

The monument, donated by the Gandhi Memorial International Foundation and underwritten by Mohan B. Murjani of Murjani International, Ltd., was installed at Union Square because of the tradition of protest associated with the park. The champion of nonviolent protest and Indian independence from Britain, arguably one of the most important figures of the 20th century, is seen here grasping a staff in his right hand, looking towards a point on the horizon, and walking forward. Clad in sandals and a cotton dhoti, Gandhi’s dress illustrates his Hindu asceticism as well as his support for Indian industries. After its installation the monument became an instant pilgrimage site, with an annual ceremony taking place on Gandhi’s birthday, October 2.

In 2001, Parks conserved the statue after it had been removed temporarily to facilitate the construction of a water main beneath the site. In 2002, the piece was reset on a more naturalistic stone base and the landscaped area around the monument, known as Gandhi Gardens, was expanded and improved.” [1]





ACTOR – Elizabeth Neptune

Elizabeth Neptune is thrilled to be working with New York Shakespeare Exchange on the Sonnet Project having previously performed in NYSX’s Hamlet, Island, King John, Romeo and Juliet and several ShakesBEERS around the city. Elizabeth is a founding member of the Ateh Theater Group where she has performed in The Learned Ladies (co-produced with Cake Productions), Weekend at an English Country State (2011 IT Award Nomination/Best Featured Actress), Mr. A’s Amazing Maze Plays, The Girl Detective, Long Distance, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Girl in the Flammable Skirt. Elizabeth is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she studied at the Atlantic Theater Company and Classical Studio.


DIRECTOR – Alex Basco Koch

Koch has designed projections for over a hundred plays, musicals, films and immersive art events. Koch created two nights of music videos to play alongside the Magnetic Fields’ new tour 50 Song Memoir and released a dozen of the works as official music videos. In film; creative lead for feature film title sequences, DoP and producing, directing and editing work for narrative shorts and music videos. In 2016 Koch’s projection design work was featured in two films premiering at the Sundance film festival, Norman Lear: Just Another Version Of You, directed by Academy Award nominated filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady; and Miles Ahead, directed by and starring Don Cheadle.

Koch’s work as director can be seen in the short film Who Knows? mixing projection, puppetry and live action, and a number of music videos for artists including Randy Newman and the Magnetic Fields. His work as a film producer and editor has been seen at the Tribeca Film Festival among others. He has worked as director of photography and editor for a series of shorts, My America Too, with director Kwame Kwei-Armah premiering at Centerstage in Baltimore in 2016.
Besides the above (and mostly a long time ago) Koch worked as an Aquarium Guide in Boston (and fed the penguins several times), was a Locations P.A. at “Law & Order: Criminal Intent“, drove across the country six (or seven?) times (meandering a bit), lived in a yert for a summer in Bonny Doon, got lost in the Atacama, worked as an art handler (mostly without incident), and spent nine weeks backpacking across the Hawaiian islands with neither money nor towel.