Apr 21 2013 · 1 comment · ·

Play Today’s Video

grand+army+plaza+flea+market+2 GrandArmyPlaza_signature_NYCParksRec

From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud pied April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
That heavy Saturn laughed and leapt with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue,
Could make me any summer’s story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew:
Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.

     Yet seemed it winter still, and you away,
     As with your shadow I with these did play.

One of the sonnets addressed to the ‘Fair Youth’, this poem sees Shakespeare bemoaning the fact that he could not appreciate all the beauty of spring around him because he was absent from the young man. As a consequence, spring seemed like a winter to him. April may have ‘put a spirit of youth in every thing’ – the word ‘youth’ reminding us, perhaps, that Shakespeare is addressing a ‘fair youth’ whose spirit he much admires – but for the Bard, it might as well be winter because he cannot take delight in the flowers or the birdsong (‘lays of birds’).

Even ‘heavy Saturn’ – the planet whence we derive the adjective ‘saturnine’, denoting heavy and sullen sluggishness – is cavorting about with the springtime, but Shakespeare is unable to join in. The beauty of spring is all round – the remarkable whiteness of the lily, the fiery red (‘vermilion’) of the red, red rose – but Shakespeare notices none of it. Such beautiful symbols of springtime are only copying the beauty of the Fair Youth – who is absent from the poet, and so the cause of his unhappiness because they are apart.[1]


[1] https://interestingliterature.com/2018/02/15/a-short-analysis-of-shakespeares-sonnet-98-from-you-have-i-been-absent-in-the-spring/

Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn

Grand Army Plaza is a public plaza at the northern corner Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Designed in 1867 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, and originally neameed Prospect Park Plaza, it is home to the visually arresting Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch, as well as a number of other monuments, including the Bailey Fountain, the John F. Kennedy Monument, and statues of Civil War generals Gouverneur K. Warren and Henry Warner Slocum.

In 1926, the plaza was renamed Grand Army Plaza to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the foundation of the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army and other military services who served in the American Civil War.

In 2008, a competition was held for designs to reorganize Grand Army Plaza to make it a more integral part of Prospect Park and more accessible to pedestrians.[13] At the same time, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) made improvements in accessibility, putting sidewalks and planters in many of the striped areas. These improvements made it somewhat easier and safer for pedestrians and cyclists to cross from the park to the library and to the plaza. The changes made by the NYCDOT were modest in comparison to those in the designs in the competition, most of which called for the rerouting of some of the vast traffic flow.

Sonnet Project
Grand Army Plaza was the featured location for Sonnet 98, performed by Ignacio Velez, directed by Harry Taylor. The video was released on August 14, 2018.

Ignacio Velez
Ignacio Velez learned he loved the art of performing while faking sick from school to watch reruns of Bewitched and I Love Lucy. Working with local performance companies such as Mystic Vision Players, Feenix Films,  And Machoola Productions, his favorite roles include Billy Bibbit in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Charlie Brown in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, and playing twelve different characters in The Laramie Project. He’s honored to be able to add the Sonnet Project  to his body of work. 

Harry Taylor
Harry Maxwell Taylor JR born in Houston, Texas. Raised in New Jersey/ New York most of his life. Harry went to study film at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida for 2 years. He graduated with a Bachelors for Cinematography. After graduating he moved back to the Tri-State area, learning more of the post production life as an intern and is now a freelancer. Taking jobs like Camera Operator, PA, and even Director.

Film Crew
Silas Aguilar
Nesto Fuentes
Priya Aisuru

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 1

From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty’s rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world’s fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content
And, tender churl, makest waste in niggarding.
???Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
???To eat the world’s due, by the grave and thee.

Sonnet 1 bids the subject, a handsome young man, to create an heir so that he might taste immortality.

Shakespeare begins by exalting the young man’s physical beauty, before changing to a tone of contempt for his lack of a desire for an heir.Then, the sonnet shifts from a tone of admiration to a critical tone. Bill accuses the young man of being betrothed to himself, leaving nothing behind where there could be “abundance”, thus becoming his own enemy. It is a crime against man and nature to just simply eat away at “the world’s due” without reproducing. He calls the young man new, young, beautiful, and vital and implies that perhaps there were others before, but they are dead. He deems his beloved a worthless sinner for not procreating, though he still loves them. The man is selfish with his beauty, refusing to let the world see it in bloom, so Bill ends by saying his beloved may be a “bud”, but wouldn’t he rather be a flower to the world? To not bloom is to make waste. The ominous couplet serves as a prophetic threat of an empty death without offspring to carry on the beloved’s legacy.

Will’s Wordplay
Shakespeare’s pun on the word “tender” (to mean both youth and beauty as well as currency to alleviate a debt) further illustrates the beloved’s need to reproduce in order to pay off his debt of chastity.

“But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes”, is not only complimenting his handsome subject, but is also scolding him for his chastity. Will then goes on to give the imagery of a candle eating itself, (“Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel”), an image of gluttony

Shakespeare describes the selfishness of the beloved, contrasting allusions to a famine in the second quatrain with allusions to gluttony by saying that the beloved is “eat[ing] the world’s due” by dying without offspring.

The word “buriest” suggests the youth digging his own grave and the end to his beauty.

Scholar’s Corner
Helen Vendler comments on the overall significance of this sonnet:

“When God saw his creatures, he commanded them to increase and multiply. Shakespeare, in this first sonnet of the sequence, suggests we have internalized the paradisal command in an aestheticized form: From fairest creatures we desire increase. The sonnet begins, so to speak, in the desire for an Eden where beauty’s rose will never die; but the fall quickly arrives with decease. Unless the young man pities the world, and consents to his own increase, even a successively self-renewing Eden is unavailable”.[1]

1) ^Vendler, Helen. The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Cambridge, MA: Belknap of Harvard UP, 1997. Print, pg. 46

Chelsea Piers

Chelsea Piers is a series of piers on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City in the Chelsea neighborhood, on the northern edge of Greenwich Village and the Meatpacking District. They were a passenger ship terminal in the early 1900s that was used by the RMS Lusitania and was the destination of the RMS Titanic. The piers are currently used by the Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex. Pier 59 is home to the Chelsea Brewing Company the only micro-brewery in Manhattan. The new complex includes film and television production facilities, including those for CBS Sports Network and Food Network, a health club, a day spa, the city’s largest training center for gymnastics, two basketball courts, playing fields for indoor lacrosse and soccer, batting cages, a rock climbing wall and dance studios. In addition there is an AMF Bowling center, a golf club with multi-story driving range, and two full sized ice rinks for skating. The complex also includes a marina for mooring private boats.

Chelsea Piers circa 1950

Chelsea Piers circa 1950

Chelsea Piers is part of Hudson River Park, a waterside park on the Hudson River in the New York City borough of Manhattan. Bicycle and pedestrian paths, span the park north to south, opening up the waterfront for recreational use. It is a joint New York State and New York City collaboration and is a 550-acre park, the biggest in Manhattan after Central Park. The park arose as part of the West Side Highway replacement project in the wake of the abandoned Westway plan.

Historically, the term Chelsea Piers referred to the luxury liner berths on Manhattan’s west side from 1910 to the 1930s. Most of the major trans-Atlantic liners of the day docked at the piers. With luxury liners becoming bigger and bigger, New York City was looking for a new luxury liner dock in the early 1900s. The Army, which controlled the location and size of piers, refused to let any piers extend beyond the existing pierhead line of the North River (the navigation name for the Hudson River south of 30th Street). Ship lines were reluctant to build north of 23rd Street because infrastructure was already in place, including the High Line Rail line and a train station near the river at 23rd Street.[2]

New York City solved the problem in an unusual way — it actually took away a block of land that was once part of Manhattan. The land was the 1837 landfill that extended Manhattan to 13th Avenue. The controversial decision included condemning many businesses. The new piers were designed by the architectural firm of Warren and Wetmore, which has also designed Grand Central Terminal. Under contracts let by the New York City Department of Dock and Ferries, the Chelsea Section Improvement, as it was officially called, replaced a hodgepodge of run-down waterfront structures with a row of grand buildings embellished with pink granite facades and formed the docking points for the rival Cunard Line and White Star Line.

After New York moved its luxury liner piers to the New York Cruise Terminal between West 46th and West 54th Street in 1935 to accommodate bigger ships such as the RMS Queen Mary and the SS Normandie, the pier became a cargo terminal. During World War II the piers were used to deploy troops. [1]

In July 1936, the Chelsea Piers were the point of departure for Jesse Owens and the United States Olympic team as they left for the Summer Games in Berlin, Germany.

The piers had a catastrophic fire in 1947 that destroyed some of the south piers. New construction resulted in new cargo piers used by the United States Lines and Grace line.

In the 1980s, plans circulated to replace the West Side Elevated Highway with an at grade highway going along the West Side south of 42nd Street. The plan called for the highway to run over demolished piers. Pier 54 was actually demolished in 1991 although the archway entrance (along with the White Star and Cunard signage) was retained. The plan (dubbed the Westway) was abandoned after court cases said the new highway would jeopardize striped bass.

Construction of Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex began on July 12, 1994 in ceremonies attended by New York Governor Mario Cuomo, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger. Chelsea Piers Connecticut, the first expansion project of Chelsea Piers, was built in Stamford, Connecticut. The facility opened in July 2012.

Lusitania and Titanic Disasters
While every trans-Atlantic ship of the era visited the piers, the two most memorable moments for the pier were with the Lusitania and Titanic. The RMS Lusitania left her Cunard Pier 54 before being torpedoed and becoming the rallying cry for American involvement in World War I. The RMS Titanic was destined for the White Star pier 59 when she sank. Survivors were rescued on Cunard’s RMS Carpathia. The Carpathia dropped off the Titanic’s lifeboats at Pier 59 before going back south to Pier 54 where she unloaded the passengers and survivors. Thousands of people assembled at the dock to greet the ship.

Sonnet Project
Chelsea Piers was the featured location for Sonnet 1, performed by Artistic Director Ross Williams, directed by Melinda Hall. The video was released on April 26, 2013.


1. http://www.glts.org/articles/nyc_memorials/

Ross Williams cut his teeth in the world of theater when he played a ferret and the rear end of a horse in The Wind in the Willows at the local community theater, Fantasy Playhouse in Huntsville, Alabama where he grew up. At Grissom HS he acted in, and directed many shows under the tutelage of Gail Rodenhauser and Sandra Hayes. His directorial debut was a one-act version of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde which, while it likely lacked the acerbic edge that only a jaded sense of irony can bring about, was well-received by those audiences that were lucky enough to score tickets and find themselves in that darkened, institutional auditorium.

Following high school Ross attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas where he studied Acting and Directing. He then went on to get an MFA in performance at the Cleveland Play House Graduate Actor Training Program through Case Western Reserve University. While at Case, Ross discovered his great love of Shakespeare.

Since moving to NYC, Ross has acted, directed and taught with many of the small Shakespearean companies in the city. His most notable performing gig took him to Toronto, Ontario where he originated the role of Gimli the battle-axe wielding dwarf in the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings musical extravaganza directed by Matthew Warchus.

Ross founded New York Shakespeare Exchange in 2009 as a vehicle for engaging new audiences with classical theater.

Melinda Hall (Willful Pictures) is a writer, director, producer and actor for both stage and film. She produces the Annual Shakespeare’s Birthday Sonnet Slam which takes place at the Bandshell in Central Park. It’s a free event where all 154 Sonnets are read aloud by 154 people of all ages.

For the Shakespeare Week at the New York Public Library 2013, Ms. Hall was honored to give a talk on the style of Directing for Shakespeare for the stage.

Her current film project: HOW SHAKESPEARE CHANGED MY LIFE interviews people who tell of a pivotal moment when Shakespeare literally changed their lives. The film stars: Sir Ben Kingsley, James Earl Jones, Earle Hyman, Michael Kahn, Stacy Keach, F. Murray Abraham and other notable artists. Clips are available on Vimeo.

Recently, she directed Sonnet #1 for the New York Shakespeare Exchange’s Sonnet Project which was shot on location at the Hudson River Park, NYC and features Ross Williams.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 2

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When forty winters shall beseige thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty’s field,
Thy youth’s proud livery, so gazed on now,
Will be a tatter’d weed, of small worth held:
Then being ask’d where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days,
To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserved thy beauty’s use,
If thou couldst answer ‘This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,’
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
     This were to be new made when thou art old,
     And see thy blood warm when thou feel’st it cold.

Sonnet 2 is a procreation sonnet that emphasizes the ruin of age, and how the beauty of the subject’s youth could be preserved in a child.

Shakespeare’s beloved is clearly handsome, and much desired. But he stresses that beauty will not last, and that it is selfish and foolish for the young man not to prepare for the loss of his youth. He will become like a “tattered weed” unless he reproduces. People will ask where his beauty has gone; the only way he can truly prepare is to have a son who can carry on his name and wonderful qualities, including his unsurpassed beauty. Therefore when the man described is old, his heir will be young, his debt to society paid, and his beauty renewed.

Will’s Wordplay
The beginning of this sonnet is a military metaphor. Here, the young man’s enemy is time, and he is depicted wearing his own youthfulness as proudly as one would wear a uniform,or “livery”.

The “tatter’d weed” evokes an aging garment (the youth’s livery in the above line).

Thriftless: unprofitable.

“Shall sum my count and make my old excuse” means that the youth’s heir will settle his debt to society and justify his aging.


Isham Park, Manhattan
You may not have even heard of this little gem, but Isham Park is a 20-acre historic park located in the Inwood section of Manhattan in New York City. The park was created through a gift of the Isham family in 1912-1916 and later expanded by New York City in 1925 and 1927.

Its western border once extended to the Harlem River but after the development of Inwood Hill Park and reconfiguration of area streets the boundary became, for all practical purposes, Seaman Avenue. Isham Park has its southern boundary at Isham Street. For part of its length Broadway is the eastern boundary, but from about West 214 Street Park Terrace East is the boundary. The park’s northern end is at the equivalent of West 214 Street, which here is a long flight of stairs. There are two apartment buildings between these stairs and West 215 Street. The park is cut in two by Park Terrace West.[1]

The Isham mansion, which originally came with the park gift, was torn down in the 1940s due to its deteriorating condition.[1]

Isham Park is noted at its southern end for some exposed marble outcroppings which date from the Cambrian period. This is a popular location for college geology classes to visit. There is a public garden in the northeastern corner. Much of the rest of the park has trees and brush growing in a rather wild manner.

The Park is popular with families with small children who appreciate the park’s rolling topography and quiet nature. Ball games and other sports are discouraged in Isham Park and the park serves as a serene, more passive neighbor to the many facilities of Inwood Hill Park.

1. “Isham Park – Historical Sign”. New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Retrieved 2010-07-19.

ACTOR – Cheryl Blaylock
Cheryl Blaylock’s award-winning documentary feature, In Vienna They Put You in Jail: The Max Birnach Story is distributed by Cinema Guild www.cinemaguild.com. Her company, Kalamazoo Gal Pictures, has produced documentaries, tributes, promos and weddings. Cheryl has worked extensively in film and television as a puppeteer, her favorite characters include Frederica in Blue’s Room (spinoff of Blue’s Clues), Eureeka in Eureeka’s Castle and many characters on Sesame Street. She recently coached and co-directed Avenue Q at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre. With the Jim Henson Company, she designed, built and performed the Muppets, winning an Emmy for her work on Sesame Street. She has acted on stage, television and film in various projects from drama to commercials to cartoon voices. Sonnet #2 marks her first venture into Shakespeare’s canon. She is represented by Abrams Artists Agency.

DIRECTOR- Cheryl Blaylock
Cheryl Blaylock’s award-winning documentary feature, In Vienna They Put You in Jail: The Max Birnach Story is distributed by Cinema Guild www.cinemaguild.com. Her company, Kalamazoo Gal Pictures, has produced documentaries, tributes, promos and weddings. Cheryl has worked extensively in film and television as a puppeteer, her favorite characters include Frederica in Blue’s Room (spinoff of Blue’s Clues), Eureeka in Eureeka’s Castle and many characters on Sesame Street. She recently coached and co-directed Avenue Q at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre. With the Jim Henson Company, she designed, built and performed the Muppets, winning an Emmy for her work on Sesame Street. She has acted on stage, television and film in various projects from drama to commercials to cartoon voices. Sonnet #2 marks her first venture into Shakespeare’s canon. She is represented by Abrams Artists Agency.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 3

Sunny's Bar BAhbCVsHOgZmSSI3dXBsb2Fkcy9wbGFjZV9pbWFnZXMvZjRlOWJlNTRmNjc5MDQxYThmX3N1bm55Mi5qcGcGOgZFVFsIOgZwOgp0aHVtYkkiCjk4MHg+BjsGVFsHOwc6CnN0cmlwWwk7BzoMY29udmVydEkiEC1xdWFsaXR5IDkxBjsGVDA

Look in thy glass and tell the face thou viewest
Now is the time that face should form another;
Whose fresh repair if now thou not renewest,
Thou dost beguile the world, unbless some mother.
For where is she so fair whose uneared womb
Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry?
Or who is he so fond will be the tomb
Of his self-love, to stop posterity?
Thou art thy mother’s glass and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime;
So thou through windows of thine age shalt see,
Despite of wrinkles, this thy golden time.
     But if thou live, remembered not to be,
     Die single and thine image dies with thee.



Sonnet 3 emphasizes the ravages age might take on the young man, explaining how beauty is passed on through the generations, from his forbears to him, and so on.

Will once again urges his subject to look to posterity and to bless the world by siring some children. No woman, however beautiful, would think him an unworthy candidate for fatherhood. Again, his self-love is likened to a death, since his beauty will die with him if he doesn’t produce an heir. Just as the youth reflects his mother’s beauty, showing how lovely she was in her prime, so a child of his would be a reflection of his. In his old age he could look on this child and see an image of what he once was. But if he chooses to remain unmarried, it will perish when he does.

Will’s Wordplay

“unear’d” means unploughed; this is a very dirty way to refer to a virgin wife. The youth has yet to “plant his seed” in her, so to speak. With “tillage of thy husbandry” the farming and ploughing metaphor continues, with a pun on husband for good measure.

“Thou art thy mother’s glass” tells the youth that he is effectively a mirror in which his mother can look to see a reflection of herself in her youth. 

Sunny’s Bar, Red Hook, Brooklyn

“Ask a car service to take you to “the bar” in Red Hook, and you’ll wind up at an unassuming little place by the river, near some railroad tracks that go nowhere. The beatific, Beatniky owner, Sunny, greets you warmly from beneath a mop of gray hair and a portrait of his great-grandfather, who opened the bar in 1890. Since then, the place has gone through various incarnations, as a restaurant and a longshoremen’s hangout, but now, says Sunny, ‘it’s just a meeting place for folks—painters, writers, musicians, plumbers—who care about each other so much they don’t mind the trip.'” [1]

Sunny’s After Sandy

Sunny’s reopened ten months after being put out of business by the ravages of Hurricane Sandy. Through internet fundraisers, hands-on volunteers, and donations from patrons, Sunny Balzano reopened the bar on his 79th birthday, August 29, 2014. [2]



1. http://nymag.com/listings/bar/sunnys/
2. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/21/knocked-out-by-hurricane-sandy-sunnys-bar-is-bouncing-back/?_r=0

ACTOR – Ron Cohen

Ronald Cohen. NY Theatre: Artist Descending a Staircase, Henry IV Part One, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Boomerang Theatre Company); The Recruiting Officer (New York Classical Theatre); Twelfth Night (Kings County Shakespeare); Pirandello’s Henry IV (CSC First Look); Martin Sherman’s Messiah (Workshop Theatre Company). Regional: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Cape May Stage; Kansas City Circle Theatre; New Theatre, Overland Park, KS.; Orlando (FL) Shakespeare; Lake Lucille, NY, Chekhov Project; Company of Fools, Hailey, ID. Film and TV: Not Waving But Drowning; Strangers When We Meet; Where Is Joel Baum?; Ablution; Landings; Sex and the City.

DIRECTOR – David Ketterer

David T. Ketterer lives and makes movies in New York. His latest short film Game Night has screened in festivals across the country and will make its next appearance at the Manhattan Film Festival in June. His other work has screened all over the globe, from California to Iowa to Pakistan. He has broken two bones in his life, but unfortunately not while he was doing anything cool.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 7

Lo! in the orient when the gracious light
Lifts up his burning head, each under eye
Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,
Serving with looks his sacred majesty;
And having climbed the steep-up heavenly hill,
Resembling strong youth in his middle age,
Yet mortal looks adore his beauty still,
Attending on his golden pilgrimage:
But when from highmost pitch, with weary car,
Like feeble age, he reeleth from the day,
The eyes, ‘fore duteous, now converted are
From his low tract, and look another way:
     So thou, thyself outgoing in thy noon
     Unlooked on diest unless thou get a son.



Sonnet 7 draws a simile between the rising and setting sun and the human life cycle.

In the sunset of his days, the youth will no longer be surrounded by admirers. Unless he has children to carry on the line and reflect his former beauty, he will be forgotten by time. When the sun rises, everyone admires it, and pays homage to it, as if it were a king. As it climbs higher in the sky to reach its zenith, we admire it, but as it plunges towards evening, the gaze is averted, it is ignored. and other rising stars take precedence. So too, the youth will be nothing as he ages, unless he becomes the rising sun by having a son. (Wordplay!)

Will’s Wordplay

Helen Vendler notes that Willy utilizes simplistic word play and keywords to underline the thematic meaning. These words appear in root form or similar variations [1]. The poetic eye finds interest in the use of ‘looks’ (line 4), ‘looks’ (line 7), ‘look’ (line 12), and ‘unlook’d’ (line 14). A more thematic word play used is those words denoting ‘age’, but that are not explicitly identifiable.

Doth homage to his new-appearing sight,
Resembling strong youth in his middle age,
Attending on his golden pilgrimage;

By using words typical of expressing human features (e.g. youth), the reader begins to identify the sun as being representative of man. The sun does not assume an actual ‘age’, therefore we infer that the subject of the poem is man.

Scholar’s Corner

Thomas Greene believes the first clauses of early Shakespearean sonnets are haunted by ‘cosmic’ or ‘existential’ economics. The second clause issues hope for stability of beauty and immortality. The sun in sonnet 7 is an imperialistic empire that controls the world. The economic status of its governed is completely dependent upon the sun’s immortality. If the sun did not rise, there would be no harvest or profit. The youth also has an economic function in his humanity. His complete reliance on the sun for economic gain is slave-like. Man waits for the sun to rise in the morning, labors under its heat, then feebly ends his days work, ever closer to his mortality. This sonnet is epideictic rhetoric of both blame and praise: blaming the sun for reminding man of his immortality, and praising the sun for the vast pleasures it brings man in his short lifetime. [2].

1. Vendler, Helen (1997). The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. pp. 74-75.
2. Engle, Lars (October 1989). Afloat in Thick Deeps: Shakespeare’s Sonnets on Certainty. PMLA 104. pp. 832-843.


Pepsi Sign, Long Island City, Queens

A vintage classic and a beacon of Americana, the Pepsi-Cola sign stands opposite Gantry Plaza State park, on the East River in the Hunter’s Point section of Long Island City, in the New York City borough of Queens. Constructed in 1936 by Artkraft Strauss, the 120-foot long and 60-foot high neon Pepsi-Cola sign was located on top of the bottling plant before it was preserved and moved into a permanent location within the park

Throughout the twentieth century, Artkraft Strauss, located in Manhattan, New York, was the preeminent designer and creator of Times Square’s iconic signs and displays. These included the “smoking” Camel sign, which wafted giant smoke rings over the Square; the Bond Clothing Stores display, a block-long extravaganza with a perpetual waterfall; and the high-neon north-Square “spectaculars” created for Canadian Club and Admiral Television. For almost a century, Artkraft Strauss was also responsible for the annual midnight ball drop that signaled the new year’s arrival.


The Pepsi-Cola sign once crowned the Hunter’s Point Bottling Plant, which closed in 1999 and was later demolished. Due to strong interest from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the sign was relocated not far from the defunct plant, a temporary location while a new one was sought. It has remained under the stewardship of PepsiCo. [1]

In 2009, the sign was re-erected, letter by letter, in front of a 24-story apartment building, designed around the artwork.



1. Dunlap, David W. .”What Happened to the Queens Pepsi Sign”. The New York Times. December 10, 2008.


ACTOR – Brendan Ryan

After being honorably discharged from the U.S.M.C, Brendan returned to NYC to pursue a career acting. After drifting through poetry jams and monologue competitions he was invited to study at William Esper Studio. He has toured regionally and nationally, but always comes back to the Apple. He has performed in a number of television shows and pilots but prefers new works on stage. He can currently be seen at The Garage Theatre in the world premiere of, The Legacy.


DIRECTOR – Derek Schweickart

Schweickart grew up on the prep floor of Birns and Sawyer, a boutique camera rental company in Hollywood, and learned at a young age the technology involved in making films. After leaving Hollywood for school, Schweickart graduated with honors from University of California, San Diego, having studied with French “nouveau vague” filmmaker JP Gorin, a long-time collaborator with Jean Luc Goddard. After university, Schweickart returned to the camera world, and became an expert in digital cinema technology and post-production working with such filmmakers as David Fincher, James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, and Ang Lee. While working and studying with such talented filmmakers, Derek spends his free time shooting music videos, and short films, where he practices his skills.
Schweickart is currently working with Vince Pace and James Cameron at the Cameron Pace Group on developing stereoscopic 3D cinematography and post-production tools. He is also in pre-production on his feature film directorial debut, entitled, Maxxed at Intermission.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 8


Naumburg Bandshell2 Naumburg Bandshell

Music to hear, why hear’st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy.
Why lovest thou that which thou receivest not gladly,
Or else receivest with pleasure thine annoy?
If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,
By unions married, do offend thine ear,
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering,
Resembling sire and child and happy mother
Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing:
     Whose speechless song, being many, seeming one,
     Sings this to thee: ‘thou single wilt prove none.


Sonnet 8 is another procreation sonnet urging the young man to whom it is addressed to marry and have children. A comparison is made between the harmony of different instruments in an orchestra, voices in unison, and a harmonious relationship between a family.

A lesson is drawn from the young man’s apparent sadness listening to music. Music itself is concord and harmony, similar to that the happy household of father, child and mother, as if they were separate strings in music which reverberate mutually. Will compares the harmony of different instruments in an orchestra, voices in unison (although on “one note” an octave apart) and a harmonious relationship between a family. The music, which he hears, angers him as it makes him feel worthless living a single life. He will become nothing having not had children.

Will’s Wordplay
“concord” and “unions married” here mean musical harmony, but their application to romantic relationships is not lost on the Bard.
“thou single wilt prove none” is an allusion to the common saying “one is no number”, and also tells the youth he will amount to nothing.

Scholar’s Corner
As Blick points out, this sonnet, which in its numbering invokes the union or unison of the octave, is associated with sonnet 128 by the vocative naming of the addressee as “music”, but in sonnet 128 harmony in unions/unison is to be achieved by the “kiss”, not marriage. Here, it is the young man’s singleness that prevents a unison. [1]

1. Blick, Fred. (1999). Shakespeare’s Musical Sonnets: Numbers 8, 128 and Pythagoras The Upstart Crow, A Shakespeare Journal, Clemson University Press, Clemson.

Naumburg Bandshell, Central Park
The site of several movie shoots, John Lennon’s eulogy, a Martin Luther King speech, and a Grateful Dead concert, Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell is a pop culture icon that’s given a home to an eclectic bunch.

“Next time you walk past the Naumburg Bandshell on the concert ground, you might hear a musician playing today’s hits. But in 1862 when a cast-iron bandstand was erected on the spot on which the Beethoven statue stands today, the very straight-laced commissioners would not have approved of popular music. They wanted the public to hear only refined, classical music like that of Beethoven himself.

By the 1890s, marches by John Philip Sousa, choral and folk music were added to the repertoire — but it took until the 1920s for park-goers to enjoy what we know today as popular music. Such greats as Irving Berlin, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington entertained at the Bandshell, as well as Victor Herbert, whose statue is just a few steps away from Beethoven. Those two statues, as well as the other 49 statues in the Park, are given a cleaning every summer by the Central Park Conservancy.

The Conservancy is also responsible for recreating those beautiful and unique wooden benches surrounding the trees. When the Park was first opened in the 1860s, the elms were newly planted and their roots were still quite shallow. On sunny concert days, thousands of park-goers would jam into the small area and huddle under the fragile trees for shade. Park designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux were concerned about the survival of the young trees, so they designed these benches to also act as fences, protecting both the elms as well as the Sunday-best clothes that people always wore to come to Central Park.”[1]

Sonnet Project
The Naumburg Bandshell was the featured location for Sonnet 8, performed by Michelle Beck, directed by Emily Ernst and Daniel Burity. The video was released on May 15, 2013

1. http://www.centralparknyc.org/visit/things-to-see/south-end/naumburg-bandshell.html


Michelle Beck began her career as an actor at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in The Winter’s Tale and Cyrano de Bergerac. She appeared in the film Spinning into Butter, followed by Ophelia in Hamlet at the Shakespeare Theatre, directed by Michael Kahn. Michelle went on to work with the director Daniel Fish as Marianne in his Tartuffe at the McCarter Theater and Yale Repertory Theater and in 2008, Beck appeared as Viola in the Chicago Shakespeare Theater production of Twelfth Night, and was then cast in The Bridge Project under the direction of Sam Mendes. Other recent Shakespeare includes: Much Ado About Nothing at Theatre for a New Audience, and Richard III and Love’s Labor’s Lost at The Public Theater. Upcoming: A Kid Like Jake at Lincoln Center. BFA Acting, Suny Purchase.

EMILY ERNST – Co-Director
Emily Ernst was born in Lincoln, Nebraska where she trained as a classical pianist for eleven years. In 2008, she earned a BFA in Acting from SMU (Greer Garson Award) and began her career as an actor doing rep theatre in Michigan. After a summer working with installation artists, acrobats and directors at Friches Théâtre Urbain in Paris, she discovered an interest in directing and education. In 2009, she taught Shakespeare at the Manhattan Country School, and traveled to Hartford to develop curriculum, assistant direct, and lead post-show discussions for an adaptation of Warriors Don’t Cry (Bushnell Theatre). In 2011, Emily directed her first play in Baltimore and assisted Kara-Lynn Vaeni on the Russian opera, Eugene Onegin (Opera Slavica). She returned the following year to assist again on the main stage while also staging the company’s scenes program, featuring scenes in Czech and Russian from four separate operas. She now works full time at an Off-Broadway Shakespeare Company, Theatre for a New Audience, where she coordinates the intern program and in 2012, assisted Arin Arbus on The Taming of the Shrew.

Daniel Burity is an award-winning Brazilian filmmaker from Salvador, Bahia. He graduated with a degree in Communications from Hélio Rocha College and studied Digital Cinema at the School of Visual Arts, in New York. Daniel began his career working in television at age 22, where he directed, wrote and edited cultural programming. Since 2007, he has worked as a director, editor, producer, and videographer based in New York City. His series, Apple Sounds, about independent musicians in New York City, won the Press Award in For Lauderdale, Florida, and was praised highly by director Michel Gondry. Daniel is also known for his work in music videos, and as editor of the feature documentary Bel Borba Aqui, which played in cinemas across the United States.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 9

Brooklyn Bridge2 Brooklyn Bridge

Is it for fear to wet a widow’s eye
That thou consumest thyself in single life?
Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die,
The world will wail thee, like a makeless wife;
The world will be thy widow and still weep
That thou no form of thee hast left behind,
When every private widow well may keep
By children’s eyes her husband’s shape in mind.
Look what an unthrift in the world doth spend
Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;
But beauty’s waste hath in the world an end,
And kept unused, the user so destroys it.
     No love toward others in that bosom sits
     That on himself such murderous shame commits.

Sonnet 9 approaches the young man’s resistance to marry and procreate as a fear of hurting his family after he dies.

Here, Bill Shakes tries a different tack. He reasons that if the young man must be remaining single so that he does not make a widow. The youth is wrong to do so, because if he dies the entire world will in effect be a widow, crying over the fact that he did not leave a child behind to remind them of how wonderful he was!. To Bill, a widow will always have the image of her lover in her children to console her after her loss.

Will’s Wordplay
“makeless” is more likely mateless (or, widowed). The whole world will grieve for the young man!

Brooklyn Bridge
The most iconic bridge in New York City, Brooklyn Bridge is a bridge in New York City and is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Completed in 1883, it connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River. With a main span of 1,595.5 feet, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world from its opening until 1903, and the first steel-wire suspension bridge. At the time it opened, and for several years, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world—50% longer than any previously built—and it has become a treasured landmark.The architectural style is neo-Gothic, with characteristic pointed arches above the passageways through the stone towers. The paint scheme of the bridge is “Brooklyn Bridge Tan” and “Silver”, although it has been argued that the original paint was “Rawlins Red”.[1]

Originally referred to as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge and as the East River Bridge, it was dubbed the Brooklyn Bridge, a name from a letter to the editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle,[2] and formally so named by the city government in 1915. Since its opening, it has become an icon of New York City, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964[3] and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972.

The Brooklyn Bridge was designed by German immigrant John Augustus Roebling, who had previously designed and constructed shorter suspension bridges.Roebling sustained a crush injury to his foot when a ferry pinned it against a piling. After amputation of his crushed toes he developed a tetanus infection which left him incapacitated and soon resulted in his death, not long after he had placed his son Washington Roebling in charge of the project.[4]

Washington Roebling also suffered a paralyzing injury as a result of decompression sickness shortly after the beginning of construction on January 3, 1870. This debilitating condition left him unable to physically supervise the construction firsthand; his wife Emily Warren Roebling stepped in and provided the critical written link between her husband and the engineers on site.[5] Under her husband’s guidance, Emily studied higher mathematics, the calculations of catenary curves, the strengths of materials, bridge specifications, and the intricacies of cable construction. She spent the next 11 years assisting Washington Roebling helping to supervise the bridge’s construction.

The Brooklyn Bridge was opened for use on May 24, 1883. A total of 1,800 vehicles and 150,300 people crossed what was then the only land passage between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Emily Warren Roebling was the first to cross the bridge. President Chester A. Arthur and New York Mayor Franklin Edson crossed the bridge to celebratory cannon fire and were greeted by Brooklyn Mayor Seth Low when they reached the Brooklyn-side tower. Washington Roebling was unable to attend the ceremony. Further festivity included the performance of a band, gunfire from ships, and a fireworks display.

On May 17, 1884, P. T. Barnum helped to squelch doubts about the bridge’s stability—while publicizing his famous circus—when one of his most famous attractions, Jumbo, led a parade of 21 elephants over the Brooklyn Bridge.[6]

Contemporaries marveled at what technology was capable of and the bridge became a symbol of the optimism of the time. John Perry Barlow wrote in the late 20th century of the “literal and genuinely religious leap of faith” embodied in the Brooklyn Bridge … “the Brooklyn Bridge required of its builders faith in their ability to control technology.”

References to “selling the Brooklyn Bridge” abound in American culture, sometimes as examples of rural gullibility but more often in connection with an idea that strains credulity. For example, “If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.” George C. Parker and William McCloundy are two early 20th-century con-men who had (allegedly) successfully perpetrated this scam on unwitting tourists. [7] The 1949 Bugs Bunny cartoon Bowery Bugs is a joking reference to Bugs “selling” a story of the Brooklyn Bridge to a naïve tourist.

Sonnet Project
The Brooklyn Bridge was the featured location for Sonnet 9, performed by Anton Rayn, directed by Sean Murray. The video was released on May 20, 2013.

1. Gary Buiso, New York Post (May 25, 2010). “A True Cover Up. Brooklyn Bridge Paint Job Glosses over History”. Retrieved October 23, 2010.
2. E.P.D. (January 25, 1867). “Bridging the East River – Another Project”. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle: p. 2.
3. “Brooklyn Bridge”. National Park Service.
4. “Brooklyn Bridge”. ASCE Metropolitan Section.
5. Acott, Chris (1999). “A brief history of diving and decompression illness.”. South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society journal 29 (2). ISSN 0813-1988. OCLC 16986801.
6. Bildner, Phil (2004). Twenty-One Elephants. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-689-87011-6.
7. Cohen, Gabriel (November 27, 2005). “For You, Half Price”. The New York Times.

Like most stories, this one starts with a monkey. A puppet monkey. Then a puppet bear. It was a slippery slope from then on into Puppetry and Acting training while growing up in Kiev, Ukraine. Further training at Brandeis University, American Globe Theater, and The Actors Center, solidified that this ex-child performer, continues to be actively involved in theater as an adult (with and without puppets). He still owns the monkey and the bear. Les Misérables (JCHS), Joe and Mary’s Irish/Italian Wedding (NY Dinner Theater), Sleeping Beauty (Growing Stage), New York Renaissance Faire (REP), and The Comedy of Errors (Theater 2020).

Known for his propensity in dispensing high fives to amused children, Charlie began his career as The Sheriff at the The New York Renaissance Faire. Stints as Kermit’s body double, hosting SNL, and becoming a meme, paved the way for this rising star. An avid daredevil, world traveler, and playboy, Charlie’s personal life is what every puppet dreams of.

Sean was born in Heidelberg, West Germany to a career Army officer and his wife. Returning to the US when his sister was about to be born, Sean then spent his younger years traveling from state to state (and once back to Germany). This peripatetic lifestyle taught Sean to appreciate family and friends. Settling in Watertown, NY (his father’s familial home) when he was twelve, Sean began to learn the importance of story telling. It was through creating stories, whether written (fiction or non) or photographic, Sean found he could help people understand the world and himself.

Setting out for the adventure of a college education, Sean chose to continue the family story of a life in the military. Enrolling in the Virginia Military Institute, Sean became the next generation of his family to see service to his nation as an important step in developing as a person. Unfortunately, the federal government’s budget office (specifically the Department of the Navy’s budget office) decided to decimate the officer ranks for the class of 1994 and Sean moved on to prepare for a service of another kind.

Sean next began to study philosophy in preparation for serving the people of Northern New York as a priest. After two years of philosophy and four years of theology, Sean began ministry in Ogdensburg, NY and then Massena (two old border towns protecting New York from Canadian incursions). However, Sean failed to realize that he wasn’t indeed called to be a priest and chose to leave ministry in favor of the urban life and teaching.

In 2004 Sean moved to New York City to serve the City’s youth as a teacher of students with disabilities. For the past nine years, he has enriched the lives of students in the Bronx by helping them uncover the wonders of history. Teaching students with mild to moderate learning disabilities has allowed Sean to continue his story telling. Opening teenagers’ minds to the story of the rise of civilization, Sean helps them understand their place in the broader context of the global community. Additionally, Sean cracks open the story of America’s place in the history of the world by teaching United States History and Government.

During all of these changes of career, Sean has continue his love of story-telling. After earning a Master Degree in Education, Sean began studying Improv Comedy and Acting. He worked with the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre on the former and the Matthew Corozine Studio on the later (where he also met his future bride.) As an actor, Sean has performed in a multitude of plays (particularly Shakespeare’s works) with a number of theatre companies. He has worked with the New York Renaissance Faire, Queens Shakespeare, Inc, the Queens Players at the Secret Theatre, the Inwood Shakespeare festival and Random Access Theatre Company.

While performing in a production of Lysistrata, Sean realized that directing might be a way in which he could broaden his story-telling skills. Utilizing his many years as an amateur photographer as a base, Sean began making short videos. One, Nigel’s Cookies, was selected to screen at the Big Apple Film Festival in 2010. He is currently in post-production on a web series conceived by his good friend and collaborator, Tyrus Cukavac, called Space Qats and has been asked to serve as Director of Photography on another web series (details are currently hushhush.) Sean is excited to blend his love of stroy-telling through photography, filmmaking and Shakespeare in New York Shakespeare Exchange’s Sonnet Project.

Life is a story. Tell it however you can and let it enrich your life and the lives of others.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 10

pier 49-2 Pier 49-1

For shame deny that thou bear’st love to any,
Who for thyself art so unprovident.
Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many,
But that thou none lovest is most evident;
For thou art so possess’d with murderous hate
That ‘gainst thyself thou stick’st not to conspire.
Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate
Which to repair should be thy chief desire.
O, change thy thought, that I may change my mind!
Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?
Be, as thy presence is, gracious and kind,
Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove:
     Make thee another self, for love of me,
     That beauty still may live in thine or thee.

Sonnet 10 gets personal. The poet uses a rather harsh tone to admonish the beloved for his refusal to fall in love and have children.– “Do it for me”

For the first time, Billy mentions a personal relationship between himself and the youth. He stresses the young man’s charm, states that he is much loved. He makes two statements, firstly, that he wishes to have an opportunity to change his opinion of the youth as implying that his (Billy’s) better opinion is of some value; secondly he attempts the persuasive argument of ‘for love of me’ in order to produce a change– he asks the young man to have a child to please him! Sounds a little desperate to me…

Will’s Wordplay
“that beauteous roof” refers both to the young man’s body (in which his beauty is housed) and his family (or house).
“another self” refers to a child. Clone yourself a mini-me, hot stuff!
“in thine or thee” means in your children or yourself.

Pier 49 Pile Field, Hudson River Park
Hudson River Park is a waterside park on the Hudson River that extends from 59th Street south to Battery Park in the New York City borough of Manhattan. Bicycle and pedestrian paths, including the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, span the park north to south, opening up the waterfront for recreational use. The park includes tennis and soccer fields, batting cages, children’s playground, dog run, recreational piers, and many other features.

It is a joint New York State and New York City collaboration and is a 550-acre park, the biggest in Manhattan after Central Park. The park arose as part of the West Side Highway replacement project in the wake of the abandoned Westway plan.

Hudson River Park is well known for the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex, which holds a variety of athletic spaces. Chelsea Piers sports a batting cage, bowling lanes, playing fields, a driving range, an ice skating rink, rock climbing facilities, and gymnastics space, among other exercise and fitness related spaces. Along with these indoor recreational facilities, Chelsea Piers offers boating activities and several restaurants on premises.

Looking out over the Hudson towards New Jersey is the Pier 49 pile field. What remains is a scenic overlook. On November 30, 2008, the 20th Anniversary of World AIDS Day, it was dedicated as New York City’s first permanent memorial to people who have died from AIDS. The Hudson River Park Trust provided the beautifully landscaped knoll for the memorial — a 42-foot-long curved stone bench situated on a granite path cut into the lawn near Bank Street. The path is complemented by a balcony that juts out over the river where Pier 49 once stood. The old pilings, still visible above the water, are a poignant metaphor for the lives lost to AIDS. The memorial is intended to be used as a place for people to sit and contemplate those who have been lost.

“This monument is a symbol of the profound effect AIDS has had on New York City and our country,” said Lawrence Swehla, board member of the AIDS Monument Committee (AMC). “The site is dedicated to all of those whose lives have been forever changed by AIDS,” he added. [1]

Sonnet Project
The Pier 49 pile field was the featured location for Sonnet 10, performed by Kelli Ruttle, directed by Jesse Gebryel. The video was released on July 1, 2013.

1. http://www.hudsonriverpark.org/assets/content/general/PR11.30.08.pdf

ACTOR – Kelli Ruttle
At the age of nine years old, I became obsessed with Bette Midler. I was raised with a slightly strict form of etiquette; “no elbows on the table”, “in public, children are to be seen and not heard”, stuff like that. So perhaps I took one wide-eyed look at the sequins, the songs, the comedic timing, and thought ‘That looks like the most fun that anyone could have. Ever.’ Whether that’s what actually started my love affair with the performing arts, I’m not 100% sure. But it’s the earliest domino that I can remember.

The next of the dominos to fall were 1) wearing out my “Live at Last” cassette tape from repetitive lip-synching (um, you’re WELCOME Mom and Dad!) and 2) memorizing word for word the likes of For the Boys and Hocus Pocus. Then came high school plays, a Bachelor of Theatre Arts from San Diego State, and an intense summer study at the British American Drama Academy. That was where my fascination with and appreciation for Shakespeare really began. I tasted Juliet and Ophelia for the first time. We had Q&A’s with Fiona Shaw, Derek Jacobi, and Brian Cox (to name just a few). And… AND…. it was the summer I saw Harriet Walter’s Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Let me repeat the key points of that last sentence in case your mind happened to wander for a moment: Harriet Walter. Beatrice. Much Ado. WHAT… a Master Class.

After college, I spent six years in Southern California performing at a number of West Coast theatres and booking the odd TV/Film gig. But after a stint at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, I returned to Los Angeles realizing that theatre was the main avenue I wanted to focus on, and that led me to start looking into graduate schools. I completed the Cleveland Play House’s M.F.A. Acting program and moved to the city of New York, where I now reside… and where I saw Bette Midler’s one-woman show I’ll Eat You Last. Twice.

Sometimes I can’t believe this ride! I’ve spoken words written by Noël Coward, Anton Chekhov, Molière, and Caryl Churchill. I’ve lived in Russia, fair Verona, Bohemia, and British Colonial Africa. I’ve dressed like a man to teach my lover how to woo, brought the statue of my friend and mistress back to life, and professed poetic declarations of love from a balcony. I was in the audience at BADA when Derek Jacobi was asked “What made you want to be an actor?” To which he replied, “I didn’t ‘want’ to be. I had to be.” It’s true. And I can’t explain where this need to put on someone else’s shoes and be their advocate comes from, nor would I want to spend much time trying to. I theorize, though, that on one side of the scale, it’s a sense of compassion, love, and empathy. And on the other side… it’s a shy girl’s sequins just dying to come out.

Love and shout-outs to Jesse Gebryel, James Arden, and Katelin Wilcox; very talented souls I was thrilled to share this latest adventure with. And to NY Shakespeare Exchange for making it possible, and for all that they do! XOXO


DIRECTOR – Jesse Gebryel
Jesse Gebryel, Director- Jesse Gebryel is a screenwriter, director, and sunset chaser living in Sunnyside, NY. When he’s not traveling the world at lightning speed producing video for IBM, he uses his spare time to write and direct films. 
Twitter: @jessegebryel

PRODUCER – James Arden

James Arden, Producer- James Arden has worked in front of the camera for 15+ years with HBO,NBC,WB, BBC and FOX. He’s taking time to work on the other side and is proud to participate in the Sonnet project.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 12

When I do count the clock that tells the time,
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night;
When I behold the violet past prime,
And sable curls, all silvered o’er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves,
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard,
Then of thy beauty do I question make,
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow;
     And nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defence
     Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.



Sonnet 12 uses images of clock, a withering flower, a barren tree and autumn to remind the subject of their mortality, encouraging him to have a child before its too late.

The significance of the placing of this sonnet here (12 hours of the day) is not lost on us. The slow and swift passage of time which brings all things to an end is described with such significant and devastating effect that mortality almost stares us in the face as we read it. The overall effect is sombre, and the concluding couplet, with its brave stand against time, confined to a single line in the poem, gives the impression that nothing will be saved, and that the reality of what the poet has been urging all along is as slight as breath and water.


Will’s Wordplay

The exact meaning of”hideous” here is likely derived from the Old French hisde meaning dread. This gives us a balance in brave/day and hideous/night.

“Sable” is darkest brown. Note the extensive color imagery — violet, sable, green, silver, white.

One of the most striking metaphors in the sonnets: The harvested crops, carried on the bier, wrapped tightly with protruding pale hulls, are personified as the body of an old man, carried on a cart or wagon to church, wrapped tightly in his shroud, with his protruding white beard.


Scholar’s Corner

Helen Vendler proposes the poem holds two models of time: one of gradual decay, and one of an aggressive emblem-figure of Time with his scythe. These ideas call up two approaches of Death: one sad and innocent in which everything slowly wastes away, growing barren and aged, and one in which the reaper actively cuts them down and takes them away as if life had been murdered.[1]



1. Vendler, H. The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Salem Press 1998 p96-100


Korean War Veterans Memorial, Battery Park

“This monument in Battery Park north of Castle Clinton, honors military personnel who served in the Korean Conflict (1950–1953). The memorial, dedicated in 1991, was designed by Welsh-born artist Mac Adams (b. 1943) and is notable as one of the first Korean War memorials erected in the United States.

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when North Korean forces crossed the 38th parallel, the dividing line between North and South Korea, and invaded South Korea. Within a month, the North Koreans had pushed the South Korean army and supporting U.S. forces to the southernmost tip of the Korean peninsula. In response, the United Nations authorized an army, under the command of U.S. General Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964), to repulse the North Koreans and re-establish the boundary between the North and South at the 38th parallel. In mid-September, MacArthur staged a daring amphibious landing at the Inchon Peninsula and attacked the North Koreans from behind. The U.N. troops had soon pushed the North Korean army back across the 38th parallel, and were advancing on the Yalu River, the border between North Korea and China.

Fearing invasion, Chinese forces next became involved in the conflict. In November, the Chinese attacked the U.N. forces near the Yalu River, and quickly succeeded in driving them back into South Korea. The U.N. forces then counterattacked and managed to re-establish a battle line near the 38th parallel. In April 1951, President Harry S. Truman (1884–1972) relieved General MacArthur of his command, rejecting MacArthur’s aggressive policies which Truman believed would instigate a major war with China and the Soviet Union. Fighting would continue in Korea for the next two years, although little ground was ultimately exchanged. Finally, on July 27, 1953, both sides signed an armistice, which ended hostilities and restored the 38th parallel as the dividing line between North and South Korea.

In 1987, the Korean War Veterans Memorial Committee was formed to raise money to build a monument to commemorate the soldiers of the “forgotten war.” Mac Adams’ winning design, selected from a group of over 100 entries, features a 15-foot-high black granite stele with the shape of a Korean War soldier cut out of the center. Also known as “The Universal Soldier,” the figure forms a silhouette that allows viewers to see through the monument to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. This literal void reinforces the figurative theme of absence and loss, and serves as a metaphor for death. The artist was inspired in his concept by Jon Silkin’s poem, “A Space in the Air,” which has the lines: “He left behind him. A hole cut out of the air. And I missed him suddenly, missed him without scarcely knowing why it was so…”. Adams also designed the piece to function as a sundial on the anniversary of the war’s conclusion, July 27, in which light would shine through the aperture upon the paving (illuminating the panel to Greece with a torch-like silhouette), though over time the growing tree canopy has obscured this effect.

One of the three tiers in the base of the monument is decorated with mosaic flags of countries that participated in the U.N.-sponsored mission. The plaza’s paving blocks are inscribed with the number of dead, wounded, and missing in action from each of the 22 countries that participated in the war. Korean War veterans are also commemorated in New York with the Brooklyn Korean War Veterans Plaza in Cadman Plaza, the Korean War Veterans Parkway (which was known as the Richmond Parkway until it was renamed in April 1997 by the New York State Legislature), and Queens Korean War Veterans Memorial in Kissena Park.” [1]



1. https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/battery-park/monuments/1930


ACTOR – Brooke Haney

Brooke is a New York based actor who has worked Internationally in the Phillipines and Regionally in Seattle, Boston, Orlando, and Kentucky. She has a passion for classical text and new play development. Favorite roles include: Grace in Cut the Shit with The Representatives, Nurse in Romeo and Juliet and Celia in As You Like It with Barefoot Shakes, Mary Bennet and Charlotte Lucas in Pride and Prejudice at Orlando Shakespeare Theater (where she has performed for four seasons); Hermione in Winter’s Tale with Last Leaf Productions (three seasons) ; Claire in the World Premiere of Debbie Lamedman’s Triangle Logic; Kate Percy in 1 Henry 4 at Lexington Shakespeare; and Dee Dee in the site-specific production of Third and Oak: The Laundromat at the All-Brite Laundromat in Boston. Brooke is an Adjunct Professor of Acting at Marymount Manhattan College. She is the Adaptor/Actor of Kiss Me or Cut Off My Head which was workshopped in the Phillippines, at Sarah Lawrence College, at Most Wanted Fine Arts Gallery in Pittsburgh and had it’s World Premiere in NYC at Soho Photo Gallery, directed by Tracy Bersley. She is the Artistic Producer, Director of Apprentice Program and a writer/actor for Daughters of Troy. Brooke is an Adjunct Professor of Acting at Marymount Manhattan College. Proud member of AEA, SAG/AFTRA.


DIRECTOR – Joshua Johnson


Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 13

O! that you were your self; but, love, you are
No longer yours, than you your self here live:
Against this coming end you should prepare,
And your sweet semblance to some other give:
So should that beauty which you hold in lease
Find no determination; then you were
Yourself again, after yourself’s decease,
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
Which husbandry in honour might uphold,
Against the stormy gusts of winter’s day
And barren rage of death’s eternal cold?
     O! none but unthrifts. Dear my love, you know,
     You had a father: let your son say so.



Sonnet 13 returns to the theme of procreation as a defense against death and ruin, compared here to preparing for a long winter or natural disaster.

The first line “O! that you were your self;” means that Shakespeare wants the man he is describing to remain as he is, unchanged, not aging. The sonnet is quite philosophical in that it asks how can a person have an identity if he is constantly changing? The persistent undertone of time’s advance bringing winter, decay and death, here continues. The young man is urged to shore up his house against this eventual fate. But what seems to emerge more than anything from this poem is the inevitability and sadness of this demise, contrasted with the love and beauty which stands up bravely to fight against it, and the tenderness of Will’s affection for the youth.


Will’s Wordplay

“Husbandry” again is a play on both domestic upkeep and becoming a husband.


Yankee Stadium, Gate 4, The Bronx

This isn’t the “House that Ruth built” anymore. Yankee Stadium is a baseball venue located in the south Bronx It is the home ballpark for the New York Yankees. It opened at the beginning of the 2009 MLB season as a replacement for the team’s previous home, the original Yankee Stadium, which opened in 1923 and closed in 2008. The new ballpark was constructed across the street, north-northeast of the 1923 Yankee Stadium, on the former site of Macombs Dam Park. The ballpark opened April 2, 2009, when the Yankees hosted a workout day in front of fans from the Bronx community. The first game at the new Yankee Stadium was a pre-season exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs played on April 3, 2009, which the Yankees won 7–4. The first regular season game was played on April 16, a 10–2 Yankee loss to the Cleveland Indians.

Much of the stadium incorporates design elements from the previous Yankee Stadium, thus paying homage to Yankee history. Although stadium construction began in August 2006, the project of building a new stadium for the Yankees is one that spanned many years and faced many controversies, as the stadium was built on what had been 24 acres of public parkland. Also controversial was the price tag of $1.5 billion [1], which makes it not only the most expensive baseball stadium ever built, but the second-most expensive stadium of any kind (after MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey). [2]


Gates and Design

The stadium was designed by the architect firm Populous (formerly HOK Sport). The exterior was made from 11,000 pieces of Indiana limestone, along with granite and pre-cast concrete. The design closely mirrors the exterior of the original Yankee Stadium when it first opened in 1923. The exterior features the building’s name V-cut and gold-leaf lettered above each gate. The interior of the stadium is adorned with hundreds of photographs capturing the history of the Yankees. Sports & The Arts was hired by the Yankees to curate the nearly 1,300 photographs that adorn the building from sources including the Daily News, Getty Images, the Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball.



1. Dodd, Mike (April 6, 2009). “Baseball’s New Palaces: Yankee Stadium and Mets’ Citi Field”. USA Today.
2. Esteban (October 27, 2011). “11 Most Expensive Stadiums in the World”. Total Pro Sports. Retrieved September 2, 2012.


ACTOR – Devin E. Haqq

Devin has appeared Off-Broadway at the Barrow Group, Roundabout Theatre Company, and most recently in Epic Theatre Ensemble’s productions of RICHARD III/BORN WITH TEETH and MACBETH. Devin has also appeared in numerous regional theatre productions including AS YOU LIKE IT (The Arden Theatre) and CAMP LOGAN (Boston Center for the Arts). He is a graduate of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s MFA program. Film/TV credits include: SECRET GAME (on ESPN), SURPRISE (HBO promo directed by Sam Mendes), LAW & ORDER (on NBC directed by Arthur Forney), the award winning independent film, FRANCIS OF BROOKLYN (’12), and THE ASSASSIN (’07).


DIRECTOR – Ryan Mitchel

Ryan Mitchel grew up watching Tim Burton, Wes Anderson, David Fincher and the Back to the Future series. He didn’t know he wanted to be a director but as his moms says he always had a good eye. In college he took his first filmmaking class where he found his frame and his love for the camera. Since then he moved to New York to take part in the independent film scene.

After a couple of years of working for various production companies on many different projects, Ryan started his own production company with some fellow filmmakers. They are 23 Minutes In and like Ryan they are dedicated to making great Films.

Ryan is passionate about films and you can feel his passion in every frame he captures. You can find more of his work at

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 14

Rockaway 1 rockaway2

Not from the stars do I my judgement pluck;
And yet methinks I have Astronomy,
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons’ quality;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind,
Or say with princes if it shall go well
By oft predict that I in heaven find:
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And, constant stars, in them I read such art
As truth and beauty shall together thrive,
If from thyself, to store thou wouldst convert;
     Or else of thee this I prognosticate:
     Thy end is truth’s and beauty’s doom and date.

Sonnet 14 varies the procreation theme, tying it in with predictions of the future made, not through tracking the stars in the heavens as would normally be expected, but through taking the youth’s eyes as stars which foretell the future.

Shakespeare implies here that the foreknowledge he has from the ‘stars’ of the youth’s eyes surpasses that derived from traditional astrology. The comparison of stars with eyes is traditional love lore in which the beloved assumes the qualities of everything that is angelic and heavenly. From the subject’s eyes, Will predicts that the young man’s death is in fact the death of Beauty itself. He asserts that truth and beauty will be doomed forever unless the young man chooses to perpetuate his line by having children.

Will’s Wordplay
References to “plagues” was loaded at the time of Will’s, as bubonic plague attacked the city of London many times in just the poet’s memory, necessitating the closure of theatres and the removal of the royal court to a safer district. Anyone who had sufficient means would leave the city for the country at such times.

“dearths” are famines, shortages. Not infrequent in those days, and would have had much resonance to the young man.

Rockaway Beach, Queens
“The origins of the name Rockaway Peninsula is closely related to the language of the Delaware and Chippewa Native Americans. Linguistic experts recognize both “Reckonwacky,” meaning “the place of our own people,” and “Reckanawahaha,” meaning “the place of laughing waters,” as the area’s indigenous names. Following the region’s European colonization during the seventeenth century, the present name was derived from these meanings. Other interpretations include “lekau,” meaning sand, and “lechauwaak,” for fork or branch. All interpretations reflect the historic and geographic traits of the peninsula.

The Canarsie Tribe, which originally inhabited the area, sold the mostly barren land to Captain Palmer, an Englishman, with a deed granted by then Governor Thomas Dongan in 1685. Disappointed with his purchase, Palmer sold the land in 1687 to a prominent iron master from Long Island, Richard Cornell, whose descendant, Ezra, founded Cornell University in 1865.

The Cornell family owned the land until 1808, when a partition suit divided the plot into 46 parcels, which were eventually sold to outsiders. The Rockaway Association, a group of wealthy New Yorkers, bought much of the property and began to build exclusive resorts in 1833. Within two years, James Remsen bought a large portion of the Peninsula. Remsen initiated a railroad project connecting the neighborhoods of Canarsie and East New York. The new railway was intended to greet steam ferries taking passengers to and from Rockaway. The Rockaway Peninsula remained a beachfront resort town, providing hotels, restaurants, and housing for those who could afford to pay for the trip. During the 1890s, a variety of amusement parks were built. In 1897, the Village of Rockaway Park was incorporated into New York City.

Improvements in transportation, under the direction of Parks Commissioner Robert Moses in the 1930’s, led to the growth of Rockaway. The completion of two bridges, the Marine Parkway Bridge in 1937 and the Cross Bay Bridge in 1939, connected Rockaway to mainland Queens and Brooklyn. Innovations in railroad service and the development of the elevated subway allowed popular access to the peninsula. Subway access stimulated Rockaway’s transition from a vacation area to neighborhoods with permanent residents.

This section of boardwalk, named Ocean Promenade, extends from Beach 110th to Beach 126th Streets and is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the boardwalk itself. The width of the beach averages 500 feet in this area. The boardwalk, measuring 30 feet in diameter, runs through the neighborhood of Rockaway Park. Parks acquired the ocean front area in 1911, as a gift from the Rockaway Park Improvement Company. Previously, Ocean Promenade was known as Triton Avenue. Between 1922 and 1923, the construction of the boardwalk took place and replaced Triton Avenue. The promenade continues to be considered a city street and ends at Beach 126th Street.

Lifeguards are stationed on the beach from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Beach-goers enjoy newly added spray showers and scenic dunes. This beach area is complemented by a variety of shops and restaurants on Beach 116th Street, which is also the final stop on the A train. In 1999, for the first time in 25 years, the entire boardwalk was open to the public following a multi-million dollar restoration project.” [1]

Sonnet Project
Rockaway Beach was the featured location for Sonnet 14, performed by Rochelle Slovin, directed by R.Jameson Smith. The video was released on May 20th, 2013

1. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/rockawaybeach/history

ACTOR – Rochelle Slovin
The Sonnet Project marks Rochelle Slovin’s return to acting after a prestigious 40-year career in government and the arts. She was the Founding Director of Museum of the Moving Image, leading the Museum from its inception, and developing it into one of the most important institutions of its kind in the world. In the 1970s, she worked with Bella Abzug during her campaigns for the House of Representatives and the US Senate, served as a culture and education planner for the New York City Planning Commission, and was the director of the CETA Artists Project, which employed over 300 artists in all disciplines — the largest employment program for artists since President Roosevelt’s WPA. Slovin was performing for paying audiences by the age of eight, appearing in productions directed by the extraordinary theater artists and modern dance pioneers, Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis, at the Henry Street Playhouse on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. In the 1960s, she studied with Frank Corsaro, one of America’s foremost stage directors and head of the Actors Studio. At this time, she was part of the exciting Off- Off-Broadway scene, performing in plays at La MaMa, American Theater for Poets and other cutting-edge venues.

DIRECTOR – R. Jameson Smith
R. Jameson Smith is the founder of Park Bench Pictures and a director and producer at Act Zero Films. A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Jameson has produced and directed several films, music videos, and commercials. Recently, Jameson served as Associate Producer on Bluebird (starring John Slattery, and Amy Morton), and Co-Producer on the upcoming feature film Sweets (starring Katherine Kellner and Kevin Corrigan). Jameson has also produced countless short films, including Atlantic Avenue (starring Brady Corbet), which is currently proceeding on the festival circuit following a world premiere at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. In the past, Jameson has served as Field Producer on Counter Terror Intel and Sex in the Stone Age, specials for Discovery Channel and National Geographic, as well as having assisted Academy Award winning director Martin Scorsese, and television host Jimmy Fallon.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 15

Osborne Gardens, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens


When I consider every thing that grows
Holds in perfection but a little moment,
That this huge stage presenteth nought but shows
Whereon the stars in secret influence comment;
When I perceive that men as plants increase,
Cheered and checked even by the self-same sky,
Vaunt in their youthful sap, at height decrease,
And wear their brave state out of memory;
Then the conceit of this inconstant stay
Sets you most rich in youth before my sight,
Where wasteful Time debateth with decay
To change your day of youth to sullied night,
     And all in war with Time for love of you,
     As he takes from you, I engraft you new.


Sonnet 15 warns the beautiful young man that even though he is beautiful, the whole world is in a constant war to preserve beauty.The poet strives to immortalize his dear friend in verse, thereby saving him from the ravages of all-consuming Time.

The opening thought touches on the perennial theme of mortality which so much engrosses Will’s attention. He perceives the hand of doom in of nature’s processes, and extends the observation to its effect on the beloved youth. Such beauty and perfection is in the young man that the whole world is warring against Time in an effort to prevent his gradual decline from youth into age and death. Will finishes by telling his admired subject his part in the war: that in this verse, he will live and be immortalised and his beauty will remain eternally new.

Will’s Wordplay

The stars’ “secret influence” is a technical astrological term. It refers to Renaissance beliefs that ethereal fluid, or influence, flowed from the stars and affected men’s lives.

Scholar’s Corner

According to Helen Vendler, the sonnet is the first to employ Shakespeare’s grand microcosmic scale, more suited to philosophy than a sonnet about love. Shakespeare begins the poem by with the speaker “look[ing] on life from the vantage point of the stars above in his consideration; yet he sees as well from a helpless human perspective below.” The poem then introduces a “retrospective reading of ingraft.”that denotes immortalizing the youth that continues in Sonnet 16. [1]


1. Vendler, Helen. The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Cambridge, MA: Belknap of Harvard UP, 1997. Print. p 108-110

Osborne Garden, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

“Upon entering Brooklyn Botanic Garden from its Eastern Parkway entrance, the first space you encounter is the Osborne Garden, a semi-formal garden where the art of Italianate landscaping comes to life. With ten wisteria-draped pergolas framing an emerald lawn, a bolder wall with large plantings of varied colored and textured plants, several stone features, and benches, the garden is a soothing oasis in the midst of the city. In spring, daffodils, pansies, and tulips bloom, followed by crab apples and cherries, which gradually give way to azaleas, rhododendrons, wisterias and dogwood. The focal point of the plaza is a water basin more than 17 feet in diameter. The fountain sits within a semicircle of limestone benches with curious acoustic properties. Sit at one end, and you can whisper clearly to someone sitting at the opposite side. These “whispering benches” are a much beloved feature to this lush space.”[1]


“The Osborne Garden was designed in 1935 by landscape architect Harold Caparn and dedicated to Dean Clay Osborne in 1939 by his wife Sade Elizabeth Osborne. It was designed as a showcase for ornamental plants and built in part by laborers in the Civil Works
Administration and the Works Progress Administration. 1947, landscape architect Alice Recknagel Ireys designed plantings of large masses of white, red, and pink azaleas, rhododendrons, wisterias, and evergreens to frame the central lawn. The garden is continually undergoing incremental improvements while remaining true to this original intention. Over time the variety of plants in this collection has grown with the addition of autumn interest foliage as well as Dogwood trees and a beautifully manicured Carpinus hedge. A recent renovation of the Boulder Wall is highlighted by the choice of plants that repeat the patterns, textures, and colors represented throughout the garden.” [2]


“The three-acre, Italian-style formal Osborne Garden is a kaleidoscope of color in May with azaleas, rhododendrons, crabapples, and wisteria draped over 10 wood and stone pergolas. Evergreens and flowering fruit trees such as cherries and crab apples shade the walkways while the rhododendrons and azaleas line the paths, and on the west side is a boulder wall with bulb and herbaceous plantings and accented with shrubs, perennials, and annuals.” [3]

Sonnet Project

Osborne Garden was the featured location for Sonnet 15, performed by Michael Lopez, directed by Melinda Crespo. The video was released on May 7th, 2013.


1. http://www.bbg.org/discover/gardens/osborne_garden
2. http://www.bbg.org/discover/gardens/osborne_garden#/tabs-2
3. http://www.bbg.org/discover/gardens/osborne_garden#/tabs-4


Michael E. Lopez- Firstly, Thanks to everyone at NYSX for inviting me to be a part of The Sonnet Project. I first worked with Ross Williams and Kevin Brewer on a production of Hamlet,playing Polonius, which led several years later to Escalus in Kevin Brewer’s wonderful play ISLAND directed by Ross Williams. It all comes around.

Originally from the NY area, high school years in Jersey City NJ, college years at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where the major area of study was Theatre and Education. Moved to the big bad apple when it was still big and bad…late 1970’s. Studied with Sandy Dennis at HB Studio and Classical study with Michael Moriarty at his then-popular company Potter’s Field. First professional job was at the now defunct 18th Street Playhouse in a production of Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock. Great review from the NY Times. Sold-out performances. 22 years old. Sweet.

Phase two was an interest in dance and drums. Started to study Afro-Haitian dance in NY with an eventual move to the cradle of ethnic dance—San Francisco. Studied and danced with the remarkable Blanche Brown and her company Roots of Haiti. Held workshops throughout the Bay Area, Seattle, London and retreats in Santa Fe. Sweet.

Re-traced acting roots, and after a two season stint with the International Theatre in Vienna,Austria( Art, Copenhagen, Dracula, Sylvia, two Xmas Carols)moved back to NYC. Credits have included work with NY Classical Theatre (Boyet in Love’s Labor’s Lost and Lafew in All’s Well That Ends Well), Propero in The Tempest with Expanded Arts, Dr. Dorn in The Seagull with Columbia Stages, the Summer Reading Series with the Pearl Theatre and Regional work with Arkansas Rep, New Jersey Rep, Northern Stage, the Magic Theatre, Nevada Shakespeare Company and Berkeley Rep.

Phase Three: Melded artistic and academic strengths into teaching ESL to many people at many levels from many countries to make a better life. It is very fulfilling.

It all comes around. Sweet.

Melissa Crespo is a New York City based Director and Producer. She was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut where she dreamed of becoming an actor. She constantly begged her mother to take her to auditions in NYC but eventually moved to Northern VA where she fell in love with Shakespeare. While serving as a counselor (and yes she is a former camper!) at the American Shakespeare Center’s Young Company Theatre Camp in Staunton VA, she realized her calling as a director and has never looked back. Melissa began directing plays in undergrad at The University of Virginia and upon graduating landed the Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellowship at Arena Stage in Washington D.C. Since then, she has served as a Van Lier Directing Fellow at Second Stage Theatre where she assisted Michael Mayer on Everyday Rapture starring Sherie Rene Scott. Melissa has directed and assisted at various theaters along the East Coast including: ¡Figaro! (90210) with Morningside Opera, Sarah Ruhl and Todd Almond’s Melancholy Play with 13P, Camino Real at New York University, 9 Parts of Desire at The Contemporary American Theatre Festival and The Nutcracker at Pistarckle Theatre in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. As a producer, she coordinated the Second Stage New Works Festival commissioned by Time Warner. Melissa received her MFA in Directing from The New School for Drama and is thrilled to be a part of The Sonnet Project. Visit http://melissacrespo.com.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 16

But wherefore do not you a mightier way
Make war upon this bloody tyrant, Time?
And fortify your self in your decay
With means more blessed than my barren rhyme?
Now stand you on the top of happy hours,
And many maiden gardens, yet unset,
With virtuous wish would bear you living flowers,
Much liker than your painted counterfeit:
So should the lines of life that life repair,
Which this, Time’s pencil, or my pupil pen,
Neither in inward worth nor outward fair,
Can make you live your self in eyes of men.
     To give away yourself, keeps yourself still,
     And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.



Sonnet 16 is a direct continuation of the sonnet before it. In it, Shakespeare asks the young man why he does not actively fight against time and age by having a child.

Will asks the youth why he relies on a poet to preserve his image, when anything an artist creates pales in comparison to the real thing. A poem is a sorry weapon against Time’s war machine. The best plan, he suggests, is to create a child. He should begin preparing for the battle now, while he is in good standing, and many women would be glad to help. In the end, only that which the young man creates himself can help him live forever.


Will’s Wordplay

“Give away yourself” is a reference to marriage.

“maiden gardens” are the many virtuous women who would be happy to “bear your living flowers”.


Bowery Graffiti Wall, The Bowery, Manhattan

“Keith Haring first splashed this wall in 1982, and it’s been a destination ever since. In 2008, it went somewhat legit when late real-estate man Tony Goldman took over the location, invited Os Gêmeos, Shepard Fairey, Lady Aiko and more to rotate murals. Crash’s massive Popeye mural, which went up in March [2013], succeeded the mixed-media collage of Tats Cru’s How and Nosm. While something of a serious artistic showcase, this wall is also steeped in street ethos.” — Kenny Herzog, Time Out New York [1]



1. http://www.timeout.com/newyork/art/street-art-top-ten-spots-to-see-street-art-and-graffiti-in-nyc


ACTOR – Devon Glover

Bio Coming Soon


DIRECTOR – Robert Manning, Jr.

Robert is a graduate of the University of Washington’s MFA Professional Acting Training Program.

Director: Robert owns his own production company with business partner, Scott Fernstrom and writes/directs theatre and film. Recent films include: Reunion, Stuck, Reticence

As an actor – Television: The Blacklist, Person of Interest, Alpha House, Southland, The Unit, Criminal Minds… Films – Frogtown, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone… 2008 NAACP Theatre Award Nomination – Best Lead Actor, 2010 NAACP Best Supporting Actor nomination, 2012 NAACP Best Ensemble win for Pasadena Playhouse’s production of Blues for an Alabama Sky. Broadway – Magic/Bird.

As a director, www.alphaandomegafilms.com

As an actor, please visit www.robertmanningjr.com

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 17


Who will believe my verse in time to come,
If it were filled with your most high deserts?
Though yet heaven knows it is but as a tomb
Which hides your life, and shows not half your parts.
If I could write the beauty of your eyes,
And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
The age to come would say ‘This poet lies;
Such heavenly touches ne’er touched earthly faces.’
So should my papers, yellowed with their age,
Be scorned, like old men of less truth than tongue,
And your true rights be termed a poet’s rage
And stretched metre of an antique song:
     But were some child of yours alive that time,
     You should live twice, in it, and in my rhyme
Sonnet 17 is the last of the procreation sonnets, and the poet’s ast thought is to question his own descriptions of the beloved, believing that future generations will believe them to be exaggerations if he does not make a copy of himself (a child)

Billy insists that his comparisons, even though they are strongly worded, are not exaggerations. He even goes as far as to say that his verse is so pale in comparison that it hides half of the youth’s beauty, and they do not do him justice. Without an heir to this great beauty, there will be nothing in the world once the man is gone to prove that Bill was not a liar. The sonnet ends with the notion that should the young man have a child, he shall live both in the child and in the proven veracity of poet’s rhyme.
Will’s Wordplay
“deserts” here is that which the young man deserves. Nobody will believe how much you earned all this praise!
“shows not half your parts” is Willy getting critical of how few of the young man’s positive qualities even the most florid language can cover.

New York Public Library, Manhattan
Read up at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library.

“Often referred to as the “main branch,” the Beaux-Arts landmark building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street houses outstanding research collections in the humanities and social sciences as well as a circulating children’s collection. The non-circulating graduate-level collections were initially formed from the consolidation of the Astor and Lenox Libraries, and have evolved into one of the world’s preeminent public resources for the study of human thought, action, and experience — from anthropology and archaeology, to religion, sports, world history, and literature.

The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building is renowned for the extraordinary comprehensiveness of its historical collections as well as its commitment to providing free and equal access to its resources and facilities. It houses some 15 million items, among them priceless medieval manuscripts, ancient Japanese scrolls, contemporary novels and poetry, as well as baseball cards, dime novels, and comic books. For over a century, librarians in what are now 15 public service and special collections units have sought out authoritative, popular, and ephemeral materials in the humanities, with an emphasis on literature, art, and history.

These remarkable collections are vast, diverse, and not easily characterized. They range from priceless ancient rarities in the Rare Books and the Manuscripts and Archives divisions to current newspapers from all over the world. More than 1,200 languages and dialects, ancient and modern, are represented in the collections. The uses of the collections are as varied as the items themselves.”[1]
“The origins of this institution date back to the time when New York was emerging as one of the world’s most important cities. By the second half of the 19th century, New York had already surpassed Paris in population and was quickly catching up with London, the world’s most populous city. Fortunately, this burgeoning and somewhat brash metropolis counted among its citizens men who foresaw that if New York was indeed to become one of the world’s great centers of urban culture, it must also have a great library. Prominent among them was one-time governor Samuel J. Tilden, who upon his death bequeathed the bulk of his fortune — about $2.4 million — to “establish and maintain a free library and reading room in the city of New York.”

At the time of Tilden’s death, New York already had two libraries of considerable importance -the Astor and Lenox libraries- but neither could be termed a truly public institution in the sense that Tilden seems to have envisioned. The Astor Library was created through the generosity of John Jacob Astor, a German immigrant who at his death was the wealthiest man in America. In his will he pledged $400,000 for the establishment of a reference library in New York. The Astor Library opened its doors in 1849, in the building that is now the home of The New York Shakespeare Festival’s Joseph Papp Public Theater. Although the books did not circulate and hours were limited, it was a major resource for reference and research.

New York’s other principal library during this time was founded by James Lenox and consisted primarily of his personal collection of rare books (which included the first Gutenberg Bible to come to the New World), manuscripts, and Americana. Located on the site of the present Frick Collection, the Lenox Library was intended primarily for bibliophiles and scholars. While use was free of charge, tickets of admission were required.

By 1892, both the Astor and Lenox libraries were experiencing financial difficulties. The combination of dwindling endowments and expanding collections had compelled their trustees to reconsider their mission. At this juncture, John Bigelow, a New York attorney and Tilden trustee, devised a bold plan whereby the resources of the Astor and Lenox libraries and the Tilden Trust would be combined to form a new entity to be known as The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations. Bigelow’s plan, signed and agreed upon on May 23, 1895, was hailed as an unprecedented example of private philanthropy for the public good.

The site chosen for the home of the new Public Library was the Croton Reservoir, a popular strolling place that occupied a two-block section of Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets. Dr. John Shaw Billings, one of the most brilliant librarians of his day, was named director.

Billings knew exactly what he wanted. His design, briefly sketched on a scrap of paper, became the early blueprint for the majestic structure that has become the landmark building, known for the lions without and the learning within. Billings’s plan called for an enormous reading room topping seven floors of stacks and the most rapid delivery system in the world to get the Library’s resources as swiftly as possible into the hands of those who requested them.

Following an open competition among scores of the city’s most prominent architects, the relatively unknown firm of Carrère & Hastings was selected to design and construct the new library. The result, regarded as the apogee of Beaux-Arts design, was the largest marble structure ever attempted in the United States. Before construction could begin, however, some 500 workers had to spend two years dismantling the reservoir and preparing the site. The cornerstone was finally laid in place on November 10, 1902.

In the meantime, the Library had established its circulating department after consolidating with The New York Free Circulating Library in February 1901. A month later, steel baron Andrew Carnegie offered $5.2 million to construct a system of branch libraries throughout New York City, provided the City would supply the sites and fund the libraries’ maintenance and operations. Later that year The New York Public Library contracted with the City of New York to operate 39 Carnegie branches in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Thus, from the earliest days of The New York Public Library, a tradition of partnership with the city and outreach to the community was established, which continues to this day.

Meanwhile, on Fifth Avenue, work progressed slowly but steadily on the monumental Library which would eventually cost $9 million to complete. During the summer of 1905, the huge columns were put into place and work on the roof was begun. By the end of 1906, the roof was finished and the designers commenced five years of interior work. In 1910, 75 miles of shelves were installed to house the immense collections.

More than one million books were set in place for the official dedication of the Library on May 23, 1911 – 16 years to the day since the historic agreement creating the Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations had been signed. The ceremony was presided over by President William Howard Taft and was attended by Governor John Alden Dix and Mayor William J. Gaynor.

The following morning, New York’s very public Public Library officially opened its doors. The response was overwhelming. Between 30,000 and 50,000 visitors streamed through the building the first day it was open. One of the very first items called for was N. IA. Grot’s Nravstvennye idealy nashego vremeni (Ethical Ideas of Our Time) a study of Friedrich Nietzsche and Leo Tolstoi. The reader filed his slip at 9:08 a.m. and received his book six minutes later! Almost overnight, The New York Public Library became a vital part of the intellectual fabric of American life. Among its earliest beneficiaries were recently arrived immigrants, for whom the Library provided contact with the literature and history of their new country as well as the heritage that these people brought with them.

To help millions of users — from all walks of life and corners of the earth — find materials, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building maintains extensive catalog and bibliographic resources. Full advantage is being taken of computers and other information technologies to facilitate search and retrieval. In addition — and of equal if not greater importance — the Library maintains a staff of librarians whose expertise, helpfulness, and patience continue to be among the Library’s proudest traditions.”[2]

ACTOR – Carey Van Driest
Carey is originally from the frozen tundra of Wisconsin. In addition to icy climates, she has also lived in the warm Southern hills of Nashville, Tennessee, the cow-town of Fort Worth, Texas and the valley of the Alps of Geneva, Switzerland. She can now technically call herself a New Yorker now after living in the city that never sleeps longer than she’s lived anywhere else. With no actual planning on her part to achieve such a list, she can also say she has traveled to Russia, Greece, Turkey, Germany, France, Scotland, Amsterdam, Italy, Belgium, England, Denmark, Austria, Mexico, Canada, and all over the 50 United States. Next up, she wants to head to the Southern Hemisphere and visit Argentina and the Dominican Republic, followed by Morocco, Australia and Indonesia. She likes talking in third person about where she’s lived and traveled because it makes her feel worldy.

Professionally, she spends most of her time creating characters for TV, Stage and Film. She recently appeared in House of Cards as a reporter dogging Bob Birch and as Maria in Lend Me A Tenor at Cape May Stage. She was a featured actress is the short film, A Family Dinner, which screened at the Short Film Corner at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and has won several awards in the Film Festival Circuit around the world. She is the voice of a Howler Monkey named Avelina in the upcoming animated feature film Ribbit (2014), starring Sean Astin as Ribbit and Tim Curry as Terence.

Tours: Annie (Grace Farrell). New York: Reckless (Rachel), The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest (Sonnet Repertory Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest and Arms and the Man. Selected Regional: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Mae) and Much Ado About Nothing at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Denver Center Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival and others. Her voiceover work for international documentaries, national commercials and radio can be heard at www.careyvandriest.com. Fluent French Speaker, Animation and Commercial Voiceover Guru, Badass Chick, Shakespeare Afficionado, Carole King Wannabe, Novice Burlesque Dancer and Proud Member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.

DIRECTOR – Marco Ricci
A graduate of Northwestern University, Marco received the Kodak Gold Award and the Sony Production Award for his thesis film Chicago Minutes.

His short film, Pishadoo, was well received on the festival circuit and was purchased by Canal Plus Europe, Sundance Channel, Atom Films and United Airlines. The film earned production awards at the Santa Barbara Film Festival and the Williamsburg Film Festival.

Marco’s last short film, Hyper, was chosen for the Centerpiece of the New York Film Festival. It was honored as the Best Short Short at the prestigious Aspen Shortsfest and was screened at the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Seattle International Film Festival, and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, among others. Hyper is being distributed by Apollo Cinema and has been seen on Atom Films, RAI Television, and the Independent Film Channel.

His first feature, The Wedding Bros. made it’s world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. The film, a comedy about two adversarial brothers who set out to make it big with the King Of Long Island Wedding Videos, is being distributed by Universal Prictures/ScreenMedia and has been shown on Cinemax, BBC and RAI.

Marco recently directed a PBS documentary, The Reconstruction of Asa Carter. The film recounts the life story of Native-American writer Forrest Carter, author of The Outlaw Josey Wales, who was in actuality a prominent member of the KKK. It made it’s world premiere at the Sidewalk Film Festival and it’s television premiere in the Spring of 2012.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 19

Bear and Faun2 Bear and Faun

Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws,
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleet’st,
And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
O! carve not with thy hours my love’s fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
Him in thy course untainted do allow
For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men.
     Yet, do thy worst old Time: despite thy wrong,
     My love shall in my verse ever live young.
Sonnet 19 treats the theme of redemption of time through art– for there immortality lies.

Billy directly addresses Time, and lists all of the conventional damage Time does which is customary and known to all, killing sweetness and beauty everywhere. It can even do its worst against the youth, the poet’s love. But the youth will survive in eternal youth and beauty because of the verses made to celebrate him, and the poet’s love for him.
Will’s Wordplay
To “fleet” is to fly by

Bear and Faun Statue, Morningside Park
Officially titled The 1914 Alfred L. Seligman Fountain, “this striking bronze sculpture by Edgar Walter (1877-1938) is also known as Bear and Faun. It was dedicated in 1914 in memory of Alfred L. Seligman (1864-1910), vice-president of the National Highways Protective Association. Ironically, Mr. Seligman was killed in an automobile accident in 1910.

For his years of public service in a relatively brief lifespan, friends of Seligman commissioned this sculpture at a cost of $2,000, and gave it to the City as a gift to its children. At the dedication ceremony on May 17, 1914 Parks Commissioner Cabot Ward and Frederic R. Coudert, president of the National Highways Protective Association, delivered addresses.

In his speech, turning over the work of art to the City, Coudert commented, “Alfred Lincoln Seligman sought not for fame, but in his comparatively short life he devoted much of his time to the young people of the City, in offering them opportunity for instruction in the art of music. It is because of his attitude toward the children and his work for their safety, health and happiness that this monument to his memory is peculiarly appropriate.”

About seven feet in height, the fountain depicts a bear overhanging a grotto in which a small faun (half man, half goat) plays on the pipes. The picturesque fountain, with a drinking apparatus for humans, and a basin for dogs to drink from, is situated at the foot of a staircase on the eastern edge of the park near the 114th Street entrance.” [1]
Sonnet Project
The Bear and Faun Statue was the featured location for Sonnet 19, performed by Annie Paul, directed by Becky Lane. The video was released on June 13, 2013.
1. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/morningsidepark/monuments/1424

Annie has most recently worked on two projects produced by Shakespeare Exchange in NYC. She was a featured performer in their ShakesBEER Pub Crawl and also filmed a sonnet for their exciting new Sonnet Project. Annie also just finished shooting three episodes of The Chanticleer, produced in Ithaca by Nice Girl Films. Other NYC credits include: Pride from the Door (world premiere staged reading), As You Like It, at Soho Rep & The Wonder, at Theatre Row (both produced by The Queen’s Company), Bus Stop, Twelfth Night, and Love, Lust & the Green Eyed Monster. Some favorite regional credits include: Wait Until Dark at The Human Race Theatre, Big Love, As You Like It, Heartbreak House, and Pride and Prejudice at The Cleveland Play House, and Playboy of the Western World at American Players Theatre. TV credits include: Boardwalk Empire and The Unusuals. Annie is also a company member at The National Comedy Theatre in New York City and a is member of AEA & SAG/AFTRA.

BECKY LANE – Director
Becky Lane is an independent filmmaker and founder of Nice Girl Films, a small woman-centered production company with footprints in both Ithaca, NY and New York City. Her short films, Hens & Chicks, Poker Face and Happy Hour have collectively screened at over 80 film festivals worldwide, garnering great acclaim and awards, including Best Short Film Audience Award in Rochester, Barcelona, London, and Durham. Prior to this, Lane concentrated on digital media, spearheading the development of award-winning, socially conscious web sites and Internet video for institutions such as Cornell University and the Women’s Sports Foundation founded by Billie Jean King. While Lane initially trained as an actor, it soon became apparent that her interests, skills and versatility were a perfect match for directing. She is currently developing a feature-length film for production in 2013. Lane holds a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. As a sociologist and filmmaker, Lane’s distinctive projects entertain while exploring provocative cultural complexities
ELISSA BAKER – Assistant Director
This marks Elissa Baker’s debut into the cinematic arts. She graduated from the University of Illinois. Prior to college she was involved in small theater productions in Iowa. She is thrilled to focus on creating art through cinema while teaching her son that life is compelling, fascinating and full of joy and opportunity. Elissa has traveled to New York City to work as an assistant director and is currently working with Becky Lane and Nice Girl Films to market and produce a web series. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.
NONI KORF – Editor/Animator
Noni Korf has been working in film since she started out with a single-8 camera making stop-motion animations in grade school. She’s continued working in photography, film, and video, graduating from Cornell with a self-designed media arts degree. Her love for image-making and interest in all aspects of film and video production led her to work in Tokyo, Los Angeles, and New York City as a production manager for industrial films, television commercials, news features, and music videos. She loves being behind the camera; her work can be seen this year in the award-winning documentary, My Mother’s Journey, by Sam and Kirsten Hampton. As an editor, her credits include work on documentaries, experimental films, music videos, and now, with this year’s Hens and Chicks, narrative short-fiction. She lives and works in New York.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 20


A woman’s face with nature’s own hand painted,
Hast thou, the master mistress of my passion;
A woman’s gentle heart, but not acquainted
With shifting change, as is false women’s fashion:
An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,
Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;
A man in hue all hues in his controlling,
Which steals men’s eyes and women’s souls amazeth.
And for a woman wert thou first created;
Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting,
And by addition me of thee defeated,
By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
     But since she prick’d thee out for women’s pleasure,
     Mine be thy love and thy love’s use their treasure.

Sonnet 20 compares the fair youth’s appearance to that of a woman, and says its a pity for a male admirer to be unable to partner him

Will’s subject is “the master-mistress of [his] passion”. He has the grace and beauty of a woman but is devoid of the guile and pretense that comes with women; those wily women with eyes ‘false in rolling’, who change their moods and affections like chameleons. Despite all his womanly charms, he has “one thing” like a man, meaning he was made to partner a woman, making the love of the admirer sadly moot.
Will’s Wordplay
“with Nature’s own hand painted” means the subject is a natural beauty, with no need of cosmetics

The “one thing” the subject has that women do not is male genetalia. Real subtle, Billy-boy.
Scholar’s Corner
The modern reader may read sonnet 20 and question whether or not Shakespeare’s sexuality is reflected in this sonnet. When looking at the sexual connotations in this sonnet it is important to reflect on what homoerotism meant during the time that Shakespeare was writing. Casey Charles discusses the idea that there was no official identity for a gay person at this time. There were words that identified what we would consider to be homosexual behaviour, but the idea of a “gay culture” or “gay identity” did not exist.Charles goes on to say that early modern laws against sodomy had very few transgressors, which means that either people did not commit these crimes of homosexuality or these acts were more socially acceptable than the modern reader would think. Shakespeare’s awareness of the possible homoeroticism in Sonnet 20 does not necessarily illuminate whether or not he himself was actually practicing homosexual behavior.[1]
Charles, Casey. “Was Shakespeare gay? Sonnet 20 and the politics of pedagogy.” College Literature 25.3 (1998): 35-52. EBSCOhost. Web. 10 Nov. 2009

Gay Liberation, Christopher Park
In the 1970s, Christopher Street became the “Main Street” of gay New York. Large numbers of gay men would promenade its length at seemingly all hours. Gay bars and stores selling leather fetish clothing and artistic decorative items flourished at that time. This changed dramatically with the loss of many gay men during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. The apparent center of gay life subsequently shifted north of 14th Street to Chelsea. This new area, however, was never as vibrant as the old West Village. While some gay bars remain on Christopher Street, it has largely lost its gay character and is not unlike other quiet thoroughfares in the Village.

Christopher Street is the site of the Stonewall Inn, the bar whose patrons started the 1969 Stonewall riots that are widely seen as the birth of the gay liberation movement. The Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee formed to commemorate the first anniversary of that event, the beginning of the international tradition of a late-June event to celebrate gay pride.The annual gay pride festivals in Berlin, Cologne, and other German cities are known as Christopher Street Day or “CSD”.

Since 1992, Christopher Park (at the intersection of Christopher, Grove, and W 4 Sreets) has been decorated with the sculpture Gay Liberation by George Segal to commemorate the gay rights traditions of the place.
About the Sculptures
“Located at 51-53 Christopher Street, Stonewall Inn was formerly two adjacent two-story stable houses erected in 1843 and 1846. After numerous alterations, the two buildings were joined into a restaurant by the 1930s. By the 1950s the place was known as Stonewall Inn Restaurant. In 1966, it closed for renovations, and reopened in the following year as a private club known as Stonewall Inn – a bar and dance hall which, like numerous local establishments, catered to the homosexual community of Greenwich Village.

In the early hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn and a melee ensued in which 13 people were arrested. Word of the raid and the resistance to it soon spread, and the next day hundreds gathered to protest the crackdown and advocate the legalization of gay bars. Further protests erupted in early July, and on July 27, a group of activists organized the first gay and lesbian march, from Washington Square to Stonewall. The events of that summer and their aftermath are often credited as the flashpoint for the gay rights movement in the United States.
A decade later, Peter Putnam (1927–1987), a wealthy arts patron from Louisiana and trustee of the Mildred Andrews Fund, commissioned the Gay Liberation monument. With Putnam as its steward, the Fund had commissioned other contemporary sculptures, notably George Segal’s Kent State Memorial and Richard Hunt’s Harlem Hybrid. Though Segal was not the first artist approached, he accepted the commission, which stipulated only that the work “had to be loving and caring, and show the affection that is the hallmark of gay people . . . and it had to have equal representation of men and women.”

George Segal was an important and influential American artist in the late 20th century. Born and raised in New York City, he settled in 1940 on a farm in South Brunswick, New Jersey… Some of his more noteworthy pieces include The Holocaust (1982) in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, The Commuters (1982) in New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal, and his three tableaux for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, DC. (1995). Segal’s conception for Gay Liberation is typical of his work. Four figures – two standing males and two seated females – are positioned on the northern boundary of the park, in natural, easy poses. Using a process in which bronze casts are made from plaster moulds from the human models, Segal tempers the realistic surfaces with an unearthly white-painted finish. The result is specific, evocative, and understated, showing the public comfort and freedom to which the gay liberation movement aspired.

Though the work had received all of its community and design approvals by 1982, public opposition and a planned renovation of Christopher Park (completed in 1985) sidelined the project for years. In the meantime, a second cast of the piece was installed on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. On June 23, 1992, Mayor David N. Dinkins and Parks Commissioner Betsy Gotbaum helped unveil the monument in Christopher Park. The initial opposition and rancor which had greeted the project had subsided; the advent of AIDS, which had devastated the gay community in particular, added another poignant dimension to the monument and its mute figures’ impact. In March 2000, Stonewall Inn was designated a National Historic Landmark. Today, Segal’s sculpture is a popular pilgrimage site for tourists and local residents alike.”
Sonnet Project
Gay Liberation in Christopher Park was the featured location for Sonnet 20, performed by Eric Percival, directed by Guy Patton. The video was released on May 30, 2013.

Eric started his acting career at a young age, forcing his dad to replay scenes from Superman II and Return of the Jedi over and over again in their backyard in Ridgefield, CT. His mother wisely decided to give his dad a break by signing Eric up for a local children’s theater group called Spotlight Theater Workshop, where he spent many years joyfully receiving his introduction to a wealth of wonderful roles from Petruchio to Don Quixote, from Beelzebub to P.T. Barnum.

His appetite whetted, Eric had no choice but to continue his pursuit of acting full force as a Theatre and Philosophy double major at Connecticut College, where he spent a semester immersed in acting at the National Theatre Institute under the tutelage of Richard Digby Day. Following college, he traveled to London to complete his training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), where he mastered the classics (and acquired proficiency in a variety of UK accents amongst a nation of native speakers). During his time overseas, Eric enjoyed the privilege of performing Shakespeare for audiences throughout London, Germany, and Holland.

Back in NYC, Eric has acted on many Manhattan stages, winning Best Actor awards for performances in the Midtown International Theater Festival (MITF), and the Planet Connections Festivity. Favorite shows include Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead at the T. Schreiber Studio (in the delicious role of Rosencrantz), Hamlet Bound and Unbound in MITF (as a crazed actor who takes a play hostage and forces the cast to perform Hamlet with him at gunpoint), and Island; or To Be or Not To Be (his debut performance with New York Shakespeare Exchange, in which he originated the role of King John).

Eric is thrilled to continue his work with NYSX as a part of the terrific Sonnet Project. For more information on his current projects, see his website at www.ericpercival.com.

GUY PATTON – Director
Writer/Director/Actor Guy Patton studied at the prestigious Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in NY, eventually becoming a member of several of the theatre’s in-house sketch comedy teams, including the longest-running UCB sketch ensemble, Stone Cold Fox. A veteran broadcaster, Guy presently works as an executive producer for Cumulus Media Networks, and has written comedy for the Onion News Network and MTV. He was the head writer and director of the much-beloved Hipster Show with Andy Rocco, and he created and hosted the surrealist variety show Salvador Dali’s Danza Macabre for the UCB stage. Guy’s comedy videos have appeared on College Humor, UCB Comedy and Channel 101 NY, and have garnered over a million views. He recently wrapped post-production on his first feature film, the surprisingly unfunny action thriller Pearl, a teaser trailer for which can be viewed at www.pearlfilm.com. Guy graduated from the University of North Florida (go “Ospreys???”), where he studied literature and even got to play Hotspur in Henry IV. He lives in Jersey City, NJ.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 21

So is it not with me as with that Muse,
Stirred by a painted beauty to his verse,
Who heaven itself for ornament doth use
And every fair with his fair doth rehearse,
Making a couplement of proud compare
With sun and moon, with earth and sea’s rich gems,
With April’s first-born flowers, and all things rare,
That heaven’s air in this huge rondure hems.
O! let me, true in love, but truly write,
And then believe me, my love is as fair
As any mother’s child, though not so bright
As those gold candles fixed in heaven’s air:
     Let them say more that like of hearsay well;
     I will not praise that purpose not to sell.



Sonnet 21 is largely in praise of understating praise– even if your lover warrants it.

Instead of praising the young man, Bill talks about what he might or might not say of his beloved. He does not wish to follow the example of those poets who force comparisons with everything that is fair, beautiful, strange or rare. Instead he wishes to emphasize the beauty of truthfulness. Since his love is indeed beautiful, what need is there of overdoing it? Why not say at the outset that, quite simply, you, my love, are yourself, you outshine all praise. Billy chooses instead to avoid pandering. The young man is certainly fair, and deserves better than hyperbolic and ludicrous comparisons.


Will’s Wordplay

The Muses were ancient Greek goddesses of artistic inspiration, the one Will references here is the Muse of poetry. “Muse” can be used symbolically for the poet themselves, or for a poem, or for a style of writing.


Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island

Historic Richmond Town is a living history village and museum complex in the neighborhood of Richmondtown, Staten Island. It is located near the geographical center of the island, at the junction of Richmond Road and Arthur Kill Road.

It was formerly a county seat and commercial center which included the former courthouse of Richmond County, coterminous with the borough of Staten Island. The site also contains other former commercial and governmental buildings, as well as farm buildings and homes, some of which were relocated from other parts of Staten Island. Historic Richmond Town is a village comprising over 30 historic buildings and sites dating from the late 17th to the early 20th Century. Decker Farm, located about one mile from the center of Historic Richmond Town, features a farm stand and seasonal activities such as pumpkin picking.

The village area occupies 25 acres of a 100-acre site, with 15 restored buildings. Anyone who comes to Historic Richmond Town has an opportunity to experience the lifestyle of a 300-year old colonial-era community. The two churches located outside the village are St. Andrew’s Episcopal and St. Patrick’s RC. A third church, the Reformed Dutch Church of Richmond, was demolished.

The creation of Historic Richmond Town was the joint effort of many Staten Islanders, led by the vision of local historians and preservationists: Loring McMillen, William T. Davis and local banker David L Decker. Fueled by the same depression-era passion for historic preservation which resulted in the creation of Colonial Williamsburg, these men helped create a testament to Staten Island’s rich history in an era of rapid development and urban sprawl.

Established in 1958, Historic Richmond Town is a joint project of the Staten Island Historical Society, an independent nonprofit cultural organization, and the City of New York, which owns the land and the buildings and supports part of its operations with public funds from the Department of Cultural Affairs. The purpose of this museum village is to make visitors feel as if they are living in the 19th century. Visitors are able to have a first hand experience of what Historic Richmond Town once was.


ACTOR – Shubhra Prakash

Shubhra has lived in Kolkata, New Delhi, San Francisco Bay Area and now resides in New York City. Shubhra has acted and sung on stage ever since her school days in India. Arriving in US, to begin high school, it was in theatre where she found her comfort zone at the time of transition. Now, living in NYC since 2012, she has acted in USA Network’s Royal Pains, on stage in Columbia University’s Vagina Monologues, sung in Brooklyn Community Theater’s musical Once on this Island and acted in Marcus Yi’s, The Procedure as part of the Planet Connections Festival 13′. Her short film Three Dates, which she wrote, directed and produced was screened at New York Indian Film Festival 13′ and WilliFest 13′.

She is thankful to her director Nikhil Kamkolkar and The Sonnet Project NYC for starting her year with Shakespeare, the journey continues as she acts with The Tempest Ladies LLC in their production of Taming of the Shrew at American Theatre for Actors this Feb 19 – 23, is also the Off-Broadway debut.


DIRECTOR – Harry Taylor

Harry Taylor, born in Houston, Texas my mother from Colombia my father from America. The youngest of three siblings, after living a few months in Texas my family traveled a lot from Colombia to New Jersey. My love for film came at the age of thirteen; my stepfather during the time bought the movie “Gladiator” it was a life changing experience. Never got to see an R rated movie before so this was my first time seeing all the violence up close. It was epic and my mouth was completely open, never seen anything with that much scope from the battlefields to the story line, I was captured by the whole film which got me thinking after watching it how did they make it? After that I rented so many films and try to understand movies. Growing up I lived in a lot of towns in New Jersey, coming to Bayonne and going to high school I enrolled in TV production class. “House 2 House” was the first real first hand experience I got for the school understanding how to shoot, a live game show. It was the first step in learning how any type of work is done behind the scenes, it really changed my how outlook on how much preparation and practice goes into shooting a live event or a short film for class. After high school I took some down time to start shooting some live bands from “Wolf-Face” to “Grimus” and helped with a few low budget music videos, until I enrolled in Full Sail University at Orlando, Florida for Film Studies as well as learning Cinematography. Can find me, of course, on youtube and vimeo.


CAMERA OPERATOR – Thomas Palmero

Thomas Palmero went to Bayonne High School and graduated in 2007. He did two years in TV production under the studies of Sal Ianncai. After high school he enrolled in Digital Film Academy in New York where he received his associates in Film. Starting his own company called Lokosoul Productions.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 22

My glass shall not persuade me I am old,
So long as youth and thou are of one date;
But when in thee time’s furrows I behold,
Then look I death my days should expiate.
For all that beauty that doth cover thee,
Is but the seemly raiment of my heart,
Which in thy breast doth live, as thine in me:
How can I then be elder than thou art?
O! therefore, love, be of thyself so wary
As I, not for myself, but for thee will;
Bearing thy heart, which I will keep so chary
As tender nurse her babe from faring ill.
Presume not on thy heart when mine is slain,
Thou gav’st me thine not to give back again.



Sonnet 22 is a romantic image of the literal exchange of lovers’ hearts, and how the effect of each lover’s health therefore touches the well-being of the other.

Bill equates his feeling of youthfulness with the beloved’s youth and beauty, but once he sees his lover age or come to harm, he will feel mortality. He attributes this to the exchange of their hearts. He begs his love to take care of themselves, as Bill does for his lover’s sake, as a mother takes care of her baby. Finally, he warns his subject not to expect a return of their own heart, since such exchanges are for keeps.

Will’s Wordplay

A “glass” or looking glass is a mirror.

“time’s furroughs” are wrinkles in your brow

The “seemly raiment of my heart” is the beloved’s beauty Will’s heart is clothed in.


Merchant’s House Museum, Manhattan

Considered one of the finest surviving examples of architecture from the period, the Merchant’s House has been recognized as a National Historic Landmark (one of only 2,400) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In New York City, it has been awarded landmark status not only for its 1832 late-Federal brick exterior but also for its Greek revival interior rooms.

Of note, the House was among the first 20 buildings designated in 1965 under the City’s new landmarks law. It is the only historic house museum in the Greenwich Village/Soho/NoHo neighborhoods and celebrated 75 years as a museum in 2011.

The Museum’s collection of over 3,000 items comprises the possessions of the Tredwells, the wealthy merchant-class family who lived in the House from 1835 to 1933. The collection includes furniture, decorative arts, clothing, photographs and books, household items, and personal items. Highlights include a suite of 12 mahogany side chairs attributed to renowned furniture maker Duncan Phyfe, a pair of matching six-globe gas chandeliers, and 40 dresses and numerous fashion accessories that belonged to the Tredwell women.[1]

The Museum is open weekly Thursday through Monday and offers regularly scheduled performances, lectures, presentations and other events all designed to heighten the Museum visitor’s experience and shed light on the many facets of life in New York City in the 19th Century. Visit the Museum website – www.merchantshouse.org – for further info, a calendar of upcoming events, and updates about the House, the Museum, and life in Antebellum New York.

And, if you’d like to learn more about the museum and see some of what you’ll engage with during a visit, you can watch a great documentary that was created as part of the Blueprint NYC series. Link to the film HERE.



Some say the Tredwells, who lived in this house for nearly 100 years, are still here. Gertrude Tredwell, in particular, is thought to be watching over her family home. Born in an upstairs bedroom in 1840, Gertrude never married and lived her entire life here until she died, at the age of 93, in 1933. She was the last member of the Tredwell family to occupy the house before it became a museum, in 1936.

Since the 1930s, tales of strange and unexplainable happenings have surrounded the Merchant’s House. Staff, volunteers, visitors, neighbors, even passersby, have reported seeing, hearing, and smelling things that weren’t there.

In 2007, the Museum decided to mount its own investigation with the help of Historic Paranormal Investigations, a NYC-based group. The evidence is mounting that, indeed, something is here. [2]



1. http://merchantshouse.org/about/
2. http://merchantshouse.org/ghosts/


ACTOR – Lynn Cohen

Broadway: Orpheus Descending (Peter Hall, director); Ivanov (with Kevin Kline). Off-Broadway: I Remember Mama (Transport Group; Lucille Lortel nomination); Uncle Vanya (Andre Gregory, director); Macbeth (Public/NYSF; with Liev Schreiber); Tina Howe’s Chasing Manet, Donald Margulies’ The Model Apartment (Primary Stages); Marsha Norman’s Getting Out (Lucille Lortel); Hamlet (Public, with Kevin Kline); Street Scene (New York City Opera, Jack O’Brien, director); Paradise Island (The New Group); Don Juan Comes Back from the Wars (Manhattan Theatre Club).
Regional: Long Wharf Theatre; Hartford Stage; Actors Theatre of Louisville (4 Humana Festivals of New Plays); Williamstown Theatre Festival: Guthrie Theatre; Yale Rep; A.R.T. Cambridge: O’Neill Playwrights Center; Sundance Theatre Lab; Orlando Shakespeare Festival. Film and TV: Louis Malle’s Vanya on 42nd Street; Steven Spielberg’s Munich; Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery and Deconstructing Harry; Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York; Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe; Eagle Eye; Cradle Will Rock; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; Tom McCarthy’s Station Agent; Michael Patrick King’s Sex and the City I and II; Hello Lonesome; They Came Together; Damages; Nurse Jackie; Sex and the City; Law and Order (all three); Bored to Death; and more. Upcoming films and TV: The Cobbler (with Adam Sandler and Dustin Hoffman); Gabriel; Getting On (HBO); The Affair (Showtime); Lynn is a recipient of the Bowden Award from New Dramatists, The Lily Award for women in the theatre, a Fox Fellowship and the Richard Seff Award from Actors Equity.


FEATURING – Ronald Cohen

NY Theatre: A Winter’s Tale (Hang a Tale theatre company); Artist Descending a Staircase, Henry IV Part One, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Boomerang Theatre Company); The Recruiting Officer (New York Classical Theatre); Twelfth Night (Kings County Shakespeare); Pirandello’s Henry IV (CSC First Look); Martin Sherman’s Messiah (Workshop Theatre Company). Regional: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Cape May Stage; Kansas City Circle Theatre; New Theatre, Overland Park, KS.; Orlando (FL) Shakespeare; Lake Lucille, NY, Chekhov Project; Company of Fools, Hailey, ID. Film and TV: Not Waving But Drowning: Strangers When We Meet; Where Is Joel Baum?; Ablution; Landings; Sex and the City.


DIRECTOR – Alex Harvey

Alex Harvey is a director, writer, filmmaker, musician, teacher and event producer based out of Brooklyn.
Regional theatre directing credits include O Lovely Glowworm for American Conservatory Theater, Underneath the Lintel at the Alley Theatre, regional premieres of Will Eno’s Oh, The Humanity, Noah Haidle’s Mr. Marmalade for Stages Repertory and I Am My Own Wife for Stages Repertory Theatre in co- production with Stage West Des Moines, a five-person staging of Macbeth for the Mirror Repertory Company in New York and his own radical adaptation of The Mock-Tempest for Shakespeare Santa Cruz. His 2013 production of Waiting For Waiting For Godot won Best of the NY Fringe and was extended twice in the Fringe Encores program. He has developed work and lead workshops at NYTW, Steppenwolf, Lincoln Center, Long Wharf and the Edinburgh Fringe. And has taught as a guest lecturerer at UCSD and UC Berkeley. Alex works at the Graduate Acting and Design programs at NYU Tisch as a director and mentor to the MFA candidates. For NYU/MFA he wrote and directed The Humans Are in Trouble, Careless Marjory and an adaptation of Nabokov’s Pale Fire. For NYU he also created a loose adaptation of Sheridan’s The Rivals. With renowned composer John Gromada and author Michael Pollan, Alex remade Pollan’s book, The Botany of Desire, into an opera which has been developed at American Conservatory Theater, The Orchard Project and UC Berkeley, where Alex and Gromada were artists-in-residence at the Arts Research Center. Alex is the Associate Artistic director of the Lake Lucille Project – an event theatre collective that, since its inception in 2003, has produced the complete works of Chekhov in site-specific immersive stagings on the shores of Lake Lucille in New City, New York. For writer/producer Beau Willimon Alex directed a site-specific Balm in Gilead in June of 2011 in a warehouse in Industry City, Brooklyn.
As a music/event producer he conceptualized and co-composed a live scoring interactive performance of Buster Keaton’s The Balloonatic for The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival as well as a multidisciplinary evening of music and music hall for the New York John Hartford Festival at Little Field in Brooklyn. His old time Jazz collective The 5000 Jazz Assassins are currently partnered with the Bourne Music Company to develop a series of new master recordings of previously unrecorded songs from the 20s and 30s to be made available for commercial license in 2015. Alex has recorded on many albums and can be heard around town playing a variety of instruments with Michael Cerveris’ Loose Cattle. He can also be seen playing his mandolin nationally on Geico’s “Happier Than” television campaign.

Recently Alex has entered the world of directing for tv and film. In 2013 he served as apprentice director on Boardwalk Empire’s fourth season under master director Allen Coulter. He is currently co-directing Lake Lucille Project’s hybrid narrative/documentary, A Seagull. And he is also currently in pre-production development for his cinematic adaptation of Walden which shoots in Colorado in 2015.


Miklos Buk is a cinematographer living and working in New York City. He was a DP on feature films such as John Harkrider’s Mitchellville (2nd Camera, 35mm, 2003), Tony Spiridakis’ Noise (2nd. Camera, 16mm, 2004), and George Pinter’s The Dump (35mm/DV, 1998), also Pearl Gluck’s The Divan. Before moving to New York he’d been the DP on several shorts including Ambulance (16mm, Film Academy of Budapest, 1996), which won awards at the Bologna Short Film Festival and Milan Film Festival. Since 2000 Miklos has been living and working in New York. He has been involved in several projects with Michel Gondry, Brian Mertes, Joan Stein, Don Coppola and Jon Schumacher. He graduated at The American Film Institute Conservatory with MFA. Also he was trained and received an BA at the Academy of Theater and Motion Picture Arts in Budapest, Hungary, 1995 – 2000, and was selected to be part of the Kodak Master Class of Worldwide DP Students in 1997 in Budapest.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 23

As an unperfect actor on the stage,
Who with his fear is put beside his part,
Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
Whose strength’s abundance weakens his own heart;
So I, for fear of trust, forget to say
The perfect ceremony of love’s rite,
And in mine own love’s strength seem to decay,
O’ercharged with burthen of mine own love’s might.
O! let my looks be then the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
Who plead for love, and look for recompense,
More than that tongue that more hath more express’d.
     O! learn to read what silent love hath writ:
     To hear with eyes belongs to love’s fine wit.



Sonnet 23 is an apology for being unable to accurately express love in words, and a request for actions to be understood in their place.

Having committed himself a bit more than he intended, Willy is now stuck explaining why at times he is tongue-tied in his love’s company. It is, he says, mainly due to the sheer size of his love, the hugeness of it becoming a burden almost too large to carry. He is like an actor who cannot remember his lines, or a wild beast in a fury thrashing around, achieving nothing for all his efforts. He asks his love come to the rescue by understanding what his looks say, how they speak of the love buried within, even more so than that other guy, who is so glib with his tongue. Although love is blind, he has the ability to hear with his eyes.


Will’s Wordplay

An “unperfect actor” is one who is underrehearsed and can’t remember their lines. This is a counter to the “perfect ceremony” he would like to recite.

“presagers” are prophets


New Amsterdam Theatre

Glimmers of the Follies, sounds of the Serengeti, and a Genie’s laughter– all of these have graced the stage of the New Amsterdam Theater, in the heart of Times Square. It was built in 1902–1903 and was designed by the architecture firm of Henry Hertz and Hugh Tallant;bthe Roof Garden, where more risqué productions were presented, and which is no longer extant, was added in 1904, designed by the same firm.

From 1913 to 1927, the theatre was the home of the Ziegfeld Follies, whose producer, Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr., maintained an office in the building, and operated a nightclub on the roof [1] George White’s Scandals and Eva LeGallienne’s Civic Repertory Theatre were subsequent tenants. It was used as a movie theatre beginning in 1937, closed in 1985, and was leased by The Walt Disney Company and renovated by Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer in 1995–97 to be the flagship for Disney Theatrical Productions presentations on Broadway [2].

Both the Beaux-Arts exterior and the Art Nouveau interior of the building are New York City landmarks, having been designated in 1979 [3]. In addition, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Along with the Lyceum Theatre, also built in 1903, the New Amsterdam is the oldest surviving Broadway venue.


Construction and Original Run

“The New Amsterdam was built in 1903 by the partnership of impresarios A.L. Erlanger and Marcus Klaw and designed in the Art Nouveau style by architects Herts and Tallant. At the time of construction, it was the largest theatre in New York with a seating capacity of 1,702. Along with the Lyceum Theatre, also built in 1903, it is the oldest surviving Broadway venue.

The New Amsterdam opened in November 1903 with a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For many years, it hosted the Ziegfeld Follies, showcasing such talents as Olive Thomas, Fanny Brice and the Eaton siblings. A racier sister show of the Follies, the Midnight Frolics, played in the New Amsterdam’s roof garden theatre. The New Amsterdam was the scene of Marilyn Miller’s greatest triumphs in the musicals Sally (1920) and Sunny, which opened in September 1925 co-starring Clifton Webb as Harold Wendell-Wendell and ran for three seasons [1]. But the theatre also hosted serious productions, and in June 1927 Basil Rathbone appeared there as Cassius in Julius Caesar.”[3]



“The Great Depression took its toll on the theatre business, and in 1936 the New Amsterdam closed. It reopened on a limited basis in 1937 but soon was converted to a movie theatre. The Nederlander Organization purchased the landmark property in 1982, but it would not be on the road to rehabilitation for another eight years. In 1990, after a court battle, the State and City of New York assumed ownership of the New Amsterdam and many other theatres on 42nd Street. Disney Theatrical Productions signed a 99 year lease for the property in 1993. The theatre, which had recently been used as a filming location for the movie Vanya on 42nd Street, was in shambles; it would take several years and millions of dollars, to restore it to its original usage and grandeur. The roof garden remained closed when it was discovered that it could not be brought up to modern building codes.

The New Amsterdam was officially reopened on April 2, 1997. In November 1997, after the premiere of the film Hercules and a limited engagement of a concert version of King David, Disney’s stage version of The Lion King opened. In June 2006, The Lion King relocated two blocks uptown to the Minskoff Theatre, where it is currently playing in its 18th year. Mary Poppins began previews at the New Amsterdam Theatre on October 16, 2006 and opened on November 16, 2006.” [3]

The New Amsterdam is currently home to Disney’s stage adaptation of Aladdin, which opened in 2014 following an interior renovation.



1. Alexander, Cathy. “New Amsterdam Theatre” in Jackson, Kenneth T. (ed.), (2010) The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd edition). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-11465-2, pp.888-89.
2. New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Postal, Matthew A. (ed. and text); Dolkart, Andrew S. (text). (2009) Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.) New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1, p. 88
3. http://www.newamsterdamtheatre.net/history.htm


ACTOR – Joanna Gleason

Joanna Gleason won the Best Actress Tony (Stephen Sondheim’s “Into The Woods”) along with Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Other Broadway and Off-Broadway credits, nominations and awards include: “Sons Of The Prophet”, “Something You Did”, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” Happiness”, “Social Security”, “Joe Egg”, “The Real Thing”, “I Love My Wife”, “Nick And Nora”, “The Normal Heart”, “Something You Did”, “Love Letters”, ”It’s Only A Play”,”Eelymosynary,” “A Hell Of A Town.” Films include: Woody Allen’s “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “Crimes and Misdemeanors” “Heartburn” for Mike Nichols, “The Skeleton Twins” “Mr. Holland’s Opus”, “Boogie Nights” “The Wedding Planner,” “Last Vegas”. T.V. includes recurring roles on “The West Wing” and “Friends”,”The Good Wife” “Tracy Ullman” “Blue Bloods
Joanna lives with Chris Sarandon on Tiny Farm, She is the author of the forthcoming novel, “Rancho Mirage”. She can tango.


DIRECTOR – Marco Ricci

A graduate of Northwestern University, Marco won the 2014 American Advertising Award for Branded Entertainment. The award was given in recognition of a series of short films he directed for the renowned shoe company Lucchese Boots. Marco’s feature directing credits include the documentary, The Reconstruction of Asa Carter. The film recounts the life story of famed Native-American writer Forrest Carter, author of The Outlaw Josey Wales, who was in actuality a prominent member of the KKK. It made its world premiere at the Sidewalk Film Festival before airing nationally on PBS. On the narrative side, he wrote and directed, The Wedding Bros. Starring Jon Polito, Dan Fogler, Brendan Sexton and Zoe Lister Jones, the film is a comedic story about two adversarial brothers who set out to make it big with the King Of Long Island Wedding Videos. It made its premiere at the SXSW Film festival and is being distributed by Universal Pictures/ScreenMedia. His feature writing credits include Finding Cody, one of the first interactive feature films. It stars pop sensation Cody Simpson and was produced by Warner Music.

His editing credits include the feature documentary Beyond the Hedges, which was nominated for a regional Emmy.
Marco’s last short film, Hyper, was chosen for the Centerpiece of the New York Film Festival, where it opened for P.T. Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love. It was honored as the Best Short Short at the prestigious Aspen Shortsfest and was
screened at the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Seattle International Film Festival, and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, among others. Hyper is being distributed by Apollo Cinema and has been seen on Atom
Films, RAI Television, and the Independent Film Channel. Marco’s other shorts have won numerous awards and have been shown on Canal Plus Europe, The Sundance Channel, and United Airlines.

Marco recently directed two national commercials for Empire Beauty School. He is currently in production on two feature documentaries. TX13 follows the 2014 congressional campaigns of the Democratic candidate for Congress in the most
Republican District in the country and the Republican candidate in the most Democratic district. Luchador tells the story of four female wrestlers at Taft HS in the South Bronx. It follows their journey from the high hopes of the first day of practice through the uncertainty of graduation.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 24

Mine eye hath played the painter and hath steeled,
Thy beauty’s form in table of my heart;
My body is the frame wherein ’tis held,
And perspective that is best painter’s art.
For through the painter must you see his skill,
To find where your true image pictured lies,
Which in my bosom’s shop is hanging still,
That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes.
Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done:
Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me
Are windows to my breast, where-through the sun
Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee;
     Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art,
     They draw but what they see, know not the heart.



Sonnet 24 is a giant artistic metaphor to say that affection is more than skin deep.

Like a painter, Willy has painted his lover’s image on his heart, and framing the artwork with his body. Only through the painter’s eye may the beloved see the image that has been created, and the beloved’s eyes are the window for Will to see his own heart. One pair of eyes drew the lover, the other pair of eyes are windows the sun delights to shine through to illuminate the heart-painting. Yet eyes, unfortunately, can draw only what they see, not the deep love invested in those objects.

Will’s Wordplay

“Windows glazed with thine eyes” is comparing the shine of the subjects eyes to glass. (Glaziers are glass workers)


The Plaza at 101 Park Ave., Manhattan

101 Park Avenue is a 629-foot tall skyscraper in New York City, New York. It was completed in 1979 to 1982 and has 49 floors. Eli Attia Architects designed the building, which is the 64th tallest in New York.

It was used as the facade of the fictional “Pemrose Building” in the 1987 film The Secret of My Success,[1] as well as the fictional “Clamp Tower” in the 1990 film Gremlins 2. The building is shown as the site of George Costanza’s office in an episode of Seinfeld, as well as Dudley Moore’s character’s office in the film Crazy People. It is also featured as a crash site in the 2012 film The Avengers.

Its most notable office tenant is Morgan Stanley. The plaza below features greenery and a fountain.



1. The Secret of My Success Movie Filming Locations – The 80s Movies Rewind


ACTOR – Colin Ryan

Colin Ryan Broadway: Waiting for Godot (u/s Pozzo/Lucky), No Man’s Land (u/s Briggs/Foster) New York: Macbeth (Macbeth), Othello (Iago), This Lime Tree Bower (Frank), Bill & Lenny (Shatner), Protest (Staněk), Troilus & Cressida (Achilles), Brecht on Brecht. Regional: A Streetcar Named Desire (Stanley), The Malcontent (Malevole), Pride & Prejudice (Wickham), Disney’s Beauty & the Beast (Gaston), US Premiere of A Laughing Matter (David Garrick), She Stoops to Conquer (Tony Lumpkin), Complete Works…(Abridged), The Winter’s Tale (Autolycus), Romeo & Juliet (Mercutio/Capulet), Twelfth Night (Orsino). MFA from The Academy for Classical Acting. Colin lives in Hoboken with his wife, Elizabeth, and a large brown bear.



DIRECTOR – Hazen Cuyler

Hazen is Co-Founder of The Greenhouse Ensemble in NYC and is published in three plays. Recent acting credits: Master Harold… and the boys at (Aurora Theatre); In The Next Room or the vibrator play (Performance Network Theatre); Theory of Mind (Wharton Center). Upcoming One-man show: It’s Like Love (written by Gina Femia).

Producer/Director/Creative Consultant: Sonnet 24 (NYC Shakespeare Exchange); Extracurricular (Greenhouse Ensemble); Under Neon Lights (Reel Hand Prod.); Glucosamine+Chondroitin international infomercial (Greenhouse Ensemble); OMG Wild! (Cinema World Studios); The SHoW (MSU Telecasters). Upcoming: Untitled Greenhouse Ensemble Theatrical Production.

He studies with Jack Garfein, Austin Pendleton, Aleksey Burago and Michael Ostrow.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 25

Studio 54-2 studio 54-1

Let those who are in favour with their stars
Of public honour and proud titles boast,
Whilst I, whom fortune of such triumph bars
Unlook’d for joy in that I honour most.
Great princes’ favourites their fair leaves spread
But as the marigold at the sun’s eye,
And in themselves their pride lies buried,
For at a frown they in their glory die.
The painful warrior famoused for fight,
After a thousand victories once foiled,
Is from the book of honour razed quite,
And all the rest forgot for which he toiled:
     Then happy I, that love and am beloved,
Where I may not remove nor be removed.

Sonnet 25 compares the joys of fickleness of fate, flowers, and courtly favors with the steadfastness found in the joy brought by the beloved.

While those who have been favored by fortune boast about it; Shakespeare is hindered by it but, happy for the gift of his subject’s love and regard. Like marigolds that survive only as long as the sun shines on them, royal favorites live only as long as that favor continues. A great soldier loses his hard-won reputation with the loss of just one battle. But Shakespeare is fortunate because the pleasure his beloved brings him cannot be removed by any means.

Will’s Wordplay
“proud titles” refers directly to aristocratic titles or high government posts.

Studio 54
This was once THE place to spot Andy Warhol, Liza Minnelli, and all the other “beautiful people”in this town, where everyone was famous for 15 minutes. It was a world renowned nightclub from 1977 until 1981 when it was sold by founders and creators Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager. The most famous nightclub of all time, it was a sophisticated, groundbreaking multi-media visual extravaganza. Located at 254 West 54th Street in Manhattan, New York City, the space was originally the Gallo Opera House, opening in 1927, after which it changed names several times, eventually becoming CBS radio and television Studio 52 in 1943.

CBS used the theater for radio broadcasts. From the 1940s to the mid-1970s, CBS used the location as a radio and TV stage that housed such shows as What’s My Line?, The $64,000 Question, Password, To Tell the Truth, The Jack Benny Show, and Captain Kangaroo.[1] The soap opera Love of Life was produced there until 1975. In 1976, CBS moved most of its broadcast functions to the Ed Sullivan Theater and the CBS Broadcast Center.

Nightclub Era
When CBS began marketing the building in 1976, various interests in the art and fashion world expressed interest in seeing it converted into a nightclub. In 1977, Studio 54 was transformed into a nightclub by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, with Jack Dushey as a financial backer. They operated the company as Broadway Catering Corp. It took only six weeks to transform the theater into a nightclub and cost $400,000.[2]

Jules Fisher and Paul Marantz, two well-known Broadway theatrical set-designers, helped convert the theater into a dance floor and created moveable, theatrical sets and lights using the original theatrical fly rails, which allowed for a constantly changing environment. Within a month of opening, the New York State Liquor Authority raided Studio 54 for selling liquor without a license, and closed it. Prior to the raid, the nightclub had been using daily “caterers’ permits”, which enabled the nightclub to serve alcohol but were intended for weddings or political events. [3] The owners of the nightclub said the incident was a “misunderstanding”. The next night the club reopened, serving no liquor.

Event planner Robert Isabell had four tons of glitter dumped in a four-inch layer on the floor of Studio 54 for a New Year’s Eve party, which owner Ian Schrager described as like “standing on stardust” and left glitter that could be found months later in their clothing and homes. [4]

In December 1978 Rubell was quoted in the New York newspapers as saying the Studio 54 had made $7 million in its first year and that “only the Mafia made more money.” Shortly thereafter the nightclub was raided and Rubell and Schrager were arrested for skimming $2.5 million.

Studio 54 closed with a final party on February 4, 1980, with Diana Ross performing. Schrager and Rubell were found guilty of tax evasion and spent 13 months in prison. It was the first time anyone had ever been prosecuted for a one-year tax evasion.

In 1981, Rubell and Schrager sold the building, but opted to keep a lease. Later that year, the building was sold to Mark Fleischman with Rubell and Schrager staying on as consultants for 6 months afterward. [5] Studio 54 reopened on September 12, 1981 with Andy Warhol, Calvin Klein, Cary Grant, Lauren Hutton, Gloria Vanderbilt, Gina Lollobrigida, and Brooke Shields in attendance. Emerging artists Madonna, Wham!, Duran Duran, Culture Club, Menudo, and Run-DMC would perform at the club, before going on to future success.

KISS held a concert at the club in 1982 that was broadcast via satellite to the Sanremo Festival in Italy. During 1985, heavy metal groups Slayer, Venom and Exodus filmed a video at Studio 54 called Ultimate Revenge for Disco. In the 80’s many legendary freestyle music artists performed at the club such as Noel Pagan, Nocera, Coro, Tony Moran, India, TKA, Black Riot, Fascination, Sweet Sensation, Pajama Party, Johnny O, Hanson & Davis and many others.

From 1988 until early 1993 Studio 54’s name was changed to The Ritz (prev located on 11th St & 3rd Ave from 1980-87). The club then became a concert venue for New Wave, Punk, & Eurodisco artists. New owners CAT Entertainment Corp hosted occasional rock concerts, and was otherwise a public venue available for rent. In 1993 CAT Entertainment was acquired by Cabaret Royale Corporation, a nightclub operator based in Dallas. A renovation earlier abandoned because of a lack of funds was completed, and resurrected both the nightclub and the Studio 54 trademark, which had never been properly registered by any of the prior owners. [6] It was operated as “Cabaret Royale at Studio 54” until early 1995.

During 1994 Allied Partners bought the building and restored much of the architectural detail that had been covered. The nightclub reopened with a live concert by disco stars Gloria Gaynor, Vicki Sue Robinson, and Sister Sledge. The building again went into bankruptcy in 1996 and Allied announced plans to demolish it and replace it with Cyberdrome, a virtual reality gaming venue, however, the project was never completed.

During 1998 the collapse of a construction hoist blocked access to the Henry Miller Theatre on 43rd Street, where the successful revival of the Broadway musical Cabaret was playing. To keep the show accessible, the Roundabout Theater Company agreed to move the performance to Studio 54. Roundabout later bought the building in 2003 from Allied for $22.5 million, and Cabaret played until 2004. [7]

The second floor of the theater is used as a nightclub on weeks when plays are not being staged; when it does so it operates under the name Upstairs at Studio 54. The club is operated by Josh Hadar who was one of the Allied partners. It was also briefly owned by Noel Ashman.A separate restaurant and nightclub, called 54 Below, operates in the basement.

Sonnet Project
Studio 54 was the featured location for Sonnet 25, performed by Carmen Meyers, directed by Alexis Holloway. The video was released on June 24, 2013.

1. Studio 54 roundabouttheatre.org
2. A WALL STREET JOURNAL Staff Reporter. “Operators of Studio 54 In New York Indicted On Skimming Receipts. ” Wall Street Journal [New York, N.Y.] 29 June 1979, 22.
3. New York Times. May 22, 1977 “Liquor Authority Head Stops Discotheque’s Music.”
4. Weber, Bruce. “Robert Isabell, Who Turned Events Into Wondrous Occasions, Dies at 57”, The New York Times, July 10, 2009.
5. Reality News; Studio 54 New York Times – August 31, 1981
6. NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: MIDTOWN; A Stripped-Down Studio 54 For the Post-Disco Era December 19, 1993
7. COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: REGIONAL MARKET — Manhattan; As ‘Cabaret’ Nears End, Cabaret Still Has a Place New York Times – October 1, 2003

ACTOR – Carmen Meyers
Carmen Meyers is originally from Tempe, Arizona, and holds a Bachelors Degree from Arizona State University and a Masters Degree in Acting from Indiana University. Other training includes: graduate of the Southwest Shakespeare Conservatory two year program in Phoenix, Arizona, and The Shakespeare Theatre Conservatory in Washington D.C., where she had the opportunity to work with Catherine Weidner and Michael Kahn.

This is her third project with NY Shakespeare Exchange appearing in King John as Queen Eleanor, and Two Plays One Conversation: Romeo and Juliet/Spring’s Awakening as Mrs. Gabor. Carmen moved to New York City in the summer of 2008 with her husband. Recent New York credits include Manhattan Theatre Source Estrogenius Festival, Broadville as Ramona, eXit Productions, Wonderland In Alice as the Empress. Carmen’s favorite roles include: Playhouse on the Square (Memphis, TN) The Graduate (Mrs. Robinson, *Ostrander Nominated), Bloomington Playwrights Project (Bloomington, IN), Fatal Attraction (Glenn Close), Indiana University (Bloomington, IN) Death of a Salesman (Linda), Betty’s Summer Vacation (Mrs. Seizmagraff), Frozen (Nancy), Summer Music Theatre Festival (Macomb, IL) Mame (Mame), and Indianapolis Children’s Museum (Indianapolis, IN) in the role of Charlotte from her favorite children’s book Charlotte’s Web. Future roles in her bucket list include: Gertrude in Hamlet, Cleopatra in Anthony and Cleopatra, Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Clytemnestra in The Oresteia, Christine in Mourning Becomes Electra, and the Witch in Into the Woods.

Carmen recently became a full-time instructor and Bronx Community College in the Communications Arts and Sciences Department and will begin her PhD in Theatre Performance OR Higher Education in the fall of 2014. On a personal level, she’s been happily married to Ben Gougeon for 4 years. Carmen has a beautiful daughter, Chantel, who is 23 and going to school in Indiana. Her biggest challenge is to balance her love for teaching with her love for acting. She believes in work that fills her soul and challenges her mind, usually work that scares the shit out of her.

DIRECTOR – Alexis Holloway
I am a New York based writer and director, originally from San Antonio, Texas. I love writing comedy, working collaboratively, and trying new things. My most recent short film, Apartment 6E, which I co-wrote and produced with my husband, Grega Rupret, was recently screened at the Anthology Film Archives.

Apartment 6E tells the story of an unemployed man who goes to great lengths to feel important again. The trailer is available for viewing at: http://alexisholloway.eu/AlexisHolloway/Apt_6E.html. Other short comedies include: Attraction, The Perfect Goodnight Kiss, A Phone Call, and The Vagina Conspiracy. Outside of narrative film, I have experience field producing both documentary film and reality programming. I have a BA in Film Production and Women Studies from Burlington College.

For further information, please go to: http://alexisholloway.eu/AlexisHolloway/intro.html


Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 27

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:
For then my thoughts–from far where I abide–
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see:
Save that my soul’s imaginary sight
Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,
Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new.
     Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,
     For thee, and for myself, no quiet find.



Sonnet 27 plays with the duality of night and day, with day being full of work and night full of beauty because that is when the speaker can think on his lover.

Here Willy reflects on how thoughts of his beloved keep him awake, and even in darkness the image floats before him, like a jewel on a night-dark background, making the night beautiful. By day he is made weary by work and travel, and by night rest is denied him, for he has to make journeys in his mind to attend on the loved one, who is far away.


Will’s Wordplay

This sonnet is the only one in the canon that is pangrammatic. A pangram or holoalphabetic composition uses every letter of the alphabet at least once!


Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

If you live on Staten Island you’re familiar with “the bridge”– and you get a break on the toll! The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (sometimes called simply the Verrazano Bridge) is a double-decked suspension bridge that connects the boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn. It spans the Narrows, a body of water connecting the relatively protected upper bay with the larger, wide open lower bay.

“When it opened in 1964, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was the world’s longest suspension span. The ends of the bridge are at historic Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn and Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, both of which guarded New York Harbor at the Narrows for over a century. The bridge was named after Giovanni da Verrazano, who, in 1524, was the first European explorer to sail into New York Harbor.

Its monumental 693 foot high towers are 1 5/8 inches farther apart at their tops than at their bases because the 4,260 foot distance between them made it necessary to compensate for the earth’s curvature. Each tower weighs 27,000 tons and is held together with three million rivets and one million bolts. Seasonal contractions and expansions of the steel cables cause the double-decked roadway to be 12 feet lower in the summer than in the winter.

Located at the mouth of upper New York Bay, the bridge not only connects Brooklyn with Staten Island but is also a major link in the interstate highway system, providing the shortest route between the middle Atlantic states and Long Island.

In Brooklyn, the bridge connects to the Belt Parkway and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and to the largely residential community of Bay Ridge. On Staten Island, which saw rapid development after the bridge opened in 1964, it joins the Staten Island Expressway, providing access to the many communities in this most rural of the city’s five boroughs.” [1]



1. http://web.mta.info/bandt/html/veraz.html


ACTOR – Carrie Preston

CARRIE PRESTON played Arlene Fowler on HBO’s TRUE BLOOD, which ran for 7 seasons. She currently has recurring roles on three TV shows: the scatterbrained, genius lawyer Elsbeth Tascioni on THE GOOD WIFE (for which she won an Emmy award) Mr. Finch’s love interest, Grace, on PERSON OF INTEREST and Debbie, opposite Steve Coogan, on the upcoming Showtime series HAPPYISH


Also a director/producer with Daisy 3 Pictures, she directed the feature THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID, starring Anne Heche, Marcia DeBonis and Alia Shawkat which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and is available on all platforms. Her latest directorial project is DARWIN: THE SERIES available on YouTube.


FEATURING – Monica Eva Foster

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Monica has lived all over the country (and the globe) in places such as Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Lake Tahoe, San Diego and Seoul, Korea. Weaving her life experiences into the roles she plays, her character portrayals create a rich tapestry that displays a wide range of skill from drama to comedy.

After taking a hiatus from acting to complete her undergraduate studies, co-found a company, and begin a family, Monica returned to the craft. She currently works predominantly in film (SMALL BEGINNINGS) and television (MY CRAZY LOVE). She recently played the lovable and tipsy Jen Meyers in CINEMA PURGATORIO, a feature film that won Best Comedy and Audience Favorite at the 2015 Beaufort International Film Festival.

Monica travels as much as possible and divides her free time between family and friends, teaching yoga (she’s a 500-Hr Certified E-RYT), cooking, reading, and charitable endeavors. For more info, please visit www.MonicaEvaFoster.com.


DIRECTOR – Michael Dunaway

MICHAEL DUNAWAY is the producer and director of 21 YEARS: RICHARD LINKLATER, a New York Times Critics Pick starring Matthew McConaughey, Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Jack Black, Billy Bob Thornton, Keanu Reeves, and more; and of THE MAN WHO ATE NEW ORLEANS, which included Morgan Spurlock, Tory McPhail, and the Rebirth Brass Band. He is also the Creative Producer and Director of Programming for the Sarasota Film Festival (“Indie Film’s Best-Kept Secret” – Indiewire) and Movies Editor at the award-winning Paste Magazine (more than five million
monthly readers). For his Paste podcast The Work, he has interviewed and photographed Robert Duvall, Mark Ruffalo, Jessica Chastain, Diane
Keaton, and many other notables. His current projects include
BIRMINGHAM, a scripted film on Martin Luther King Jr and Fred Shuttlesworth (in partnership with the King, Shuttlesworth, and Poitier families). He lives in Atlanta with his wife and children.


EDITOR – Nate Gardner

Nate Gardner is a filmmaker/editor based out of New York. More work can be seen at www.nategardnerfilm.com


CO-DIRECTOR / DP – Karin Hayes

Karin Hayes is the recipient of the DuPont-Columbia University Award for excellence in broadcast journalism for her first film, The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt (HBO/Cinemax), co-produced with Victoria Bruce. Hayes’s most recent film, WE’RE NOT BROKE premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Hayes also co-produced and directed Held Hostage in Colombia. The documentary was excerpted on CBS 60 Minutes II and broadcast on The History Channel and the Sundance Channel.
Hayes’s and Bruce’s documentary Pip & Zastrow: An American Friendship was broadcast on PBS/Maryland Public Television and received the Target® Filmmaker Award. Hayes co-authored the book Hostage Nation (Knopf 2010) with Bruce.
Hayes shot for Director Jason DaSilva’s 2013 Sundance Film Festival documentary When I Walk, and was the Associate Producer for Director Paul Rachman’s Sony Pictures Classics documentary American Hardcore: the history of American punk rock from 1980-1986. Hayes has worked on documentaries for PBS, National Geographic Channel, the Travel Channel, the Discovery Channel, and with The Cronkite Ward Company for TLC. Prior to filmmaking, she attended the University of Guadalajara in Mexico, Universidad de Costa Rica, and worked at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Hayes graduated from UCLA with a degree in World Arts and Cultures, with a theater emphasis.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 28

How can I then return in happy plight,
That am debarred the benefit of rest?
When day’s oppression is not eas’d by night,
But day by night and night by day oppressed,
And each, though enemies to either’s reign,
Do in consent shake hands to torture me,
The one by toil, the other to complain
How far I toil, still farther off from thee.
I tell the day, to please him thou art bright,
And dost him grace when clouds do blot the heaven:
So flatter I the swart-complexion’d night,
When sparkling stars twire not thou gild’st the even.
     But day doth daily draw my sorrows longer,
     And night doth nightly make grief’s length seem stronger.



Sonnet 28 reflects on the opposition of day and night, and how both find ways to make the speaker sad for not being with the one he loves.

Shakespeare is removed from his beloved, and he sees a conspiracy between night and day: they wish to torment him with a day of toil and a night of restlessness. He tries to quiet both by telling them that his beloved youth makes them more glorious by just existing. But this has no effect and he is forced to continually reflect on his own sorrows, as during the day he cannot be with the youth for all his working, and at night cannot sleep for continually thinking of him.


Will’s Wordplay

“do in consent shake hands to torture me” creates an image of the day and night making a bargain, conspiratorially. Perhaps the man in the moon and the face of the sun shook on it?

“twire” is to twinkle


Castle Clinton, Battery Park, Manhattan

“Castle Clinton National Monument has seen many changes in the growth and culture of New York City. The structure was one of the New York Harbor forts built just before the War of 1812. Later it became a great entertainment complex, then an important immigrant processing station, and then an aquarium. There is no better example of historic adaptive reuse then Castle Clinton National Monument. Saved from complete destruction, the National Park Service carried out a restoration campaign, completed in 1975, that restored the structure to its original fortress configuration.

The United States declared War on Great Britain on June 12, 1812. The declaration was the result of long simmering disputes with Great Britain. The central dispute surrounded the impressment of American soldiers by the British… During the Battle of Bladensburg (August 24, 1814), the British marched into Washington, D.C., and burned most of the public buildings. President James Madison had to flee into the countryside. The British then turned to attack Baltimore but met stiffer resistance and were forced to retire after the American defense of Fort McHenry, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

…Acknowledging increasing tensions with the British, American harbor cities began building forts for protection. New York City was no exception. Four forts were built to defend the harbor; Castle Williams on Governor’s Island, Fort Wood on Bedloe’s Island (known today as Liberty Island), Fort Gibson on Ellis Island and Southwest Battery on Manhattan Island.

Southwest Battery was constructed on the rocks off the tip of Manhattan between 1808 and 1811. The fort was fully armed with 28 cannons. Each cannon could shoot a 32 pound cannonball a distance of 1.5 miles. On March 27, 1812, General Joseph Bloomfield was appointed to the command of all the fortifications in New York City and harbor. He established his headquarters at Southwest Battery.

The four forts in the harbor kept the British Navy at bay and Southwest Battery never had occasion to fire upon the enemy.In 1817, the fort was renamed Castle Clinton in honor of Dewitt Clinton, Mayor and later Governor of New York.

In 1823 the fort was deeded to New York City. The following summer a new restaurant and entertainment center opened at the site, renamed Castle Garden. A roof was added in the 1840s, and Castle Garden served as an opera house and theater until 1854. Many new inventions were demonstrated there, including the telegraph, Colt revolving rifles, steam-powered fire engines, and underwater electronic explosives.

Opera singer Jenny Lind, the “Swedish Nightingale,” made her American debut here in 1850. She was brought to America by none other than P.T. Barnum, famous for his American Museum full of “freaks,” and later the famous circus which bears his name today.

On August 3, 1855, Castle Garden opened as an immigrant landing depot. The creation of Castle Garden, the official immigrant processing center in the nation, represented a country at a crossroads, signaling a change in American immigration policy, and in the ways through which immigrants became Americans.

During the next 34 years, over 8 million people entered the United States through Castle Garden. Two out of every three immigrants to the United States in this period passed through the Castle Garden. It was closed on April 18, 1890.

With the Federal government taking control of immigration and the opening of Ellis Island, Castle Garden’s time as an immigration center ends. The building was remodeled once again and reopened as the New York City Aquarium on December 10, 1896. The exotic fish and Beluga whale made the aquarium one of the city’s most popular attractions. With over 30,000 visitors on opening day the aquarium averaged over 5,000 people per day. The New York City Aquarium was relocated to Coney Island in 1941.

Saved from demolition in 1946, the Castle was restored to its original design by the National Park Service. The site reopened in 1975 as Castle Clinton National Monument.

Today the site houses the ticket office for the Statue of Liberty. Castle Clinton receives an annual visitation over 3 million making it one of the most visited National Park Service sites in the country. The fort originally built to keep people out now welcomes visitors from all over the world.” [1]



1. http://www.nps.gov/cacl/historyculture/index.htm


ACTOR – David Blatt

David Blatt is an actor and writer, hailing from New York City. On stage some favorite roles include, Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet (SBST), The Maquis de Sade in MARAT/SADE (EgoPo), Ben Israel in New Jerusalem (Lantern), Tranio in The Taming of the Shrew (Greenwoods) & Macbeth in Macbeth (Delaware Shakespeare Festival). He is the star of the comedy web series The Adventures of Shakespeare & Watson: Detectives of Mystery, and has appeared on screen in several independent films, including Drop Dead Gorgeous (Winner First Glance Film Fest 2012), and on television in Fatal Attractions (Animal Planet) and The Conquest of America (The History Channel). His writing has appeared in the magazine, Lovers & Other Strangers, and for a short time he covered fights at The Great Western Forum for The USA Boxing News. Training: M.F.A. Temple University, B.A. University of California at Berkeley.


DIRECTOR – Christopher Piazza

Christopher Piazza is a Brooklyn based director, writer and director of photography. He’s the director/co-writer of the comedy web series The Adventures of Shakespeare & Watson: Detectives of Mystery. He is also the director and creator of the music web series All Axis Music and Panopticon360. As a director of photography, he has shot commercials (DirecTV, Chobani), television shows (Househunters International, The Artist’s Den) and well over 100 concerts for artists such as Beyonce, Eminem, Robert Plant, the Bonnaroo music festival and many more.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 29

When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
     For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
     That then I scorn to change my state with kings.



Sonnet 29 sees a very depressed and outcast speaker wishing he could change his fates, but feeling much more favored when he thinks of his lover.

Billy has fallen on hard times in this sonnet, crying out to heaven to no effect. Nothing can change his fate and change the way others see him. But he finds solace in thoughts of his beloved, and it lifts his heart like birdsong. He feels so wealthy in love that he would not change his fate for that of a king’s.


Will’s Wordplay

“bootless” means useless. Will was fond of this one, and used it 17 times in the play Othello alone!

His wish to be “featured” like another is not necessarily a plea for attention, but a wish to posess the attractive features of a handsomer bloke.


Scholar’s Corner

The feeling of uselessness, outcasting, and disgrace in this poem is thought to be related to the 1592 closing of London playhouses as result of an outbreak of the plague, causing Shakespeare and other actors to live with small wages, and be looked upon as filthy by town society.[1]



1. Holden, Anthony. William Shakespeare: His Life and Work. Boston: Little, Brown, 2002.


Old Town Bar, Union Square, Manhattan

“A true New York classic: Ancient mariners sit side by side with sports nuts, frat boys, and hip preppies (a scene from The Last Days of Disco was filmed here) who struggle valiantly not to use their cell phones. Everyone’s come for the perfectly sized, house-made burgers—not too big but not too small—which are also some of the city’s tastiest. And if you sit downstairs, keep your eyes on the end of the bar to see your order arrive from the upstairs kitchen via dumbwaiter. A post-work mob scene has been sidling up to Old Town’s mahogany bar since 1892.”[1]



1. http://nymag.com/listings/bar/old_town_bar/


ACTOR – Tom Degnan

Tom is thrilled and honored to be a part of The Sonnet Project presented by the New York Shakespeare Exchange. Theatre: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Brick), Much Ado About Nothing (Don John) at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Pride and Prejudice (Charles Bingley) at the Cleveland Play House, Anna Christie (Matt Burke), You Can’t Take It With You (Boris Kholenkov), A Midsummer’s Night Dream (Oberon) at the Monomoy Theatre. TV: Madam Secretary, Blue Bloods, Person of Interest, The Following, White Collar, The Good Wife, One Life to Live, As the World Turns, Magic City. Film: To Whom it May Concern (with Wilmer Valderrama and Dawn Olivieri), and Handsome Harry (with Steve Buscemi, Aidan Quinn, Jamey Sheridan). He’s a proud graduate of the CWRU/CPH MFA program, and the bassist in the band Reserved for Rondee.


DIRECTOR – John Hayden

John is a Director, Actor, Writer and Omelette Maker. Love to the NYC Shakespeare Sonnet movement and the amazing cast and crew of #29.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 30

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanished sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
     But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
     All losses are restor’d and sorrows end.



Sonnet 30 is a maudlin reflection on sad memories reconciled by the realization of the gift he has in his friend.

When Will quietly and remembers the past, he feels down about all the things missed out on, and time wasted. He cries for friends who are dead, for hurts in loves that are long over, and other losses. Then he mourns the things he’s done mourning, feeling the pain anew. But when he thinks on his dear friend, while doing all of this, all is restored.

Will’s Wordplay

The sonnet begins by using courtroom metaphors: “session”, “summon up” (as a witness), and “cancell’d” (as a debt).

“love’s long since cancell’d woe” is the sorrow once felt over the loss of close friends; loss that has dulled over the years but now returns as Billy thinks of the past.


“The Sphere”, Battery Park, Manhattan

A marvel, and proof of the resilience of art, The Sphere is a large metallic sculpture by German sculptor Fritz Koenig, displayed in Battery Park. It once stood in the middle of Austin J. Tobin Plaza, the area between the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan. After being recovered from the rubble of the Twin Towers after the September 11 attacks in 2001, the artwork faced an uncertain fate, and it was dismantled into its components. Although it remained structurally intact, it had been visibly damaged by debris from the airliners that were crashed into the buildings and from the collapsing skyscrapers themselves.

Six months after the attacks, following a documentary film about the sculpture, it was relocated to Battery Park on a temporary basis—without any repairs—and formally rededicated with an eternal flame as a memorial to the victims of 9/11. It has become a major tourist attraction, due partly to the fact that it survived the attacks with only dents and holes.

The Sphere is 25 feet high and cast in 52 bronze segments. Koenig considered it his “biggest child”. It was put together in Bremen, Germany and shipped as a whole to Lower Manhattan. The artwork was meant to symbolize world peace through world trade, and was set to rotate once every 24 hours. Its base was a popular lunch spot for workers in the trade center on days with good weather.


ACTOR – Alan Cox

Alan most recently appeared in Hannah Eidinow’s production of Playing with Grown Ups at the Brits Off- Broadway festival at 59E59, where he previously performed the critically acclaimed Cornelius by J. B. Priestley. His work in this neglected classic, which started at London’s Finborough Theatre, was described as “monumental” by The Guardian and “Wonderful!” and “Virtuosic” by The New York Times. His other theatre work includes seasons at the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Chichester Festival Theatre. He made his West End debut in Strange Interlude, and recent appearances include The Creeper and The Importance of Being Earnest. Off- West-End he appeared in the London premieres of Longing, The Earthly Paradise, The Flu Season, The Rubenstein Kiss and Passion Play. His film credits include The Dictator, Contagion, August, The Auteur Theory, Mrs. Dalloway, An Awfully Big Adventure and Young Sherlock Holmes. A long list of television credits include starring opposite Laurence Olivier in John Mortimer’s A Voyage Round My Father in 1982 and as Alan Bennett in the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore dramatisation Not Only But Always.


DIRECTOR – Brendan Averett

Brendan Averett started acting as a senior in high school after his father suggested he take a drama class as an elective – perhaps to get Brendan to do something constructive with his silliness. This small breakfast table suggestion changed his life forever. After graduating from high school, two years of studying biology at San Jose State University and doing theatre on the side, he abandoned his childhood dream of becoming a genetic engineer and moved to Los Angeles to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena.

After graduating in 1993 and stage managing a couple of shows, Brendan continued his study by attending the British-American Drama Academy’s “Midsummer in Oxford” conservatory program. Upon returning, he landed his first acting job playing Pistol in Henry V. Since then, he has performed in 39 plays – almost half of which have been productions of Shakespeare.

He is the 2003 Fellow for the Chicago Associates of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada, attended the festival’s conservatory program and went on to perform for two seasons there. He has performed at many theaters across the nation including Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Los Angeles, The Goodman, as well as The Court Theatre in Chicago, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Saint Louis Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Yale Repertory and The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park. He performed in Julie Taymor’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as Ionesco’s The Killer, directed by Darko Tresnjak, for the inaugural season at Theatre for a New Audience’s new space – the Polonsky Shakespeare Center

Brendan also directed Sonnet 141 and starred in Sonnet 148. He is an Associate Producer on the Sonnet Project.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 31

Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts,
Which I by lacking have supposed dead;
And there reigns Love, and all Love’s loving parts,
And all those friends which I thought buried.
How many a holy and obsequious tear
Hath dear religious love stol’n from mine eye,
As interest of the dead, which now appear
But things removed that hidden in thee lie!
Thou art the grave where buried love doth live,
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone,
Who all their parts of me to thee did give,
That due of many now is thine alone:
     Their images I loved, I view in thee,
     And thou (all they) hast all the all of me.



Sonnet 31 somewhat morbidly likens the subject to a mass grave and subsequent resurrection of all the speaker’s past loves, through which the speaker feels he has attained a new lease on life.

The lover possesses all the loves of people that Willy supposed dead. Instead, love reigns and lives large within the new love. He likens his lover to a grave where buried love is resurrected; the trophies of past love find new life in this subject. Among these images of past loves, Willy sees the parts of himself he gave so freely.


Will’s Wordplay

Capital L Love may refer to Cupid or Eros, the physical manifestation of love, literally reigning over a land within the poem’s subject.


Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, Manhattan

One of the most famous Central Park landmarks, an important location in everything from Angels in America to Gossip Girl to Doctor Who, is Bethesda Fountain. It is the central feature on the lower level of Bethesda Terrace, constructed in 1859-64.

The pool is centered by a fountain sculpture designed by Emma Stebbins in 1868 and unveiled in 1873.Stebbins was the first woman to receive a public commission for a major work of art in New York City. The bronze, eight-foot statue depicts a female winged angel touching down upon the top of the fountain, where water spouts and cascades into an upper basin and into the surrounding pool. It was the only statue in the park called for in the original design. Beneath her are four four-foot cherubs representing Temperance, Purity, Health, and Peace. Also called the Angel of the Waters, the statue refers to the Gospel of John, Chapter 5 where there is a description of an angel blessing the Pool of Bethesda, giving it healing powers. In Central Park the referent is the Croton Aqueduct opened in 1842, providing the city for the first time with a dependable supply of pure water: thus the angel carries a lily in one hand, representing purity, and with the other hand she blesses the water below.[1]

The base of the fountain was designed by the architect of all the original built features of Central Park, Calvert Vaux, with sculptural details, as usual, by Jacob Wrey Mould. In Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted’s 1858 Greensward Plan, the terrace at the end of the Mall overlooking the naturalistic landscape of the Lake was simply called The Water Terrace, but after the unveiling of the angel, its name was changed to Bethesda Terrace. The panels of carving in the abstracted organic style propounded by Owen Jones, a mentor of the sculptor Jacob Wrey Mould are organized by an iconographical program of themes: the Seasons, the Times of Day, the Ages of Mankind.[2] Considerable latitude was offered the carvers executing the work, following Ruskinian principles.

Bethesda Terrace became a site for an outdoor luncheon restaurant at the end of the 1960s, then became a congregating spot for the Hair generation before devolving into a drug-trafficking venue in the 1970s. The fountain, which had been dry for decades, was restored in its initial campaign, 1980–81, by the Central Park Conservancy as the centerpiece of its plan to renovate the Park. The Terrace was restored in the following season, its stonework disassembled, cleaned, deteriorated surfaces removed, restored and patched and reset.

Resodding, and fifty new trees, 3,500 shrubs and 3,000 ground cover plants specified by Philip Winslow followed in 1986, most of which, having matured into dense blocks, were removed in 2008, to make way for plants native to the United States. The Minton encaustic tiles of the ceiling of the arcade between the flanking stairs, designed by Mould, were removed in 1987, cleaned, restored, completed with additional new tiles and reinstalled in 2007. Following an illustration in an 1891 book by the Superintendent of Planting in Central Park, Calvert Vaux’s assistant and partner, Samuel Parsons, today in summer, the lower basin once again has water lilies, lotus and papyrus, grown in removable pots.



1. http://www.nycgovparks.org/news/daily-plant?id=15031
2. Commissioners of the Central Park Reports (New-York Historical Society), noted in Murphy and Ottavino 1986:26.


ACTOR – Eleanor Handley

Eleanor Handley Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Eleanor moved to NYC after receiving a scholarship to complete her MFA at the New School for Drama. Since graduating she has performed extensively with the Hudson Valley and Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festivals, most memorably as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Beatrice in Much Ado about Nothing, Cressida in Troilus and Cressida, and Regan in King Lear. Also for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, she appeared as Maria in Twelfth Night, filmed for broadcast by PBS. Last fall she starred in Jericho at 59E59 (NY Times Critic’s Pick) and has also appeared on the New York Stage opposite Austin Pendleton and Dominic Chianese. Her television appearances include As the World Turns (CBS), Royal Pains (USA) and most recently she played ‘Sheila Evans’ in Unforgettable (CBS).


DIRECTOR – Ebrahim Ghaeini

Ebrahim Ghaeini is a young filmmaker located in Salt Lake City, UT. He graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in film studies. Throughout high school he was involved with the theater program and was involved in numerous shakespearean plays. His favorite role was Posthumus in Cymbeline, and Titus in Titus Andronicus. Since, he has formed a production company, Blooming Studios, and has worked on numerous projects across the nation. Personally having directed 2 full length features and a few short films he is very excited and honored to direct his first short film influenced by William Shakespeare in New York City.
link: www.bloomingstudios.org

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 32

If thou survive my well-contented day,
When that churl Death my bones with dust shall cover
And shalt by fortune once more re-survey
These poor rude lines of thy deceased lover,
Compare them with the bett’ring of the time,
And though they be outstripped by every pen,
Reserve them for my love, not for their rhyme,
Exceeded by the height of happier men.
O! then vouchsafe me but this loving thought:
‘Had my friend’s Muse grown with this growing age,
A dearer birth than this his love had brought,
To march in ranks of better equipage:
     But since he died and poets better prove,
     Theirs for their style I’ll read, his for his love’.



Sonnet 32 explores themes on the length of life, and life as a house

Shakespeare looks into the future and reflects that the young man will probably outlive him. He bids the young man to remember the him not only because of the strength of his writing, but also because the love that has been shown to the young man far surpasses any love shown by another poet. He thinks the young man has a more vibrant and youthful soul than he. He also compares his soul to that of a large beautiful house with an owner that struggles inside.If that is to be the case, then he adjures the youth to remember him not so much for his poetic prowess, but for the fact that he outdid all his rivals in the love which he bears to him, the glorious youth, and that outvies all claim to poetic excellence.

Will’s Wordplay

A “churl” was a boorish ignorant fellow. Death sucks!

A “dearer birth” is a more valuable, more precious output, creation, child. Poems were considered to be the poet’s children.


“Red Cube”, 140 Broadway, Manhattan

“Isamu Noguchi’s Red Cube in Lower Manhattan was installed in 1968. The diagonal lines of red painted steel stand in contrast to the stark horizontal and vertical lines of the adjacent Marine Midland Building (by architect Gordon Bunshaft). The cylindrical hole running upward through the piece, as well as the cube’s topmost point, draw the viewer’s eye skyward.” [1]



1. http://www.nyc-arts.org/organizations/2378/red-cube


ACTOR – Julie DeLaurier

Julie DeLaurier – Broadway: Taxi Tales; Television: Kate & Allie (plus a few commercials); Radio: series narrator for NPR’s New American Radio; New media: Days of the Commune (Brecht), dir. by Zoe Beloff (see at: daysofthecommune.com); Off and off-off B’way includes several shows at Interart Theatre and C&L Collective; Regional: New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Tucson Invisible Theatre; Kansas City Theatre Workshop.

DeLaurier cut her teeth as a child with several apprenticeships at Missouri Repertory Theatre (now KC Rep); trained formally at Circle in the Square Theatre School (NYC) under, among others, Nikos Psachorapoulos, Lynne Meadow, Anthony Holland, Edward Berkeley, Marthe Schlamme, Ken Frankel. Also studied with Uta Hagen, Terry Schreiber, Ada Brown Mather, Gloria Maddox.

Took about twenty years off to raise two marvelous boys (while working a full-time office job). Boys to men now – Mama’s back on the boards.

Honored to be a part of this excellent project. Bravo, New York Shakespeare Exchange!


DIRECTOR – Peter Haas

PETER HAAS is a Brooklyn-based director and editor whose first celluloid love was “Godzilla.” Since age 9, he’s been chasing monsters and men, camera in hand. His documentary “Under the Bus” premiered on Free Speech TV in 2013, and his surreal animated short “Saturday Night Subway Ride” was shown at the Queens World Film Festival in 2012. His film “PatriotNet” was the first science fiction film completed for a senior thesis at Keene State College. Among his projects slated for release in 2014 is the short documentary “Peter Pan Bakery.”

His chief inspirations are classic German Expressionist cinema, the free-wheeling creativity of Terry Gilliam, and the fog-shrouded forests of his New Hampshire birthplace. Through his films, Peter strives to unlock the experience of “ecstatic cinema” — a viewing experience that challenges, delights, and sweeps up the audience in equal measures.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 34

Rockefeller Plaza2 Rockefeller Plaza

Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day,
And make me travel forth without my cloak,
To let base clouds o’ertake me in my way,
Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke?
‘Tis not enough that through the cloud thou break,
To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face,
For no man well of such a salve can speak,
That heals the wound, and cures not the disgrace:
Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief;
Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss:
The offender’s sorrow lends but weak relief
To him that bears the strong offence’s cross.
     Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love sheds,
     And they are rich and ransom all ill deeds.
Sonnet 34 compares broken promises from a lover to an unexpected cloudburst. Apologies might be too little too late, but

Shakespeare accuses his beloved offering him warmth and love, causing him to be unprepared for the lack of it. He compares this to leaving your house without a coat on an unexpectedly cool day. It is not enough that his beloved returns like sunshine breaking through the clouds to apologize, drying his tears, because no one can speak well of a remedy that heals the wound but does not remove the disgrace of having been wounded. Two wrongs don’t make a right; although you repent, he still feels injured, and an offender’s guilt offers little solace to the person who must bear the burden of the offense. However, his beloved’s tears are as precious as pearls, so valuable that they redeem all your his ill deeds.
Will’s Wordplay
“the rain on my storm-beaten face” is an illusion to tears. Just picture Shakespeare all puffy from crying…

A “salve” is a healing ointment. Apologies were meant to be a balm to Bill’s sadness, but alas!

Rockefeller Center, Manhattan
You won’t find Liz Lemon here anymore, but in Rockefeller Center you will find a complex of 19 commercial buildings covering 22 acres between 48th and 51st streets in New York City. Built by the Rockefeller family, it is located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, spanning the area between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. [1]

Rockefeller Center represents a turning point in the history of architectural sculpture: it is among the last major building projects in the United States to incorporate a program of integrated public art. Sculptor Lee Lawrie contributed the largest number of individual pieces – twelve – including the statue of Atlas facing Fifth Avenue and the conspicuous friezes above the main entrance to the RCA Building.

Paul Manship’s highly recognizable bronze gilded statue of the Greek legend of the Titan Prometheus recumbent, bringing fire to mankind, features prominently in the sunken plaza at the front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Some sources cite it as the fourth-most familiar statue in the United States, behind the Lincoln Memorial, Mount Rushmore, and the Statue of Liberty. The model for Prometheus was Leonardo (Leon) Nole, and the inscription from Aeschylus, on the granite wall behind, reads:

“Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends.”

A large number of other artists contributed work at the Center, including Isamu Noguchi, whose gleaming stainless steel bas-relief, News, over the main entrance to 50 Rockefeller Plaza (the Associated Press Building) was a standout. At the time it was the largest metal bas-relief in the world. Other artists included Carl Milles, Hildreth Meiere, Margaret Bourke-White, Dean Cornwell, and Leo Friedlander.

In 1932, the Mexican socialist artist Diego Rivera (whose sponsor was Museum of Modern Art and whose patron at the time was Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the wife of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.), was commissioned by their son Nelson Rockefeller to create a color fresco for the 1,071-square-foot wall in the lobby of the then RCA Building. This was after Nelson had been unable to secure the commissioning of either Matisse or Picasso. Previously Rivera had painted a controversial fresco in Detroit entitled Detroit Industry, commissioned by Abby and John’s friend, Edsel Ford, who later became a MoMA trustee. Thus it came as no real surprise when his Man at the Crossroads became controversial, as it contained Moscow May Day scenes and a clear portrait of Lenin, not apparent in initial sketches. After Nelson issued a written warning to Rivera to replace the offending figure with an anonymous face, Rivera refused (after offering to counterbalance Lenin with a portrait of Lincoln), and so he was paid off and the mural papered over at the instigation of Nelson, who was to become the Center’s flamboyant president. Nine months later, after all attempts to save the fresco were explored – including relocating it to Abby’s Museum of Modern Art – it was destroyed as a last option. [2]

Rivera’s fresco in the Center was replaced with a stunning, larger mural by the Spanish Catalan artist Josep Maria Sert, titled American Progress, depicting a vast allegorical scene of men constructing modern America. It contains the figures of Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, and it is wrapped around the west wall of the Grand Lobby at 30 Rock.[3]
Sonnet Project
Rockefeller Center was the featured location for Sonnet 34, performed by (name?), directed by (name?). The video was released on (date?)
1. “Rockefeller Center”. National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. September 18, 2007
2.The Diego Rivera fresco incident – see Bernice Kert, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller: The Woman in the Family. New York: Random House, 1993. (pp.352–65); Cary Reich, The Life of Nelson A. Rockefeller: Worlds to Conquer, 1908–1958, New York: Doubleday, 1996. (pp.105–11)
3. The Sert fresco – see Roussel, The Art of Rockefeller Center, op. cit., (pp.94–107)

Madeline is chuffed to be working on this project. Madeline is a Midwesterner by upbringing, and his been splitting her time after graduation from UW- LaCrosse in New York, Wisconsin, and Alaska. Representative roles are Isabella (Measure for Measure), Dromio S. (Comedy of Errors), Helena (Midsummer), Amina (Balkan Women) and Feste (Twelfth Night). Apart from acting, she gets lost on mountains, wrote her first novel in November and is currently a Resident Artist at Think Coffee performing music twice a month with her partner, Brian Peck.

Noah is a director, writer, and from Baltimore, Maryland. Most recently he appeared in New Saloon’s William Shakespeare’s Mom and assistant directed Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (Ars Nova). He performs with the improv team Jimmy Fedora and has trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Noah is a graduate of Williams College where he created and directed M@cb#!h, an original clown piece inspired by Shakespeare’s Scottish play. While at Williams Noah also performed with the improv team Combo Za and wrote and directed for the Sketch Comedy Team D.H.S. Noah has trained at Shakespeare&Company in Lennox, Ma and studied martial arts for over seven years. Noah is currently devising a new clown piece inspired by Moby Dick, and several other pieces for the stage and screen.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 35

Hare Krishna 2 Hare Krishna 1

No more be grieved at that which thou hast done:
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud:
Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun,
And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
All men make faults, and even I in this,
Authorizing thy trespass with compare,
Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss,
Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are;
For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense,
Thy adverse party is thy advocate,
And ‘gainst myself a lawful plea commence:
Such civil war is in my love and hate,
     That I an accessary needs must be,
     To that sweet thief which sourly robs from me.

Sonnet 35 begs its subject, who has committed some kind of wrong, not to feel sorry, and argues so well in the injurers offense that the injured is hurting himself

Here, William beseeches his love not to apologize for what he did; everything in nature is flawed or subject to imperfection. All people commit errors; as Will is failing in this effort to make his subject feel better, thus corrupting himself by forgiving you. To forgive a sensual fault, he uses his common sense. Though he has been wronged, he defends the culprit, and as a result, argues against his own interests. Indeed, his feelings of love and hate are so confused that he may as well be an accomplice to his own abuser.

Will’s Wordplay
A canker refers to a type of worm that eats sweet plants; a pest that robs the world of nice things.
A “sensual fault” can either involve one of the five senses or be a sin of lust.
The latter half of the sonnet introduces legal terminology, a break from the biblical and theological language of sin and redemption.

Hare Krishna Elm Tree, Tompkins Square Park
One of Tompkins Square Park’s most prominent features is its collection of American Elm trees. It is rare today to find such a collection of American elms, since many of the mature elms planted across the country have been killed by Dutch Elm Disease. This incurable disease swept across the United States in the 1930s and remain a threat to the park’s collection of elms. Despite having lost at least 34 of the trees, Tompkins Square Park still hosts a large assemblage of elms, which continue to this day to enchant park patrons. American elm trees are known for their towering canopies, which provide abundant shade throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

One elm in particular, located next to the semi-circular arrangement of benches in the park’s center, is important to adherents of the Hare Krishna religion. After coming to the United States in September, 1965, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896–1977), the Indian spiritual leader, founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in New York. He worked from a storefront on nearby Second Avenue that he used as the Society’s American headquarters. Prabhupada and his disciples gathered in Tompkins Square Park in the fall of 1966 to introduce the East Village to the group’s distinctive 16-word mantra:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

On October 9, 1966, Prabhupada and his followers sat beneath this tree and held the first outdoor chanting session outside of India. Participants chanted for two hours as they danced and played cymbals, tambourines, and other percussive instruments. Prabhupada’s diverse group that day included Beat poet Allen Ginsberg. The event is seen as the founding of the Hare Krishna religion in the United States, and the tree is treated by Krishna adherents as a significant religious site.[1]

Sonnet Project
The Hare Krishna Elm was the featured location for Sonnet 35, performed by Tom White, directed by Jason Bruffy. The video was released on August 14, 2013.

1. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/tompkinssquarepark/highlights/10823

ACTOR – Tom White
Tom began studying acting at age 8 when his mother enrolled him in youth acting classes. He quickly learned not to hold papers in front of his mouth while speaking and also not to leave his hands folded in front of his crotch. He still finds both lessons incredibly valuable. More recent work includes: NYC Off-Broadway: Spring at the Willowbrook Inn(World Premiere – Fresh Fruit Festival). Regional Credits: Bike America (World Premiere – Alliance Theater); Emma (World Premiere), Inherit the Wind, Angels in America, Arcadia, Autobahn, All’s Well That Ends Well (Cleveland Playhouse/CPH MFA); The Merry Wives of Windsor, You Can’t Take It With You (Great Lakes Theater Festival); Dream/Home (World Premiere), Matt and Ben, This is Our Youth, The Death of Frank , Heaven and Hell (Dobama Theater). Television: “The Good Wife” (CBS), “Gossip Girl” (CW). Tom was also one of the core artists in Hendrick’s Gin one-of-a-kind happening “Voyage to the Unusual” that toured the country. He will appear in the NYC premiere of Bike America at Ma-Yi Theater Company this Fall. Tom continues to study improvisation with the Upright Citizens Brigade and holds an MFA from the Case Western Reserve University / Cleveland Playhouse Acting Program.

DIRECTOR – Jason Bruffy
Jason Bruffy is a NY based director and producer for Theatre and Film. Most recently he has completed directing the debut music video of pop artist Ginn Doll (Boyfriend for the Night). Bruffy has worked Off-Broadway as Associate Producer of Soho Rep (Obie Award winning Born Bad) and Ensemble Studio Theatre. Bruffy served as Producing Artistic Director of both Know Theatre of Cincinnati for 7 years as well as the Salt Lake Acting Company. He is also the founder of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, now in its 11 season. Other companies include: The Claque (NYC), 45th St Theatre (NYC), Interact Theatre (PA), Orlando Shakespeare Theatre (FL), Florida Studio Theatre, Spoleto Festival USA (SC), Cincinnati Opera (OH), Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (OH), and Wayside Theatre (VA). Bruffy is also the founding producer of the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, entering into its tenth season as the largest performing arts festival in Ohio.

Bruffy’s notable directing credits include: Collapse by Allyson Moore, Militant Language: A Play with Sand by Sean Christopher Lewis (Rolling-World Premiere), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis (2nd US Prod), See What I Wanna See by Michael John LaChiusa (2nd US Prod), 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane, Streamers by David Rabe and a multi-media production of Hamlet. Bruffy has developed work with writers including Mark Holman (Tony Award, Urinetown), Sean Christopher Lewis (Smith Prize), and Mark Brown. Beyond the stage Bruffy has directed music videos for artists Ginn Doll and Clarence Bucaro, as well work as a director, editor and AD on numerous short film and web media projects. Jason Bruffy is co-Producer of BS&B Meida and a proud Member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC). www.jasonbruffy.com

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 36

Let me confess that we two must be twain,
Although our undivided loves are one:
So shall those blots that do with me remain,
Without thy help, by me be borne alone.
In our two loves there is but one respect,
Though in our lives a separable spite,
Which though it alter not love’s sole effect,
Yet doth it steal sweet hours from love’s delight.
I may not evermore acknowledge thee,
Lest my bewailed guilt should do thee shame,
Nor thou with public kindness honour me,
Unless thou take that honour from thy name:
     But do not so, I love thee in such sort,
     As thou being mine, mine is thy good report.



Sonnet 36 is a break-up! The two parties are still very much in love, but must part, and should try to avoid each other in public, lest things get awkward, but will always speak highly and kindly of one another.

Willy reveals that he and his love must be parted, even though they are still so in love as to be one. While their loves are joined, their lives remain separate, and while this doesn’t diminish the effect that their feelings have on them, it prevents them from being together as they would like. Will apologizes if he never speaks to his beloved again, and asks that he may receive the same treatment, because they would be transferring shame onto each other if they did. However, his love should not be afraid of any other shame, for Willy will always speak fondly of him in his absence.


Will’s Wordplay

“Without thy help, by me be borne alone” is suggestive of a pregnant girl being abandoned to bear her child without help and in utter misery. Willy, what did you do?


South Street Seaport, Manhattan

Smell that fish? The South Street Seaport is a historic area in Manhattan, centered where Fulton Street meets the East River, and adjacent to the Financial District. The Seaport is a designated historic district, and is distinct from the neighboring Financial District.

It features some of the oldest architecture in downtown Manhattan, and includes the largest concentration of restored early 19th-century commercial buildings in the city. This includes renovated original mercantile buildings, renovated sailing ships, the former Fulton Fish Market, and modern tourist malls featuring food, shopping, and nightlife, with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The first pier in the area appeared in 1625, when the Dutch West India Company founded an outpost here. With the influx of the first settlers, the area was quickly developed. One of the first and busiest streets in the area was today’s Pearl Street, so named for a variety of coastal pearl shells. Due to its location, Pearl Street quickly gained popularity among traders.The East River was eventually narrowed. By the second half of the 17th century, the pier was extended to Water Street, then to Front Street, and by the beginning of the 19th century, to South Street. The pier was well reputed, as it was protected from westerly winds and ice of the Hudson River.

In 1728, the Schermerhorn Family established trade with the city of Charleston, South Carolina. Subsequently, rice and indigo came from Charleston. At the time, the port was also the focal point of delivery of goods from England. In 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the British occupied the port, adversely affecting port trade for eight years. In 1783, many traders returned to England, and most port enterprises collapsed. The port quickly recovered from the post-war crisis. From 1797 until the middle of 19th century, New York had the country’s largest system of maritime trade. From 1815 to 1860 the port was called the Port of New York.

The South Street Seaport Museum was founded in 1967 by Peter and Norma Stanford. When originally opened as a museum, the focus of the Seaport Museum conservation was to be an educational historic site, with shops mostly operating as reproductions of working environments found during the Seaport’s heyday.

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy heavily damaged the Seaport; tidal floods (seven feet deep in places) inundated much of the Seaport causing extensive damage that forced an end to plans to restore the Museum’s fortunes by merging it into the Museum of the City of New York. Many of the businesses closed, and the remaining businesses suffered from a severe drop in business after the storm. The South Street Seaport Museum re-opened in December 2012. The Howard Hughes Corporation, the Seaport’s owner, announced that it would tear down the Seaport’s most prominent shopping area, Pier 17, starting in the fall of 2013, and is replacing it with a new structure.

The Seaport itself operates primarily as a mall and tourism center, built on Pier 17 on the East River. Visitors may choose from among many shops and a food court. Decks outside allow views of the East River, Brooklyn Bridge, and Brooklyn Heights. At the entrance to the Seaport is the Titanic Memorial lighthouse.

The port has 6 ships docked here permanently or semi-permanently, four of which have historical status.


ACTOR – Andrea Schirmer

Andrea Schirmer is a New York based Film and TV actor.

Andrea has known she wanted to act since taking the stage in her 1st grade class play (she took on the challenging role as the “May Basket” in the original play “The Seasons”).

Today, Andrea studies at the Barrow Group. She has been recognized for her roles in various independent and awarding winning films. She can currently be seen on the TV shows “Momsters” and “The Perfect Murder”.

Andrea is thrilled to be part of the Sonnet Project.


FEATURING – Brent Dixon

Brent Dixon grew up in Tampa, Florida. He went to the University of Florida, where he studied Philosophy and was part of the Florida Players Theater Company. He then moved to New York City, following graduation, and joined the Flea Theater, where he was a company member. He loved working on the sonnet project and is excited to see its release.


DIRECTOR – Cristina Wolf

Cristina Wolf is freelance camera operator, camera assistant and avid film photographer working in New York City. In 2010, she relocated to London to obtain a maters degree in filmmaking from the London Film School. Prior to moving abroad, she has managed to work on myriad of projects from shooting documentaries in Central America, to shooting A-list talent in press junkets to working on narrative films, commercials and fashion shoots. In 2008, she also completed the cinematography certificate program at New York University. Prior to making the making the switch the camera department, Cristina freelanced as a studio photo assistant as well as worked as production coordinator and production manager for A&E Television Networks and for MTV News here in New York.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 37

As a decrepit father takes delight
To see his active child do deeds of youth,
So I, made lame by Fortune’s dearest spite,
Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth;
For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,
Or any of these all, or all, or more,
Entitled in thy parts, do crowned sit,
I make my love engrafted to this store:
So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised,
Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give
That I in thy abundance am sufficed,
And by a part of all thy glory live.
     Look what is best, that best I wish in thee:
     This wish I have; then ten times happy me!



Sonnet 37 sees the speaker down on his luck again,but he takes vicarious delight and pride in the achievements of his lover, which reflect well on him.

William is crippled by bad fortune but, as an aged father takes delight in the youthful actions of his son, he takes comfort in his beloved’s worth and faithfulness. Beauty, noble birth, wealth, intelligence, or all of these, or all of these and more– he attaches my love to it, and in doing so is no longer poor, crippled, and despised. The mere shadow of this person, present in Will in the form of love, provides such solid reality that he is complete with it. He wishes the best for his love and if this wish is granted, then he will bask in this reflected glory, his decrepitude forgotten.


Will’s Wordplay

All the listed worth of the beloved (beauty, wealth and wit) might be taken as the traditional inheritance of the aristocrat, whether real or imagined. In Shakespeare’s day, as in almost any age before the 20th century, there was a widespread belief that upper class people were naturally better in every respect and that genetic excellence was theirs by inheritance.


Washington Square Park, Manhattan

Known throughout the 20th Century as a bohemian sanctuary, Washington Square Park is one of the best-known of New York City’s public parks. At 9.75 acres, it is a landmark in the Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village, as well as a meeting place and center for cultural activity. The Park is an open space, dominated by Washington Arch (1892), with a tradition of celebrating nonconformity. The Park’s fountain area has long been one of the city’s popular spots for residents and tourists.



In the early 17th century, a Native American village known as Sapokanikan or “Tobacco Field” was nearby. They also owned the land known now as Washington Square Park before the Dutch attacked and drove them out. By the mid-17th century, the land was used as farm land by the Dutch. The Dutch gave the land to slaves, thus freeing them, with the intention of using them as a human ‘buffer zone’ between the attacks of the Native Americans and the white colonial settlements. The tract was in the possession of African Americans from 1643 to 1664. The area was then called “The Land of the Blacks.”

It remained farmland until April 1797, when the Common Council of New York purchased the fields to the east of the Minetta Creek for a new potter’s field, or public burial ground. It was used mainly for burying unknown or indigent people when they died. But when New York (which did not include this area yet) went through yellow fever epidemics in the early 19th century, most of those who died from yellow fever were also buried here, safely away from town, as a hygienic measure.The cemetery was closed in 1825. To this day, the remains of more than 20,000 bodies rest under Washington Square.

A legend in many tourist guides says that the large elm at the northwest corner of the park, Hangman’s Elm, was the old hanging tree, but the tree was on the wrong side of the former Minetta Creek, where it stood in the back garden of a private house.

In 1826 the City bought the land west of the Minetta, the square was laid out and leveled, and it was turned into the Washington Military Parade Ground. The streets surrounding the square became one of the city’s most desirable residential areas in the 1830s. The protected row of Greek Revival style houses on the north side of the park remain from that time.

In 1849 and 1850, the parade ground was reworked into the first park on the site. More paths were added and a new fence was built around it. In 1871, it came under the control of the newly formed New York City Department of Parks, and it was re-designed again, with curving rather than straight secondary paths.


The Arch

In 1889, to celebrate the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as president of the United States, a large plaster and wood Memorial Arch was erected over Fifth Avenue just north of the park. The temporary plaster and wood arch was so popular that in 1892 a permanent Tuckahoe marble arch, designed by the New York architect Stanford White, was erected, standing 77 ft. White modeled the arch after the 1806 Arc de Triomphe in Paris. In 1918 two statues of George Washington were added to the north side.


ACTOR – John Moss

John Moss, this summer, played Kellerman in Life Without Parole for the New York International Fringe Festival, and last year, played Neil in the New York premiere of Jane Anderson’s The Quality of Life for Project Rushmore. Off Bway: The Tragedy of MacBeth at the McGinn/Cazale, Mamet’s Edmond (Preacher), Hereafter (Jason), DiMaggio (Casey Stengel, Walter Winchell, Henry Kissinger) Richard III (Edward IV), Our Town (Mr. Webb), King Lear (Albany) Regional: Bellomy in The Fantasticks for Pennsylvania Centre Stage, Arthur Freed in What a Glorious Feeling at the Adirondack Theatre Festival, Teddy in Arsenic and Old Lace at NC’s Turnage Theatre. Hank Williams: Lost Highway (Fred Rose), Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Sagot) Showboat (Capt. Andy) Camelot (Pellinore) at The Depot Theatre. Film: It Could Happen to You, Revolutionary Road, No Looking Back. TV: Law and Order, The Dana Carvey Show. Graduate Temple University (Alumni Award).


DIRECTOR – Matthew Schuman

Matt Schuman is a New York City based writer and director. His short comedy, “Me Time,” played in over a dozen film festivals internationally and took home the award for Outstanding First Time Director at the 2010 DC Shorts Fest. His music videos have appeared on MTV, VH1, and FUSE and include “The Only One Lonely” by Val Emmich, winner of the 2008 Independent Music Award for Best Music Video. His most recent projects include the web series “Conversations Between Two People Who Have Known Each Other For A Long Time,” which can be seen on FunnyOrDie.com, and two feature films currently in development.



Producing credits include Tongal Video winner, “Say Hello!” for Hello Products and the short film, “Topography Of A Hotel.”







Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 38

Sylvette sylvette 2

How can my muse want subject to invent,
While thou dost breathe, that pour’st into my verse
Thine own sweet argument, too excellent
For every vulgar paper to rehearse?
O! give thy self the thanks, if aught in me
Worthy perusal stand against thy sight;
For who’s so dumb that cannot write to thee,
When thou thy self dost give invention light?
Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth
Than those old nine which rhymers invocate;
And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth
Eternal numbers to outlive long date.
     If my slight muse do please these curious days,
     The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise.

Sonnet 38 again praises the fair young man for his inspiring beauty, an almost superhuman force, and suggests the young man take all the credit for the poetry written about him.

Bill asks how he can look for poetic inspiration elsewhere when there is such a grand example of it before him in the handsome young man? The problem is that he is almost too beautiful to be described on mere paper. He asks the youth to credit only himself if he sees anything valuable in poor Billy’s writing, since it was he who inspired it, and he could inspire even the talentless to write something majestic. It is suggested that we canonize the young man to the position of Tenth Muse, more valuable than the 9 in mythology, because anyone inspired by him will write words of eternal value, and should by rights take all the credit.

Will’s Wordplay
The Muses were ancient Greek goddesses of artistic inspiration, and Willy suggests that the young man take his place amongst the 9 women as a more powerful tenth.

“argument” is a synonym for ‘subject’ or ‘theme’.

“dumb” has a dual meaning here, both unable to speak, and thick/unintelligent.

Sylvette Sculpture
A cubist beauty, Sylvette is the title of the portrait of a young woman with the pony tail painted by Pablo Picasso. The model for the painting was (Lydia) Sylvette David, also known by her married name Lydia Corbett, a French woman who worked in a pottery studio not far from his studio in Vallauris, in the spring 1953. Sylvette inspired 40 works by Picasso. His grandson Olivier Widmaier Picasso told the Chicago Sun-Times in 2004 that Sylvette was also the subject of the monumental Chicago Picasso, which had been a matter of curiosity since it was unveiled. She was said to have been an inspiration for actress Brigitte Bardot and the Roger Vadim film And God Created Woman.

The sculpture that adorns the courtyard of NYU’s Silver Towers apartment buildings on Bleecker Street is an enlargement of a sculpture by Picasso. Norweigan sculptor Carl Nesjär executed the construction of the 60-ton concrete Bust of Sylvette in 1967.[1]

Sonnet Project
The Sylvette sculpture was the featured location for Sonnet 38, performed by Anthony Manna, directed by Padmini Devi. The video was released on July 25, 2013.


ACTOR – Anthony Manna
Anthony Manna made his New York debut in the 2004 Keen Company production of The Hasty Heart. Since then, he’s appeared in several Off and Off-Off Broadway productions, including Timon of Athens (Public Theatre), Girls Just Wanna Have Fund$ (Women’s Project), Fucking Ibsen Takes Time (SoHo Playhouse, as part of the New York International Fringe Festival), Mangella (Project: Theatre), Mickey Mouse is Dead (59E59 Theatre and Edinburgh Festival Fringe), and Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare NYC).

Regionally, he has appeared in Black Snow and You Never Can Tell at Yale Repertory Theatre. He also spent three summers as a company member at Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, where he appeared in productions of Man of La Mancha, Footloose, Charley’s Aunt, Guys and Dolls, The Game of Love and Chance, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, and Once Upon a Mattress.

He received his undergraduate training from the University of Evansville and an MFA from Yale School of Drama.

DIRECTOR – Padmini Devi
Padmini is passionate about storytelling’s power to heal and transform the world we live in. She was a NYC Teaching Fellow and has worked for several award-winning after school media programs. Most recently, her energy has been focused on Producing and Assistant Directing independent films. “Hank & Asha” world-premiered to a warm reception at the 2013 Slamdance Film Festival, winning the Audience Award. It went on to win “Best Producers” at the Brooklyn Film Festival. “Plato’s Reality Machine” and “Dark Mountain” have wrapped post-production and are now in the festival submission process. For her, the world of independent filmmaking is an uncharted ocean where one swims amongst the muses, the octopuses, the sharks and the coral reefs. She believes in the power of imagination to transform our life experiences into meaningful tales that shed light on the human condition, inspiring a world where peace and justice can blossom. She holds her BA in Film Studies from UC Berkeley, MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California, and EdM in Urban Adolescence Education from Long Island University.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 40

Love 2  Love 1

Take all my loves, my love, yea take them all;
What hast thou then more than thou hadst before?
No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call;
All mine was thine, before thou hadst this more.
Then, if for my love, thou my love receivest,
I cannot blame thee, for my love thou usest;
But yet be blam’d, if thou thy self deceivest
By wilful taste of what thyself refusest.
I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief,
Although thou steal thee all my poverty:
And yet, love knows it is a greater grief
To bear love’s wrong, than hate’s known injury.
     Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows,
     Kill me with spites yet we must not be foes.

Sonnet 40 sees the poet’s loved one, likely the fair youth, has stolen his mistress, but the poet forgives him.

Willy asks his beloved why he would seduce another whom he loves? Doing so produces no gains of love on their part. All that he possesses was already theirs. If, instead of loving him, they love the person he loves, he can’t really assign blame, because it is merely an extension of love. He forgives the subject, even though they steal the little that he has, and even though it is well known that an injury inflicted by a supposed lover is far worse than an insult from an enemy. But everything bad is made to look good on his beloved, and even if with these wrongs against him prove deadly, he will not be their enemy.
Will’s Wordplay
“wilful taste” refers to the youth’s sexual experience, wanton use and enjoyment. The suggestion is that the youth’s better part declines to take advantage of the situation, but his lustful nature dominates and encourages him to seize the opportunity.

“love knows” echoes the more common phrases ‘God knows’, ‘heaven knows’.

LOVE Sculpture
Let me count the ways… LOVE is a sculpture by American artist Robert Indiana. It consists of the letters LO (with the O canted sideways) over the letters VE. The image was originally designed as a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art in 1964.

The original three-dimensional version of LOVE is made of COR-TEN steel and has been on exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art since 1970. The LOVE design has been reproduced in a variety of formats. Likewise, the sculpture has been recreated in multiple versions and a variety of colors, and is now on display around the world– the one in New York City resides at the corner of 55th St and 6th Avenue. While it was first made in English, versions of the sculpture exist in Hebrew, Chinese, Italian and Spanish.
Sonnet Project
The LOVE sculpture was the featured location for Sonnet 40, performed by Bridget Crawford, directed by Bruce “Master B” Baek. The video was released on July 10, 2013.

ACTOR – Bridget Crawford
Bridget Crawford is a New York-based actor. Favorite roles include Helena in Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ophelia in Hamlet and Miranda in The Tempest. When not speaking in verse, Bridget can be found scatting her way around town as the lead singer in the vintage swing band, Gin Fizz.
Tereza D. Kim (Messenger)
Kim is a Brazilian-born American theatre and film actress. She is a student at City University of New York’s Queensborough Community College and majoring in Theatre and Performing Arts also has varied background in Music and Dance. Tereza’s acting credits include, Words, Words, Words (Katharina from The Taming of the Shrew/Puck from A Midsummer Nights Dream) QCC, End of The Argument (Sarah) KCACTF, Loose Ends (Assistant Director) The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, Little Shop of Horrors (Chiffon/Dance Captain) QCC, Low Life (KeeKee) The Dream Hunter, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Titania) QCC and Marisol (Woman with Furs) QCC. She has received such awards like KCACTF Region 1 Irene Ryan Nominee Alternate for Words, Words, Words, KCACTF Region 2 Irene Ryan Nominee for Little Shop Of Horrors and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

DIRECTOR – Bruce “Master B” Baek
Bruce “Master B” Baek is an American theatre director, film director, producer and actor. He has directed theatre productions and films such as Dejavu (1997), 3/14 (1998), Second Chance (2001), Three Women dating Henry (2005), Loose Ends (2011), Echoes (NYC Theatre Directors’ Project 2012), Killers and Other Family (2012). Bruce also played a lead role in Salsa (Oliver) during the 2nd annual Venezuelans in NYC festival in 2011. His institutional film, Green Print was nominated and awarded with a gold medal at 2010 Service Industry Advertising Award (SIAA). Bruce enrolled in graduate film program at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University where he studied film directing under the world-class directors like Spike Lee, William Railey, Boris Frumin. He is also an alumnus of the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theater & Film Institute where he received a full scholarship to study the Strasberg’s ‘method’ acting and intensely trained by teachers like Anna Strasberg, Irma Sandrey, Paul Calderon, Robert Ellermann, Ted Zurkowski, Geoffery Horne. He was nominated and received the Presidential Excellence Award in teaching from New York Institute of Technology where he served as an assistant professor of film studies & productions. Bruce is a full member of Stage Directors and Choreographers society (SDC) and operating his own NYC based motion picture and theatre production company, NeverEnds Films & Entertainment, LLC (www.neverendsfilms.com)
Paul Demonte is an American filmmaker and an editor. He credits his grandparents for creating his love for film with the classic black and white “pictures” always playing on TV.  Paul’s true passion came when he started video editing in 2005. He received both BA and MA in Communication Arts from New York Institute of Technology-Manhattan. During his college years he worked on two international documentaries shooting in Beijing, China and Paris, France. In 2010, Paul started his independent production company, The Dog Ate It Productions (www.thedogateitproductions.com) and has worked on numerous projects ranging from New York City museum and union promos, to short films and documentaries.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 41

Temperance2 Temperance1

Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits,
When I am sometime absent from thy heart,
Thy beauty, and thy years full well befits,
For still temptation follows where thou art.
Gentle thou art, and therefore to be won,
Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assailed;
And when a woman woos, what woman’s son
Will sourly leave her till he have prevailed?
Ay me! but yet thou mightst my seat forbear,
And chide thy beauty and thy straying youth,
Who lead thee in their riot even there
Where thou art forced to break a twofold truth:
     Hers by thy beauty tempting her to thee,
     Thine by thy beauty being false to me.

Sonnet 41 justifies a crime of unfaithfulness by blaming the subject’s beauty as the culprit, but the poet is reproachful, suggesting that the young man might still have shown a little respect.

Billy’s lover’s crime has been justified with a list of extenuating circumstances showing that the youth himself was hardly responsible for the deed. It was his rare youth and his beauty which were responsible, for they are always open to attack from preying women. Yet even so, Bill thinks the young man might have restrained himself, for it has caused both the young man and the mistress to break their vows to him – a two-fold crime which is doubly heinous.

Will’s Wordplay
It is interesting to see that this sonnet ends on a note of accusation, a comparatively rare event, for reconciliation or self effacement are the usual outcomes of those situations where fault has been found. Here the accusation of troth-breaking is more specific and hurtful, a potential cause of a permanent divorce of the loving relationship.

Temperance Fountain,Tompkins Square Park, Manhattan
A temperance fountain was a fountain that was set up, usually by a private benefactor, to encourage people not to drink beer by the provision of safe and free water. Beer was the main alternative to water, and generally safer. The temperance societies had no real alternative as tea and coffee were too expensive, so drinking fountains were very attractive.

Dating to 1888, this neo-classical fountain was the gift of the wealthy San Francisco dentist, businessman, and temperance crusader Henry D. Cogswell. The California Gold Rush of 1849 lured Cogswell to San Francisco. There his prosperous dental practice and real estate investments permitted him to retire in 1856 with a fortune estimated at $2,000,000. He engaged himself in public philanthropy, helping to advance the anti-alcohol or “temperance” movement.

Cogswell’s most lasting legacy was the 50 monuments he sponsored nationwide between 1878 and the 1890s. Most were versions of the temperance fountain. Several of the fountains, such as this in Tompkins Square Park, were covered by a stone canopy or baldachin supported by four Doric columns. The four stone entablatures are emblazoned with the words Faith, Hope, Charity, and Temperance.

The erection of the Temperance Fountain in Tompkins Square Park resulted from Cogswell’s affiliation with the Moderation Society, which was formed in 1877 to address health conditions on the Lower East Side, and to distribute free ice-water fountains to encourage citizens to drink water instead of alcoholic beverages. The figure of Hebe, the mythical water carrier, atop the pyramidal stone pediment was originally fabricated in zinc by the J. L. Mott Iron Works in Mott Haven in the Bronx.

Though the four ornamental luminaires with red, white and blue tinted glass, which once flanked the fountain, long ago vanished, this monument has withstood the vagaries of time better than most. In 1992, the fountain underwent extensive restoration, and the Hebe statue was replaced with a more durable bronze replica.

Sonnet Project
The Tompkins Square Park Temperance Fountain was the featured location for Sonnet 41, performed by Johnny Sparks, directed by Matthew Kohn. The video was released on June 5, 2013.


ACTOR-Johnny Sparks
Johnny owes about 3/4 of his resume to William Shakespeare. Starting over two decades ago he’s played Puck, Flute and Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Claudius as well as the title role in Hamlet and Posthumous, Cloten and Iachimo in Cymbeline just to name a few. He has yet to tackle King Lear but when Ross hears the pitch for his site-specific, one man musical version set in Bushwick he’s confident it’ll be a lock. Training: SMU, Yale.

DIRECTOR – Matthew Kohn

Kohn’s main work is The Manute Bol Sudan Reconciliation Film Project, a five-year epic documentary about a cutting edge group of Muslims and Christians working to build 41 schools and foster reconciliation between the war-torn nations of Sudan and South Sudan. The film features the first African NBA player, Manute Bol, and many people who worked with him and were inspired by him after his death.

Kohn’s first feature documentary is the acclaimed CALL IT DEMOCRACY (callitdemocracy.com), the only film about the history of the Electoral College in Presidential Elections. He followed with Site Specific: The Legacy of Regional Modernism, a commission by Metropolis magazine for their 25th Anniversary. The film explores an effort to save Riverside High, a late 1950s example of environmentally sound architecture designed by Paul Rudolph. He recently completed You Decide, a series of short PSAs about cancer awareness for the National Institute of Health and is an associate producer of Charlie Victor Romeo, premiering at Sundance 2013. Matt is on the board of difrent, an NGO with a clear mission: to be the world’s leading source for music and culture for social change, featuring artists and organizations who are making a better world.

Kohn’s short fiction films include Sea Level Inferno, SinCine winner Rosa X-Rays Joe and Freedom Isn’t Free featuring Alexandria Wailes, and I think I know You. Kohn’s next fiction project is the feature film version of his script, Jimmy Three. It’s the story of a Polish journalist in Greenpoint Brooklyn who is coping with the impending death of his terminally ill artist wife.

For more than two years, Matt hosted Speakeasy Cinema, a monthly screening salon which invited new and accomplished filmmakers to screen secret, provocative films. He graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in Politics, with studies in film and feminist theory. In addition to his personal films, Kohn has worked in the film industry as a line producer, producer, editor and most recently short film and documentary cinematographer.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 42

That thou hast her it is not all my grief,
And yet it may be said I loved her dearly;
That she hath thee is of my wailing chief,
A loss in love that touches me more nearly.
Loving offenders thus I will excuse ye:
Thou dost love her, because thou know’st I love her;
And for my sake even so doth she abuse me,
Suffering my friend for my sake to approve her.
If I lose thee, my loss is my love’s gain,
And losing her, my friend hath found that loss;
Both find each other, and I lose both twain,
And both for my sake lay on me this cross:
     But here’s the joy; my friend and I are one;
     Sweet flattery! then she loves but me alone.



Sonnet 42 bemoans the poet’s loss of his best friend to his girlfriend and vice versa, but consoles himself in their gain of each other, and that she must see something of him in the man she’s left him for.

Shakespeare’s main complaint is not that the young man that you has taken his mistress, even though he loved her dearly; The loss that touches him more closely is that she has stolen the young man. He excuses his loving offenders, knowing that they love each other because he loves them both. To lose either of them means they will gain each other. They cause him this burden for his own sake. But there is one consolation in this thought: he and the young man are one; therefore she loves him.


Will’s Wordplay

The use of the term “loving offenders” in line 5 can have two meanings: that the offenders (the fair lord and the mistress) are in love; but it can also mean that they seem to enjoy their offense.

The exaltation “Sweet flattery!” at the end of the sonnet indicates sarcasm, since “flattery” usually indicates dishonest beauty.


Merchant Marine Memorial, Battery Park, Manhattan

Commissioned by the American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial, Inc., this memorial was conceived in 1976. In 1988, after an extensive competition, the artist Marisol Escobar (b. 1930), known as Marisol, was chosen to develop her design. Situated off-shore from the north end of Battery Park and just south of Pier A, the monument stands on a rebuilt stone breakwater in the harbor. The bronze figural group and boat are based on an actual historical event; during World War II, a Nazi U-boat attacked a merchant marine vessel, and while the mariners clung to their sinking vessel, the Germans photographed their victims. Marisol developed a series of studio sketches from this photograph, then fashioned a clay maquette as her winning design proposal for the monument. The work was dedicated on October 8, 1991.

Marisol was born in Paris, and spent most of her childhood in Venezuela. After studying art in Paris and Los Angeles she moved to Greenwich Village in the 1950s, where she was first influenced by abstract expressionism, and then developed a reputation for her highly stylized boxy sculptured figures. She was inspired by pre-Columbian and American folk art, as well as the growing pop-art movement, and by the 1960s, her style had evolved into satirical assemblages which commented on American society. Her diverse work defies simplistic classification, as she has explored particular themes and aesthetic criteria as they related to specific commissions.

In 1967, Marisol exhibited a piece entitled Three Figures in the group outdoor exhibition in the city’s parks entitled Sculpture in Environment. That work was minimalist and geometric. Since then, Marisol has exhibited in numerous public settings, often employing traditional figurative techniques, as in her designs for an unrealized monument to the Brooklyn Bridge’s engineers, the Roeblings, and in the American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial.

The American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial Inc., chaired by the president of the AFL-CIO, Lane Kirkland, sought to commemorate the thousands of merchant ships and crews pressed into military service since the Revolutionary War. In World War II alone it is estimated that 700 American merchant ships were lost, and 6,600 mariners gave their lives in this global conflict.

Marisol has captured an unsettling realism, drawn from the faded photograph, but also dependent on the ebb and flow of the harbor’s tides. One figure, struggling beside the boat, is submerged each tidal cycle, a technical motif that compounds the work’s emotional dynamic. Though specific in its imagery, the monument honors the thousands of merchant mariners who have died at sea in the course of our nation’s history. [1]



1. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/battery-park/highlights/9745


ACTOR – Adam Patterson

Adam Patterson: NYC: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 12th Night (New Place Players), Island (New York Shakespeare Exchange), Eurydice (Otherside Productions), The Country Wife (Odyssey Productions). Other Credits: Tartuffe, To Kill a Mockingbird, and (Three Man) Tempest (Burning Coal Theatre), Elephants and Gold (Berkshire Fringe), Titus Andronicus, and The Crucible (Bare Theatre), Hamlet, Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, and Much Ado About Nothing (Plimoth Players). Adam was raised in Raleigh, NC and holds a BFA in acting from Emerson College in Boston, MA. He is a founding member of Manhattan’s New Place Players.


DIRECTOR – Gillian Fritzsche

Gillian is a writer/director who works in both film and theatre. She is wife to the talented Ryan Fritzsche and mommy to the spunky and smart Olivia. She is currently in post-production on a comedic short film called “Jerry & Diane.” Gillian also enjoys helping out as a First AD or Line Producer when necessary.

Inspired at a young age by her passion for directing both theatre and film, Gillian began in her teens, as a director and actor in community theatre in her hometown of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. She also self-produced a variety of short video projects in high school and college. After completing a Bachelors degree in theatre and film performance and production, Gillian worked as a costume designer at the St. Lawrence Stage Company. Perceiving a need to understand business, Gillian paused to earn a Masters of Business Administration (with a focus in marketing), and transitioned into managing the acclaimed Pacific Theatre in Vancouver, British Columbia. While there, she drew upon her undergraduate experience as a first assistant director, and reentered the independent film industry in this position on short independent projects in her spare time. Gillian maintained her position at Pacific Theatre until she reunited and fell in love with her college friend, Ryan. After getting engaged, she moved to Los Angeles (where he lived) and they married.

After several years there as a First AD, UPM, and Production Coordinator, Gillian was asked to join the feature comedy, “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams of Duncan Christopher” as a Producer and Line Producer. Concurrently, she re-embraced a passion for writing, and wrote her first feature screenplays. After completion of principal photography on “Duncan Christopher” and after working on a few work-for-hire screenplay projects, Gillian also re-engaged with her desire to direct, and began to write a short film called ”Sonny” with the intent to direct it as well. Sonny was nominated at the ATTIC Film Festival 2013 for the Best Screenplay Award.

Projects that Gillian has directed and many that she has worked on have gone on to win awards. Favourite film projects include “Secret Millionaires” (for which she was Cinematographer and Consulting Producer) and the award-winning “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams of Duncan Christopher” (which she co-produced) and “The Hitchhiker” (on which she served as First AD).

Favourite theatre projects that she has directed include “The View from the Q” written by Sharifa Williams which won Best of the Fest in Week 2 at the Players Theatre’s Short Play & Music Festival 2013 in New York City; “Less Ado About Nothing”, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” which was staged as part of the Stone’s Throw Productions at Pacific Theatre in 2006; and “The Most Massive Woman Wins”, a one-act play about eating disorders which was part of a showcase in 2001 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Gillian currently lives in New York City. Together with her family and their rambunctious kitty-cat, she enjoys the parks, the coffee, and the views of New Jersey.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 43

When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
For all the day they view things unrespected;
But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
And darkly bright, are bright in dark directed.
Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
How would thy shadow’s form form happy show
To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so!
How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made
By looking on thee in the living day,
When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay!
     All days are nights to see till I see thee,
     And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.



Sonnet 43 sees the poet and his lover apart, and uses imagery of bright nights and dark days to describe dreams of his love.

All day Willy is forced to look on what he doesn’t do not care about, but at night, he closes his eyes and dreams of his beloved, and that is when he sees best. For even the shadow of his lover brightens a dream, and a much brighter presence in reality makes things even more delightful. His joy would be proportionally greater, since seeing his love in dreams is so wonderful, to see them in life would be too good to be true! Until they are reunited, days are as dark as night because of his love’s absence, and nights as bright as day with sweet dreams.

Will’s Wordplay

The contrast is between shadow and substance, corresponding roughly to the distinction between body and soul.

Billy uses the word “form” as both noun and verb in quick succession. How wondrously would your form, the real you, from which your shadow is derived, create (or form) a lovely display.


Bethesda Arcade Terrace Arches, Central Park, Manhattan

Bethesda Terrace Arcade is the arched, interior walkway in the center of the park that links the Mall to Bethesda Fountain and the Central Park Lake. Created in the 1860s, the Arcade features a stunning tiled ceiling and was designed by Jacob Wrey Mould. [1]

Bethesda Terrace Arcade was created in the 1860s as a part of the Park’s main architectural feature. A grand staircase connects the Mall to the subterranean arcade.

It was conceived to be an ornate interior that would act as a distinct counterpart to the open terrace and Lake. The highlight of the arcade is the magnificent Minton Tile ceiling designed by British-born architect and designer, Jacob Wrey Mould, who also conceived of the decorative carvings throughout the Terrace.

Installed in 1869, there are more than 15,000 colorful, patterned encaustic tiles, made by England’s famed Minton Tile Company. Encaustic tiles, originally created to cover floors, are made of individual colored clays pressed and fired into the tile to form the design. Bethesda arcade is the only place in the world where these Minton tiles are used for a ceiling. The niches that flank the walls of the arcade are covered with trompe l’oeil paintings that resemble the colored stone inlay design that was never completed. Over the decades, the 50-ton ceiling deteriorated. In the 1980s, the tiles were placed in storage. Thanks to charitable donation, Central Park Conservancy was finally able to restore the ceiling and the arcade in 2000. [2]


In Popular Culture

The lower passage and fountain appear in the 2nd episode of season 1 of White Collar.
It also appears in the video for The Lonely Island song “I Just Had Sex” Featuring Akon



1. http://www.centralpark.com/guide/attractions/bethesda-terrace/bethesda-terrace-arcade.html
2. http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/attractions/minton-tiles-at-bethesda.html


ACTOR – Joe Vincent

Broadway: Max (Tom Stoppard’s Rock ’n’ Roll), 2008 Off-Broadway: Flamingo Court with Jamie Farr, 2008. Utah Shakespeare Festival: Henry Saunders (Lend Me a Tenor: The Musical), Malachi Stack (The Matchmaker) Other Theatres: a combined thirty-one seasons at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Old Globe (San Diego); California, Alabama, Orlando, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Utah Shakespeare festivals
Television/Film: Eddie Murphy’s Metro, Warner Bros. Enos; television movies, Inherit the Wind and Girl of the Limberlost
Other Credits: has performed in thirty-three of Shakespeare’s thirty-seven plays, and more than forty major musical theatre roles; also personally leads tours to Shakespeare’s Italy
Awards: nominated for eight Bay Area Theatre Critic Circle, Dramalogue, and Dean Goodman excellence awards; won four times, in two categories.


DIRECTOR – Okke Rutte

Okke Rutte is an internationally recognized filmmaker. For the past decade, Okke has partnered with artists, actors, musicians, fashion designers, and major brands to create short films, videos and commercials for use across Europe and in the States. A native of the Netherlands, Okke relocated to New York City in early 2011, making the city that never sleeps his permanent home. Most recently, Okke co-wrote, produced, and directed the short film In Motion. He earned his BFA in Filmmaking from Middlesex University (London, England). www.oruproductions.com


Assistant Director- Elitza Daskalova

Elitza Daskalova is an actress, writer & avid traveler based in New York City. Elitza has appeared as a performer in the New York International Fringe Festival, Women in Theatre Conference, and at various off- off Broadway venues throughout the city. She recently co-wrote the short film In Motion. Elitza holds a BFA in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College. www.elitzadaskalova.com

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 44

Unisphere2  Unisphere

If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
Injurious distance should not stop my way;
For then despite of space I would be brought,
From limits far remote, where thou dost stay.
No matter then although my foot did stand
Upon the farthest earth removed from thee;
For nimble thought can jump both sea and land
As soon as think the place where he would be.
But ah! thought kills me that I am not thought,
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone,
But that, so much of earth and water wrought,
I must attend time’s leisure with my moan,
     Receiving nought by elements so slow
     But heavy tears, badges of either’s woe.

In Sonnet 44, the speaker wishes he could move with at the speed of thought to his lover’s side, but must content himself with waiting.

If Willy could travel with the ease and speed of thoughts, he and his love could always be together. But thinking of being a thought is, itself, a killing thought. No, a body composed of the two heavy elements, earth and water, must patiently wait for a reunion. The only profit from these two coarse elements is the heaviness of his tears, which bear witness to both parties’ sorrow.
Will’s Wordplay
The use of the word “heavy” throughout refers to heavy, or solid, elements of the body. Solid elements of the flesh cause heavy sorrow. Thought is light, immaterial, and brings happiness

Unisphere, World’s Fair Park
Visible from a distance and a known widely from its appearance in Men In Black, the Unisphere is a 12-story high, spherical stainless steel representation of the Earth. Located in Flushing Meadows – Corona Park in the borough of Queens. The Unisphere is one of the borough’s most iconic and enduring symbols.

Commissioned to celebrate the beginning of the space age, the Unisphere was conceived and constructed as the theme symbol of the 1964–1965 New York World’s Fair. The theme of the World’s Fair was “Peace Through Understanding” and the Unisphere represented the theme of global interdependence. It was dedicated to “Man’s Achievements on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe”.
Designed by landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, the Unisphere was donated by the United States Steel Corporation and constructed by the American Bridge Company. It is the world’s largest global structure, rising 140 feet and weighing 700,000 pounds. Some sources say the Unisphere weighs 900,000 pounds, a figure which includes the additional weight of its 100-ton inverted tripod base. The diameter of the sphere itself is 120 feet. It is constructed of Type 304L stainless steel.

Built on the structural foundation that supported the Perisphere of the 1939–1940 New York World’s Fair, the Unisphere is centered in a large, circular reflecting pool and is surrounded by a series of water-jet fountains designed to obscure its tripod pedestal. The effect is meant to make Unisphere appear as if it is floating in space.

During the fair, dramatic lighting at night gave the effect of sunrise moving over the surface of the globe. Additionally, the capitals of nations were marked by lights. One of these lights is placed at the location of the Kahnawake Indian Reservation, which the Mohawk ironworkers requested to be placed there to honor their labor.[1]

Three large orbit rings of stainless steel encircle the Unisphere at various angles. These orbit rings are believed to represent the tracks of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, and Telstar, the first active communications satellite. In fact, the early design was to have a ring for each of a dozen satellites in place at the time of the Fair. This proved impractical not only in the number of satellites, but also in the height of their orbits and the fact that geostationary satellites had no orbit path. As a result a symbolic number of three was chosen for aesthetic reasons.
In 1989, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation announced a multi-million dollar rehabilitation of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Among the projects was a complete restoration of the Unisphere. Begun in late 1993 and completed on May 31, 1994, the project included numerous structural repairs and removal of years’ worth of grime which had accumulated on the steel. The fountains, shut off since the 1970s, were replaced, and new floodlighting installed.

On May 10, 1995, the Unisphere was given official landmark status by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Since September 2010, the New York State Pavilion has also received official landmark status.

The Unisphere’s fountain reopened on August 12, 2010, after a $2 million restoration of its pumps, valves and paintwork.[2]
Structural Foundation
The marshy soil of Flushing Meadows needed special consideration during the original 1937 Perisphere construction for the 1939 World’s Fair. The Perisphere, and subsequently the Unisphere, which used the same platform, employed a foundation of 528 pressure-creosoted Douglas fir piles of 95 to 100 feet in length. Before construction of the Unisphere, three piles were tested for structural integrity and all were found to be sound throughout their entire length.[3]
Sonnet Project
The Unisphere was the featured location for Sonnet 44, performed by Kevin Brewer, directed by Sean Gannett. The video was released on May 21, 2103.
1. http://www.placematters.net/node/1564
2. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/queens/fountain-return-article-1.206293
3. http://www.slideruleera.net/CreosotePerformance.pdf

Kevin Brewer is an award-winning playwright and actor based in New York City. As resident playwright for NY Shakespeare Exchange, his 5-act Shakespearean comedy Island was given its NY premiere in 2012. Prior to its wildly successful NY run, Island received the Peterson Emerging Playwright Award at Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C and was selected as Catawba’s American College Theatre Festival entry for 2003. In 2010 he collaborated with NY Shakespeare Exchange to bring his multi-media The One Man (Two Man (not quite)) Hamlet to the stage. His work has been showcased with Judith Shakespeare Company (Island, staged reading) and Sonnet Repertory Theatre (an evening of Kevin Brewer short plays). In 2004 his play Jinx, took first place at Riant Theatre’s 2004 Strawberry One-Act Festival. Acting credits include NYSX (Captain Mike, Island; and, Cardinal Pandulf, King John); N.C. Shakespeare Festival (Caliban, The Tempest), Great Lakes Theatre Festival (Rosencrantz, Hamlet), Cleveland Shakespeare (Brutus, Julius Caesar) and the Cleveland Play House (Angelo, Measure for Measure). Education: BFA (English), Michigan State University; MFA (acting), Case Western Reserve University.

SEAN GANNET – Director
Sean Gannet was born to drive slow, dance fast, and make movies. He is currently in post-production on his first feature film, Chasing Taste. He is also in post-production on two short films: The Poets written by Lori Fischer and starring Susan Louise O’Connor and Jeff Hiller, and 99¢ Tuxedo starring Ryan Good and Kate Holland.

Gannet also frequently works with the TED Conferences (www.ted.com) and recently produced and directed video content at TEDActive 2013 and was the the Technical Project Manager for the TED Worldwide Talent Search which featured TED events in 14 countries across 6 continents and resulted in the recording of 292 talks.

In directing, Gannet previously helmed two short films in NYC: Dottie’s Thanksgiving Pickle starring the Tony-Nominated Actress Nancy Opel and Academy Award-winner Olympia Dukakis and The One That I Want, a musical comedy made as a part of RIPFEST’s Collaborative Film Project.

Gannet has also facilitated the production of many projects in various producing capacities. He line-produced TEDx GreatPacificGarbagePatch, the TED Prize MissionBlue Conference in the Galapagos Islands and associate-produced Paramount’s The Love Guru, which was the culmination of three years of close work with Mike Myers and Myers’ production company Nomoneyfun Films. While there, Gannet helped develop several projects with Myers including extensive work on Dreamworks’ Shrek The Third and the ABC Christmas special Shrek the Halls.

Gannet graduated from Northwestern University’s Radio/Television/Film program with honors for Production Excellence.In addition to his propensity for writing and directing, Sean is a road-trip enthusiast, celebrated turkey chili chef, and lauded amateur dancer for whom crowds of strangers have oft circled-up to watch him shake it. Sean currently lives, works and plays in Brooklyn, the only city for which he has ever been homesick.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 45

The other two, slight air and purging fire,
Are both with thee, wherever I abide;
The first my thought, the other my desire,
These present-absent with swift motion slide.
For when these quicker elements are gone
In tender embassy of love to thee,
My life, being made of four, with two alone
Sinks down to death, oppressed with melancholy;
Until life’s composition be recured
By those swift messengers return’d from thee,
Who even but now come back again, assured
Of thy fair health, recounting it to me:
     This told, I joy; but then no longer glad,
     I send them back again and straight grow sad.



Sonnet 45 uses the four elements as a metaphor for being a whole man; the more passionate two are always with the poet’s faraway lover, while he languishes behind.

Will’s thoughts and desires are with his faraway love; his life-sustaining air and fire are with them. When they’re gone, leaving him half a man, he dies a little bit each day of his grief. When he is more in control of himself, and his thoughts and desires making him whole, he momentarily contents himself with his lover’s certain health and happiness. But this lasts only a moment before his yearnings drift and he dies again.

Will’s Wordplay

Willy finds that his thoughts and desires are not so much in himself, as faraway with his beloved (present-absent.)

The four elements of classical Aristotelean science were fire, air, earth and water. The Elizabethans had no idea of modern chemical or physical science; all substances were said to be made up of these four elements. When deprived of two of them, air and fire, associated with thought and desire respectively, the body sinks into melancholy and decay.


Hunts Point Slave Burial Ground, Bronx

Rediscovered by students in 2014, this sonnet location and piece of history is the Hunts Point Slave Burial Ground.

The Slave Burial Ground is located in the Hunts Point neighborhood of The Bronx within the grounds of the Joseph Rodman Drake Park, a few blocks from P.S. 48. The location is most likely in the south west location of the park near the willow tree.


How Was It Discovered?

In 2010 the Museum of the City of New York published online versions of more than 50,000 historic photos of New York City. Among the thousands of Bronx images was a haunting 1905 photograph entitled Slave Burying Ground.

The only other information available about the photo was that it was taken at “Hunts Point Road” — a street that no longer exists. Local history teachers wanted to know more.

From primary history documents like wills, newspaper accounts and old maps, it turns out the cemetery was “across the road” from Drake Park- the Hunt, Leggett and Willett family burial plots that date back to colonial times. It’s most famous grave honors well-known 19th century poet Joseph Rodman Drake, but the adjacent Slave Burying Ground has disappeared without a trace.

Since 1909, the NYC Parks Department has administered Drake Park. As time went by the cemetery grew more run-down every year, and finally, the youngsters of nearby PS 48, the Joseph Rodman Drake School, helped raise money to restore and protect the historic site. On April 12, 1962, city officials and the entire PS 48 community held a dedication ceremony at the cemetery and the students placed a commemorative granite plaque in the SE corner. [1]



1. http://hpsbg.weebly.com/


ACTOR – Page Clements

Page Clements is a professional actress, private vocal/dialects/Shakespeare
instructor and faculty member of the T. Schreiber Studio. As actress or dialect coach, her
over 50 credits include productions with The New York Shakespeare Exchange (Romeo and Juliet and Muse’s Song), The Roundabout Theatre Co.(Pygmalion), The Metropolitan Playhouse (Self, A Man’s World, The New York Idea), The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble (Electra), The Hudson Warehouse (She Stoops to Conquer), The Electric Theatre Company (Boston Marriage, The Maids, Lettice and Loveage, A Perfect Ganesh, The Benefactors), and The Gloria Maddox/T Schreiber Theatre (Better Living.) Backstage Magazine’s Favorite Vocal Coach and Favorite Dialect Coach of 2010. Member AEA.

Twitter: @pageclements
Linked In: Page Clements
Facebook: Page Clements


DIRECTOR – Michael Luppino

Michael Luppino knows the changing landscape of storytelling through images from the inside out. He directs and shoots while applying what he sees as the upside of digital: the ability to work in a fast, light and cost-effective manner.

After graduating from Ohio University with a major in photography, Luppino became fascinated with iconic New York photographers such as Robert Mapplethorpe, with whom he worked as an assistant. He was mentored by still-life director/photographer and advertising industry legend Phil Marco, who spearheaded classic national TV commercial projects and tabletop photography campaigns for clients ranging from Perugina chocolate to the Marine Corps.

Eventually, Luppino applied lessons he learned from Marco by branching off from exclusively doing still photography to directing television commercials. The advertising agency Deutsch Inc. hired Luppino to shoot ads for IKEA and soon after recommended him to shoot ads and direct TV commercials for IKEA Canada. Luppino became a forerunner of performing both jobs: shooting still photography and directing commercials. This is the skillset that he continues to use and offer his clients today. “The truth is that in both worlds,” says Luppino, “it all boils down to unique storytelling and the beauty shot.”

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 46

Mine eye and heart are at a mortal war,
How to divide the conquest of thy sight;
Mine eye my heart thy picture’s sight would bar,
My heart mine eye the freedom of that right.
My heart doth plead that thou in him dost lie,
A closet never pierced with crystal eyes,
But the defendant doth that plea deny,
And says in him thy fair appearance lies.
To ‘cide this title is impannelled
A quest of thoughts, all tenants to the heart;
And by their verdict is determined
The clear eye’s moiety, and the dear heart’s part:
     As thus: mine eye’s due is thine outward part,
     And my heart’s right, thine inward love of heart.



Sonnet 46 wrestles with the age-old question: which is it, outer beauty or inner?

Will’s heart wants one thing, emotional love, while his eye wants to drink in physical beauty. While the eye fixates on the physical appearance of his beloved, the heart would prefer not to see the physical at all, and instead focus on pure emotion. The young man resides inside Willy’s heart, unseen. The eyes disagree with the heart, arguing that they are capable of detecting of the beauty of a person. The jury’s final decision is to divide the lover– the eyes can have the physical beauty, the heart the inner beauty

Will’s Wordplay

The dichotomy of eyes and heart in love’s realm was traditional. The eye was believed to hold the image, but the heart was responsible for feeling and emotion.

To “impanel”, or empanel, is to set up a body of jurors.


New York County Supreme Courthouse, Manhattan

The New York State Supreme Court Building, originally known as the New York County Courthouse, at 60 Centre Street on Foley Square in the Civic Center district of Manhattan, New York City houses the Civil and Appellate Terms of the New York State Supreme Court for the state’s First Judicial District, which is coextensive with Manhattan, as well as the offices of the New York County Clerk.

The granite-faced hexagonal building was designed by Guy Lowell of Boston in classical Roman style and was built between 1913 and 1927, completion having been delayed by World War I. It replaced the former New York County Courthouse on Chambers Street, popularly known as the Tweed Courthouse. Both the interior and exterior are New York City Landmarks.

The building’s mass and scale give it the appearance of a temple. A broad set of steps sweeps up from Foley Square to a massive Corinthian colonnade covering most of the front of the courthouse, topped by an elaborate 140-foot-long triangular pediment of thirteen figures carved in bas relief from granite. The pediment and acroteria by Frederick Warren Allen include three statues: “Law”, “Truth” and “Equity”. A frieze bears the inscription “The True Administration of Justice is the Firmest Pillar of Good Government”, a 1789 quotation attributed to George Washington.

The rotunda contains the oft-reproduced and recently restored mural Law Through the Ages.[5] Attilio Pusterla painted a number of murals in the rotunda in the 1930s under sponsorship from the Federal Art Project of the Works Project Administration The mural is divided into six sections, each depicting a pair of figures from historical cultures important to the history of law: Assyrian and Egyptian, Hebraic and Persian, Greek and Roman, Byzantine and Frankish, English and early colonial, with the final section portraying George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Above the seated figures are portraits of six lawgivers: Hammurabi, Moses, Solon, Justinian, Blackstone and John Marshall.

Along Foley Square, the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse sits next to the New York State Supreme Court Building. On the far right can be seen part of the Municipal Building on Park Row

The courthouse was designated a New York City Landmark on February 1, 1966. and the interior on March 24, 1981.


ACTOR – Sydney Lucas

Sydney Lucas made her Off-Broadway debut in Fun Home (Public Theater) at the age of 10 receiving a 2014 Lucielle Lortel nomination. Other credits include Verdi’s Macbeth (Metropolitan Opera); Workshops: Amelie, Iowa, Once Around the Moon, Table. Film: Squirrels to the Nuts, Skeleton Twins,Girl Most Likely, Fool’s Day. TV: How & Why (Pilot, series regular), Royal Pains, Would You Fall For That?, Late Show with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, 2012 & 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Sesame Street. Commercials: Campbell’s, IBM, Kindle Fire, Chuck E. Cheese. Voiceover/Radio: Tide, Little Tykes, Sesame Street, Team Umizoomi, Lalaloopsy Land and more.


DIRECTOR – Lorielle Mallue

Lorielle is the Director of Conservatory Training and a faculty member at the Atlantic Acting School, the sister institution of the Atlantic Theater Company. Credits include: SELF: BY ALISON CARSEN (writer/director/actor, Student Emmy, UCLA Directors Spotlight Award), THE WONDER PETS! (writer), I Never Saw Another Butterfly… (producer/director), Lovers (VTA Best Actress Award). Current projects: THIS AMERICAN DEATH (producer), WHAT IF, RIGHT NOW…? Based on the short story “Victory Lap” by George Saunders (producer/writer/director). In LA she worked for six years for Jodie Foster and her Paramount Pictures financed company, Egg Pictures (Meg LeFauve, president) on multiple features (including THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS) and as story editor for projects Egg was developing. She also served as an assistant to Ms. Foster on FLIGHT PLAN and INSIDE MAN. BFA (NYU-Atlantic), MFA (UCLA), Ed.M. (Harvard), FIND Producing Lab Fellow, and 2012 NYLA – Bessie Lab participant.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 47

Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took,
And each doth good turns now unto the other:
When that mine eye is famish’d for a look,
Or heart in love with sighs himself doth smother,
With my love’s picture then my eye doth feast,
And to the painted banquet bids my heart;
Another time mine eye is my heart’s guest,
And in his thoughts of love doth share a part:
So, either by thy picture or my love,
Thy self away, art present still with me;
For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move,
And I am still with them, and they with thee;
     Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight
     Awakes my heart, to heart’s and eyes’ delight.



Sonnet 47 finds a solution to Sonnet 46’s battle of loving with the heart versus the eye: You can’t have one without the other.

Bill’s heart and eyes have reached a mutually beneficial understanding: when he yearns for the sight of his beloved, or when his heart is pining, he will look at a painting and both will share succor. At other times, his heart will “see” his beloved in some memory. So whether in painting or in imagination, the lovers are always together. His thoughts are always with the object of his affections. If his thoughts are,sleeping, the painting will delight his eyes and thus awake his heart.


Will’s Wordplay

To be “in love with sighs” refers to an addiction to sad thoughts. Sighs were considered bad for your health, each sigh taking a drop of blood from the heart. Will, you’re such a masochist!

The “painted banquet” is the portrait of his love that gives his heart and eye their sustenance


Clason Point, The Bronx

Today’s sonnet takes us back to the New York City mainland. Clason Point is a peninsula geographically located in the South Bronx. The area includes a collection of neighborhoods including: Bronx River, Harding Park, Soundview-Bruckner, and Soundview.

Soundview Avenue is the primary thoroughfare through Clason Point. Soundview Avenue once stretched from White Plains Road and O’brien Avenue in Harding Park to Westchester and Morrison Avenues in Soundview-Bruckner before the construction of the Bronx River Parkway. It was then known as Clason’s Point Road. The Bruckner Expressway which now bisects the area along the center was once known as Ludlow Avenue.

The small peninsula of the Bronx defined by the Bronx River, Pugsley’s Creek, and the East River is known as Clason (pronounced Clawson) Point. However, it has had several names over the years. In ancient times, the Bronx River area to the West was known to the Siwanoys, who spoke Algonquian,[1] as “Aquahung”. The site of a large Native American settlement, comprising more than seventy dwellings, Clason Point was then known to natives as “Snakapins”, or “Land By The Two Waters”.[2] There was a local and plentiful food source of oak acorn nuts for grinding purposes.

Europeans began settling the region in the early 17th century, and the Cornell family built the first permanent European settlement in the spit of land first known as Snakipins by the Indians. An English settler, Thomas Cornell, began farming here from 1654, for which the area became known as Cornell’s Neck.[1] Later the area was known as Clason Point, named after Isaac Clason, a Scottish merchant and a major land owner.[3] Development in the 19th century soon attracted resort seekers and the area became known for its amusements and entertainment. From 1883-1927, it was the site of the Clason Point Military Academy.[1][3] In the 1640s a series of skirmishes between the Cornells and the Siwanoy, known as the Pig Wars, were led by Chief Wampage, the Siwanoy sachem believed to be the Indian leader who killed Anne Hutchinson and her children in 1643 at Split Rock, now in the northern Bronx. A passing ship rescued the Cornells, and they returned to their home the year after Wampage’s last raid. Britisher Thomas Pell arrived at a treaty in 1654 with several Siwanoy sachems, including Wampage, that the Dutch authorities didn’t recognize. This disagreement was rendered moot in 1664 when the British fleet appeared in the harbor and the Dutch capitulated.

Clason Point in the early 20th century was an era of trolley cars on the main thoroughfare, Soundview Avenue or, as it was were, Clason Point Road. Clason Point was a mixture of mansions, farmland and plenty of undeveloped fields and swampland. There were ferryboat and steamer excursions from “The Point” to downtown (Manhattan) as well as local service across the East River to College Point, Queens. The last boat to College Point terminated during World War II.[1]The area was then known for dance halls, roller coasters, picnic groves and baseball games, as well as the world’s largest saltwater outdoor swimming pool known as “The Inkwell”. There was a volunteer fire department,a small airport, docks for sailboats and motorboats, saloons, and novelty shops. The amusement park rides and novelties in the Harding Park area of Clason Point was then known as “The Coney Island of the Bronx”.

By the middle 19th century Clason Point had many farmhouses, despite its poor drainage. Even today the main shopping area is fairly distant, along Story Avenue, the Bruckner Expressway and White Plains Road. Its seaside location and views attracted seaside resorts, dancehalls and amusement parks in the early 20th Century, served by a ferry from College Point, Queens. Kane’s, a major saloon in the Clason Point area in the 1920s, featured Helen Kane, a singer who coined the phrase “Boop-oop-a-doop” and for which cartoon flapper Betty Boop was modeled. After World War II, Kane’s became the site for the Shorehaven Beach Club. The club was purchased by Soundview Associates, an investment group including Sylvester Stallone, and was to become the Shorehaven Condominiums, a gated community of 1,183 condominium townhomes.[1]

In more recent years, a citywide housing crisis spurred construction of modern multi-unit row houses and apartment buildings. Soundview Park, built on a former landfill and the largest in the South Bronx, has undergone a complete transformation including enhanced pedestrian access and completely renovated and redesigned recreational areas. Future plans in accordance with PlaNYC initiatives will create an urban oasis in this dense community; complete with recreation nodes, Greenway connections, bike/hike trails, designated fishing areas, a boat launch, and esplanades with skyline views. The neighborhood has become increasingly more diverse with a rise in varied Latin American immigration in recent years. Crime has also seen a significant decline as a result of a number of factors including enhanced policing techniques and changing economic demographics.



1. Jackson, Kenneth T., ed. (1995). The Encyclopedia of New York City. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300055366., p. 239.
2. Powell, Bernard W. “Preliminary Report on a Southwestern Connecticut Site”, from the Bulletin of the Archeological Society of Connecticut, February 1958. Accessed June 5, 2007.
3. Lopate, Phillip. “New York, Brick by Brick”, The New York Times, June 18, 2000. Accessed April 6, 2008.


ACTOR – Cornelia Hanes

Cornelia Hanes is an actress and model with a great interest in fitness. She was born and raised in Sweden, but moved to New York during the fall of 2009 when she received a full athletic scholarship at LIU Post to kick-start her acting and high elite swimming career.

Acting has been a major part of Cornelia’s life since childhood, but during her time at LIU Post she really learnt how to step out of her comfort zone on stage and in front of the camera. Today, Cornelia is a Suzuki trained actress who has traveled around with award-winning “Re-membering Antigone” in both America and Canada, she has been the lead in many short film productions as well as in the NYSE commercial that was aired nationwide on CNN. Cornelia currently lives in New York City where she is management represented by Dream Maker Talent and STETTS Model Management.

Apart from acting, Cornelia is an ECAC swimming champion and a NCAA All American scorer. Despite putting an end to her elite swimming career, she continues her passion for sport and fitness through yoga classes, swimming, conditioning and light weight lifting.

Besides being fluent in Swedish and English, Cornelia also has knowledge of Norwegian, Danish and French. Casting directors, acting teachers, and friends describe her as a strong and energetic individual with a large portion of humor – just like a true Scandinavian Viking.

For film and TV, Cornelia is a mix between the diverse Uma Thurman, the hilarious Kristen Wiig, and the fierce Charlize Theron. She would be a perfect fit to play characters comparable to Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill, Helen from Troy, or Carrie in Homeland. Stay tuned for more exciting news to come!


DIRECTOR – Christine Stronegger

Christine Stronegger is an award winning filmmaker from Norway who is currently based out of New York City. Her awards include the Director’s Choice Award at Sacramento Film Festival 2014 and Audience Award at Katra Film Series 2015. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in May 2015, from Long Island University where she earned her B.F.A in Cinematography and Film Production. While attending the film program at LIU, she interned at Tribeca Productions. Since then she has been freelancing and worked closely with directors Katie Holmes, Dustin Guy Defa and Domenica Cameron-Scorsese among others. Christine has a passion for directing and has recently written and directed a short film called “Wanderlust” with actor Daniel Hilt from Foxcatcher, which just became an official selection to NFFTY film festival 2016 in Seattle.

iMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5203072/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user10252111
twitter: @stronegger
instagram: missstronegger

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 48

How careful was I when I took my way,
Each trifle under truest bars to thrust,
That to my use it might unused stay
From hands of falsehood, in sure wards of trust!
But thou, to whom my jewels trifles are,
Most worthy comfort, now my greatest grief,
Thou best of dearest, and mine only care,
Art left the prey of every vulgar thief.
Thee have I not locked up in any chest,
Save where thou art not, though I feel thou art,
Within the gentle closure of my breast,
From whence at pleasure thou mayst come and part;
     And even thence thou wilt be stol’n I fear,
     For truth proves thievish for a prize so dear.



Sonnet 48 explores the beloved as a possession thieves might pray upon while the poet is on a journey.

Willy must take a journey, and is packing all of his valuables away to guard against thieves. Though he has taken great care to protect his possessions, he cannot do the same for the one thing dearer to him than all others– his beloved. He cannot put the youth under lock and key while he is away, for he is free.But every passer by might be tempted by the youth’s beauty to steal him away. His beauty is such that it would tempt even honest men to theft.


Will’s Wordplay

“sure wards of trust” are secure storage places, safe from “hands of falsehood” or untrustowrthy people.

“chest” here means a trunk with a lock, “thee have I not locked up in any chest” but also alludes to the breast, where Billy has locked the youth in his heart.


Jamaica Bay Wildlife Reserve, Broad Channel, Queens

“The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge—part of Gateway National Recreation Area—is one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the Northeastern United States and one of the best places in New York City to observe migrating species. With more than 330 bird species—nearly half the species in the Northeast—sighted at the refuge over the last 25 years, it is a must-see for avian enthusiasts.

The park’s unique landscape contains a variety of rare native habitats including a salt marsh, upland field and woods, several fresh and brackish water ponds, and an open expanse of bay. There is a wide variety of ranger and partner-led programs offered year-round at the site, including presentations on seasonal wildlife, sunset tours, hikes, boat trips, family programs and an annual lecture series. Check out what’s happening at Jamaica Bay.

The Visitor Contact Station welcomes visitors and is the starting point for many guided programs. Free walking permits, necessary to hike the trails, are obtainable here as well. The Visitor Contact Station is also home to exhibits that highlight Jamaica Bay’s remarkable plant and animal life, history, and the continuing human impact on the nature of the bay.

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, the only wildlife refuge in the National Park System, is also home to an impressive array of native reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, over 60 species of butterflies and one of the largest populations of horseshoe crabs in the Northeast. Numerous ranger-led nature hikes, bird watching sessions, and seining activities give visitors the chance to get up close to these incredible animals and learn about protecting them.

Originally managed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the landscape of the Wildlife Refuge underwent a major change when then Park Commissioner Robert Moses ordered the creation of two large fresh water ponds, East Pond and West Pond, which are still major features of the park today. In 1972, the city transferred ownership of the Wildlife Refuge to the National Park Service, and the site became part of Gateway National Recreation Area.” [1]



1. http://www.nyharborparks.org/visit/jaba.html


ACTOR – Christopher Randolph

Christopher Randolph’s previous Shakespeare credits include appearing in Lincoln Center Theatre’s King Lear on Broadway in a production starring Christopher Plummer, directed by Sir Jonathan Miller; and touring the U.S. in the Theatre For A New Audience production of The Merchant Of Venice, starring F. Murray Abraham, directed by Tony winner Darko Tresnjek. Off-Broadway he has appeared in Dash at MCC; Hollywood Scheherezade at Primary Stages; Clocks & Whistles with Origin; The International (which he also directed) for The 1st Irish Festival; and The Survival of the Species at EST and The Becket. Extensive regional theatre work includes The Tempest at Hartford Stage (working again with Darko Tresnjek); Betrayal at The Old Globe; St. Joan at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; The Misanthrope at GeVa; as well as productions at Milwaukee Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Chatauqua Conservatory Theatre, and many others. At The Odyssey in Los Angeles he received a Dramalogue Award for his work in the world premiere of Angels Twice Descending, and was in the West Coast premiere of Terrence McNally’s A Perfect Ganesh, which garnered 8 LA DCC nominations. Film work includes Catherine Eaton’s Liv; Convention, directed by Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden; In Your Eyes, written and produced by Joss Whedon; two movies with Max Finneran: The Shells and Pumpkin Hell; and Renee Alberta’s Dream Date. Television appearances include Will & Grace; Mad About You; Newsradio; and Doogie Howser, MD. He is also the voice of the characters Otacon and Huey in the best selling Metal Gear Solid game series for Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo. He holds a BA in English Literature from Boston University, and an MFA in acting from UCSD.


DIRECTOR – Patrick Chen

Patrick Chen is a writer and self-taught filmmaker from Queens, New York. He’s a film enthusiast that tries to reinvent old styles while incorporating modern tactics making a picture that feels both nostalgic and refreshing.

His short film “Love Express” has recently screened at various festivals, and was awarded with the Community Award for his dedicated contribution at the Queens World Film Festival. The film was praised by the Chinese community and described as heartfelt, sentimental and a tribute to early Hong Kong cinema. Prior films, “Welcome Home” (2013) and “Underneath The Grey” (2014) were both appointed as top finalists by the Asian American Film Lab’s 72 Hours Shootout competition. They were showcased at AAIFF, AOFF, SAG-AFTRA Showcase and NYC Media. He is currently producing his Chinatown based feature-length project, which to be slated in mid-2016.

Website: www.facebook.com/chenxihaofilms



Li Zong is a composer, electronic music designer and keyboard performer. He holds Master’s degrees from both Shanghai Conservatory of Music (China) and New York University (USA). As a composer, He is involved in different music fields covering classical, pop, rock, jazz, film scoring and modern electronic music. His works have appeared in Lincoln Center, New York Fashion Week, Museum of Macao, China Got Talents, The Voice of China, and Shanghai Expo. As a performer of keyboard, Li has not only recorded for numerous released albums but also played live on lots of venues. He also had his voice heard in a wide range of music projects like 2011 NAMM Show, the Broadway show Rent, and Shanghai Jazz Festival.

Website: www.li-zong.com


RECORDING ENGINNER – Cristopher Rodriguez

Cristopher Rodriguez is a NYC music producer, audio engineer, DJ, and musician. From the age of 12 he started playing guitar and later bagpipes. His background in DJ’ing eventually led him to audio engineering, production, and arrangement. He has a strong background in electronic music, working with analog synthesizers and owns a good collection of synths, including the famous Minimoog and Roland TR-808. He also is the proprietor of Creepy Bird Studio in Queens. He has worked with a range of artists, from Jazz musicians, rappers, and even Bollywood. Some of the artists he has worked with include Jasmine Sandlas, Almamy, Burle Avant, and Principal Dean.

Website: www.creppybird.com

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 50


How heavy do I journey on the way,

When what I seek, my weary travel’s end,

Doth teach that ease and that repose to say,

’Thus far the miles are measured from thy friend!’

The beast that bears me, tired with my woe,
Plods dully on, to bear that weight in me,
As if by some instinct the wretch did know
His rider lov’d not speed being made from thee.
The bloody spur cannot provoke him on,
That sometimes anger thrusts into his hide,
Which heavily he answers with a groan,
More sharp to me than spurring to his side;
     For that same groan doth put this in my mind,
     My grief lies onward, and my joy behind.
Sonnet 50 has the speaker on a journey, parted from his love, and every step increases his sadness.

Will is on a journey, traveling on horseback. Every step takes him farther from his beloved friend, the horse grows tired as he grows sadder. Its as though the horse knows, and so it plods along, slowing the lovers’ parting. Kicking the horse with spurs does nothing but make him groan, which reminds Will of his own grief.
Will’s Wordplay
“tired” can also have the meaning “attired”, as though the beast had been clothed with the sorrow that afflicts the rider.
Groans were the traditional accompaniment to the lover’s pain; here the horse emulates its rider.

John F. Kennedy Airport
Now Boarding! John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport in the borough of Queens in New York City owned by the City of New York and leased to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, about 12 miles southeast of Lower Manhattan. In 2011 it was the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North America. [1] It is also the leading freight gateway to the country by value of shipments. [2]

In 2012, the airport handled 49,292,733 passengers [3] making it the 17th busiest airport in the world and sixth busiest in the United States in terms of passenger traffic. The New York City metropolitan area’s JFK International, LaGuardia, and Newark International airports, all operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, combine to create the largest airport system in the United States, second in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and first in the world in terms of total flight operations.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Kennedy_International_Airport – cite_note-8
Over ninety airlines operate out of JFK. In the past, it has been a hub for Eastern Air Lines, Gemini Air Cargo, National Airlines, Pan American World Airways and Trans World Airlines. It is one of only two airports in North America, the other being Toronto Pearson International Airport, with scheduled flights to all six inhabited continents.[4]
John F. Kennedy International Airport was originally known as Idlewild Airport after the golfcourse it displaced. The airport was envisioned as a reliever for LaGuardia Airport, which had insufficient capacity in the late 1930s. Construction began in 1943; the airport opened with six runways and a seventh under construction. The project was renamed Major General Alexander E. Anderson Airport in 1943 after a Queens resident who had commanded a Federalized National Guard unit in the southern United States and who had died in late 1942. In March 1948 the New York City Council again changed the name to New York International Airport, Anderson Field, but the airport was commonly known as “Idlewild” until 1963.

The airport was renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport on December 24, 1963, one month after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.[5]
The Port of New York Authority originally envisioned a single 55-gate terminal for the airport, but the major airlines of the time argued that the terminal would be too small for future traffic. [6] Architect Wallace Harrison then designed a master plan under which each major airline at the airport would be given its own space to develop its own terminal design. This made construction more practical, made terminals more navigable and introduced incentives for airlines to compete with each other for the best design. The revised master plan met airline approval in 1955, with seven terminals initially planned—five for individual airlines, one developed for 3 airlines, and an international arrivals building. National Airlines and British Airways arrived later.
Sonnet Project
John F. Kennedy Airport was the featured location for Sonnet 50, performed by Cristina Lippollis, directed by Nicholas Biagetti. The video was released on June 24, 2013.
1. “U.S. International Travel and Transportation Trends, BTS02-03”. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation. 2006.
2.Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation (2004). “America’s Freight Transportation Gateways”
3.”2010 North American Final Rankings”. Airports Council International. May 28, 2011. Retrieved May 28, 2011.
4. http://www.panynj.gov/airports/jfk-airlines.htm
5. Benjamin, Philip (December 25, 1963). “Idlewild Is Rededicated as John F. Kennedy Airport”. The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2010.
6. Alastair Gordon, Naked Airport (U. of Chicago Press)

ACTOR – Cristina Lippolis
Cristina Lippolis is a New York-based actress, model and dancer (at times, she also likes to think of herself as a writer, but that is information she usually omits). Cristina was brought up between Los Angeles and Italy, before moving to New York to study acting at the Stella Adler Studio. Immediately after graduating, she took part in the LAByrinth Theater Company’s Intensive Ensemble and played Nora in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House in Italy. Cristina has worked on numerous short films and was recently cast to play the lead role in an indie feature film that will start shooting in September in New York City. Amongst her favorite theater roles, she’d like to include Blanche ( The French Waitress, by J.P. Shanley), Aelia ( A Theory of Perpetual Motion, The Tank Theater), Victoria ( The Motherfucker with the Hat, Stella Adler Studio). Her TV credits include the popular Italian TV series, Distretto di Polizia 10. She’d like to thank Nicholas Biagetti for the amazing time they had while “secretively” shooting this video. For the full story (and complete credits), check out www.cristinalippolis.com.

Your soul is the whole world – Herman Hesse-Siddharta

DIRECTOR – Nicholas Biagetti
Impassioned by the gun-slinging desperadoes of the Western genre, Nicholas Biagetti first found a spirit for filmmaking in his early attempts at creating his own backyard Westerns in the suburbs of Massachusetts. Deciding his future lay in film, he graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a focus in film editing, visual effects, and art history. As a managing partner of Park Bench Pictures, Nicholas works both commercially and independently as an animator, film editor, and graphic artist. www.nbiagetti.com



Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 51

Thus can my love excuse the slow offence
Of my dull bearer when from thee I speed:
From where thou art why should I haste me thence?
Till I return, of posting is no need.
O! what excuse will my poor beast then find,
When swift extremity can seem but slow?
Then should I spur, though mounted on the wind,
In winged speed no motion shall I know,
Then can no horse with my desire keep pace.
Therefore desire, (of perfect’st love being made)
Shall neigh, no dull flesh, in his fiery race;
But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade-
     Since from thee going, he went wilful-slow,
     Towards thee I’ll run, and give him leave to go.



Sonnet 51 sees the speaker on a journey away from his love on a slow horse, and dreaming of the day he will swiftly return.

Will asks his love if the horse can be forgiven for taking its sweet time. After all, it only parts the two of them. But should it behave similarly on the way back, what will its excuse be then? Then, he shall want to move like the wind, to fly, to go faster than any horse can go, on the fiery wings of desire. Therefore, he will travel on love, and let the horse go where it pleases.

Will’s Wordplay

“Dull bearer” and “poor beast” give the impression of an incredibly lackluster and broken down steed.

Will gives life to his desire, like a spirited stallion in a turbulent race, expressing its energy and eagerness to reach the goal. Not like the ordinary piece of dull horse flesh he’s been traveling with.


Roosevelt Island Tramway

Recognizable to many as the setting for the climactic battle in Sam Raimi’s Spider-man (2002), The Roosevelt Island Tramway is an aerial tramway that spans the East River and connects Roosevelt Island to Manhattan. Prior to the completion of the Mississippi Aerial River Transit in May 1984 and the Portland Aerial Tram in December 2006, it was the only commuter aerial tramway in North America.[1]

Over 26 million passengers have used the tram since it began operation in 1976. Each cabin has a capacity of up to 110 people and makes approximately 115 trips per day. The tram moves at about 17.9 mph and travels 3,100 feet in 3 minutes. At its peak it climbs to 250 feet above the East River as it follows its route on the north side of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, providing views of the East Side of midtown Manhattan. Two cabins make the run at fifteen-minute intervals from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. (3:30 a.m. on weekends) and continuously during rush hours. It is one of the few forms of mass transit in New York City not run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, but uses the system’s MetroCard.

Roosevelt Island had been connected to Manhattan by a trolley line that crossed over the Queensboro Bridge from its opening in 1909. Trolleys to and from Queens stopped in the middle of the bridge to meet an elevator, which then took passengers down to the island. As the only connection to the rest of the city from the island, the trolley remained in service until April 7, 1957, long after most other trolley service had been dismantled in the city, and was the last trolley line in New York State. [2] At that time, a bridge to Queens was completed, requiring a roundabout trip to reach Manhattan.

Beginning in the mid-1970s, Roosevelt Island was redeveloped to accommodate low- to mid-income housing projects, necessitating the construction of a new public transit connection to the city. The trolley tracks had deteriorated beyond repair and the planned subway connection to the island had not yet been completed. In 1971 The Urban Development Corporation retained Lev Zetlin Associates to select and design a transit connection to Roosevelt Island. James A O’Kon PE led the LZA team in carrying out a feasibility study and design. Three alternate modes were studied: a ferry, an elevator from the bridge, and the aerial tramway. The tramway was selected and the system was designed for bidding. Von Roll was selected to supply and erect the tram and its equipment. It was opened in July 1976 as a temporary solution for the island’s commuting needs. As the subway project fell further behind schedule, the “tram” became more popular and was converted into a permanent facility. The subway connection to the island was finally completed in 1989.

The tram was the last holdout for the use of tokens in the New York City transit system. Initially, it used a special token, which was later replaced by the standard variety for subways and buses. Although tokens were phased out in favor of the MetroCard by 2003, the tram did not start to accept MetroCards until March 1, 2004. The fare is the same as that on the subways.

During the 2005 New York City transit strike, the tramway was one of the few intra-city public transportation systems still in operation. On April 18, 2006, at about 5:22 p.m. EDT, the two trams were stuck over the East River for seven hours because of mechanical problems, trapping 69 people. Rescue baskets capable of holding up to 15 people were sent up to the stranded cable cars at 10:55 p.m., with children and elderly going first, and each rescue taking about 20 minutes. These baskets also carried supplies to the trams, such as blankets, baby formula, and food, for the remaining passengers. [3]

The April 2006 incident was the second time in eight months that the tram system lost power. On September 2, 2005, more than 80 people were trapped on the tram for over 90 minutes. After that incident, state inspectors cited the Roosevelt Island Tramway for not having an operational diesel backup, or Motor-generator system. The State Department of Labor said the system did not pass electrical inspection and could not run when the April 18 power outage took place.

The tramway suspended operations after the April 2006 incident, reopening on September 1, 2006. The tram’s backup electrical systems were refurbished, and “in case of an emergency, each car now is equipped with blankets, water, food, and a toilet with a privacy curtain. Car attendants will carry cell phones with their radios.” [4]


On March 1, 2010, the tramway was closed as part of a $25 million project to upgrade and modernize the system. With the help of the French company Poma, all components were replaced except for the three tower bases. [5] Among the improvements, the new tram cables and cars are now allowed to operate independently of each other in a “dual-haul” system. Prior to this, the cars had to travel at the same time, which presented maintenance and emergency response issues. [6] The old cabins may be preserved on Roosevelt Island and/or a museum. The tramway reopened November 30, 2010, at 11 a.m.The project was completed in nine months, two months longer than originally planned.



1. Cohen, Billie (January 15, 2008). “Roosevelt Island Tram”. The New York Times.
2. Phillips, McCandlish (April 7, 1957). “City’s Last Trolley at End of Line; Buses Will Replace 49-Year Route on Queensboro Span”. The New York Times. p. 1.
3. AP News, April 18, 2006, 10:44 p.m. (ET)
4. AP News, September 1, 2006, 6:52AM (ET)
5. Blaustein, Michael; Namako, Tom (February 26, 2010). “Hangin’ on for a tramway revamp: Roosevelt ride closing for rehab”. New York Post.
6. Kilgannon, Corey (February 28, 2010). “Open & Shut: Chronicle of a Changing City”. The New York Times.


ACTOR – Brian Vaughan

Brian has worked previously with NY Shakespeare Exchange in Pericles (Pericles). Recent regional credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius), Macbeth (Lennox/Young Siward), Taming of the Shrew (Hortensio), and Of Mice and Men (Slim). Brian worships Mark Rylance and is very likely in love with him. Brian is a graduate of the Boston University School of Theatre.


DIRECTOR – Adam Bradley

Adam Bradley is an all-terrain artist: actor, writer, producer, director, and teacher, who has worked and taught all over the world. He has performed in New York, Toronto, Prague, Vancouver, and Edmonton; has had plays produced in Prague and Toronto, has shot short films in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Prague, and has directed theatre in Toronto. He has written four full-length plays, one short play, and has written, directed, and/or produced seven short films. He has also written five feature-length screenplays, three of which are in development, one of which – Cubicle Warriors – will be released theatrically by Main Street Films in early 2014, and one of which – Yesterday Last Year – was shot in 9 days on a budget of $4,500 and is currently in post-production.

His experience working behind the camera, combined with his understanding of the actors’ craft and his willingness to do whatever it takes to get things done, give him a fantastic foundation as an up-and-coming producer. He and his wife Amelia have created a production company, Well-Drawn Dog Productions, whose motto is: “A well-drawn dog is better than a badly-drawn lion,” and which is devoted to telling good stories on modest budgets. Adam and Amelia have set themselves the extraordinarily ambitious goal of producing one short film a month during of 2014, and they’re currently looking for collaborators (contact adam@welldrawndog.com if you’re interested in more information.)

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 52


So am I as the rich, whose blessed key,
Can bring him to his sweet up-locked treasure,
The which he will not every hour survey,
For blunting the fine point of seldom pleasure.
Therefore are feasts so solemn and so rare,
Since, seldom coming in the long year set,
Like stones of worth they thinly placed are,
Or captain jewels in the carcanet.
So is the time that keeps you as my chest,
Or as the wardrobe which the robe doth hide,
To make some special instant special-blest,
By new unfolding his imprisoned pride.
     Blessed are you whose worthiness gives scope,
     Being had, to triumph, being lacked, to hope.



Sonnet 52 sees the beloved as a commodity to be squirreled away, enjoyed sparingly, and envied by friends

Billy compares himself to a miser hoarding treasure. His beloved youth is like a jewel, a stored treasure, a rich garment, a rare feast day, but his rarity means that he is hidden away in chests and locked boxes. The special days when the youth is seen become even more special occasions for their presence, like a favored garment worn on a holiday. The youth is blessed with such great worth that those who are with him feel triumphant, and those who are not hope to be.

Will’s Wordplay

The sexual meaning of “being had” makes interpretation of this line rather difficult. The other half of the line makes it nearly bragging! 

Sugarhouse Prison Window, Police Plaza, Tribeca

You can almost hear the tin cup clinking against the bars… Sugar houses in New York City were used as prisons by occupying British forces during the American Revolutionary War. Out of 2,600 prisoners of war captured during the Battle of Fort Washington in November 1776, 1,900 would die in the following months at makeshift prisons throughout the city.[1] At least 17,500 are estimated to have perished under substandard conditions of such sugar houses and British prison ships over the course of the war, more than double that of casualties from battle.[2]

During the 18th century, a large part of commerce in New York City was trade with the British West Indies. Destined for refineries, sugar and molasses imported from Jamaica and Sint Eustatius were stored in warehouses built by merchant families, such as the Livingstons, Rhinelanders, Roosevelts, and the Van Cortlands.[2]

Rhinelander’s Sugar House

The sugar house on the corner of Rose (now William) Street and Duane Street in Lower Manhattan was a five-story brick warehouse. Built in 1763 by William Rhinelander, the structure originally stored molasses and sugar next to his own residence.[3] When the building fell into disrepair during the early 19th century, locals believed it to be haunted by ghosts of the Revolutionary War prisoners.

However, Brooklyn history professor Edwin G. Burrows believes this sugar house was not used as a prison and that the legend may have originated from local historian Charles I. Bushnell. The old warehouse was replaced by the Rhinelander building, which retained part of the original wall from 1892 to 1968, and continued to receive reports of ghostly sightings in a window. The site is now occupied by the headquarters of the New York City Police Department, near which one of the original barred windows was retained. A section of wall with another window was moved to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.[3]



1. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/scripts/data/database.cgi?file=Data&report=SingleArticle&ArticleID=0011982
2. Wilson, James Grant (1892). “The Memorial History of the City of New-York: From Its First Settlement to the Year 1892”. New York History Company. p. 454.
3. http://www.thevirtualdimemuseum.com/2010/03/rhinelander-sugar-house.html

ACTOR – JC Vasquez

JC Vasquez: some credits include King John – New York Shakespeare Exchange, Romeo and Juliet (Romeo) – Actor’s Shakespeare Company, Macbeth Lab – Actor’s Shakespeare Company, Surrender (Drama Desk nomination) – Ohio Theatre, 3! – PS122, West Side Story – Boheme Opera, Sic (Samuel French Festival winner), Playing with Faun – Lucille Lortel. MFA: Actors Studio/New School for Drama.

DIRECTOR – Charlie Kessler

Charlie is an award-winning filmmaker and graduate of New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. His short films have been showcased in numerous film festivals all over the country, including his most recent film, Montauk, which received a short film prize at the Hamptons Film Festival. He is thrilled to be part of the Sonnet Project!

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 53

What is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
Since every one hath, every one, one shade,
And you but one, can every shadow lend.
Describe Adonis, and the counterfeit
Is poorly imitated after you;
On Helen’s cheek all art of beauty set,
And you in Grecian tires are painted new:
Speak of the spring, and foison of the year,
The one doth shadow of your beauty show,
The other as your bounty doth appear;
And you in every blessed shape we know.
     In all external grace you have some part,
     But you like none, none you, for constant heart.

Sonnet 53 claims that all that is good in the world is just a reflection of the beloved’s wonderful qualities.

Willy wonders aloud what the young man is made of that allows his reflection to appear in myriad ways? Normal people have only one shadow, but this splendid young fellow is reflected in everything. Paintings of Adonis are only a faint imitation of him; and Helen of Troy is merely him in Greek dress. To talk of springtime or harvest time is to speak of mere shadows of his beauty and fruitfulness. He is in every beautiful thing Willy sees, but one way in which he is unique is in fidelity like none other.
Scholar’s Corner
Many scholars note the Platonic underpinnings of the poem. The theory is that most of our experience is merely a shadow of reality. Every ideal or form has its shadow in the material world, and all material things derive their shape and existence from these forms and therefore have something of the ideal in them, but it is only a severely restricted version of the ideal[1]. In Willy’s eye, the young man is this pure ideal that can barely be grasped.
1. Wikipedia – Allegory of the Cave

Isamu Noguchi Museum, Queens
The Noguchi Museum, chartered as The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, was designed and created by the Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Opening on a limited basis to the public in 1985 the purpose of the museum and foundation was and remains to preserve and display Noguchi’s sculptures, architectural models, stage designs, drawings, and furniture designs. The two story museum and adjacent sculpture garden, located in Long Island City section of Queens, one block from the Socrates Sculpture Park, underwent major renovations in 2004 allowing the museum to stay open year round.
To house the museum, in 1974 Noguchi purchased a photogravure plant and gas station located across the street from his New York studio, where he had worked and lived since 1961.[2] The Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum opened to the public in 1985 on a seasonal basis. In 1999 the Foundation Board approved a $13.5 million Capital Master Plan to address structural concerns, ADA and NYC Building Code compliance and create a new public education facility. During renovation, the Museum relocated to a temporary space in Sunnyside, Queens, and held several thematic exhibitions of Noguchi’s work. In February 2004, the museum was formally chartered as a museum, and granted 501(c)(3) public charity status. The Noguchi Museum reopened to the public at its newly renovated space in June 2004. The museum building continued to suffer from structural issues into the early 2000s and a second $8 million stabilization project was begun in September of 2008. [1]
About the Museum
“The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum is devoted to the preservation, documentation, presentation, and interpretation of the work of Isamu Noguchi. The Museum, the first in America established by a living artist of his own work, contains the world’s richest holdings of Noguchi’s art.”

“The Museum seeks to honor and preserve the unique setting designed by Noguchi and to exhibit a core group of works for permanent viewing. Through changing exhibitions and educational programs the Museum aims to illuminate the interrelation of his sculpture, works on paper, architecture, and designs for furniture, lighting, landscapes, and theater, as well as the intellectual environment in which the works were shaped.” [2]
Tree of Heaven
Until March 26, 2008, a 60-foot (18 m)-tall 75 year old Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) was a prominent centerpiece of the sculpture garden at the museum. The tree was spared by Noguchi when in 1975 he bought the building which would become the museum and cleaned up its back lot. “[I]n a sense, the sculpture garden was designed around the tree”, said a former aide to Noguchi, Bonnie Rychlak, who later became the museum curator. By early 2008 the tree was found to be dying and might have crashed into the building, which was about to undergo an $8.2 million renovation. The museum hired the Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop, an artists’ collective, to use the wood to make benches, sculptures and other amenities in and around the building. [3]
1. Sinking Noguchi Museum gets $8M. New York Daily News. March 21, 2008.
2. http://www.noguchi.org/museum/mission
3. A Tree that Survived a Sculpor’s Chisel is Chopped Down Collins, Glen (March 27, 2008). New York Times

ACTOR – Nina Fleck
Originally from Germany, Fleck left Fashion to pursue acting and directing in NYC. Her love for theater, led her to direct her first play Gentrified Minds which premiered at the Downtown Urban Theater Festival in 2011.

As of 2012, Nina Fleck is working on her first feature film entitled Beyond the Ashes. The film focuses on one woman’s civil disobedience in an unjust system and the consequences that follow.

DIRECTOR – Sriya Sarkar
Sriya Sarkar is an NYC-based writer, director, editor, and producer. A recent graduate of the film program at NYU Tisch, she has worked at the BBC, Comedy Central, Discovery, and Upworthy, among others. She currently freelances in the ever lucrative and predictable production world. She is also a member of the improv and sketch comedy group, The Improvisation News Team, which boasts a surprising number of Shakespeare aficionados. Her short film, Rocket Man, is currently in post-production. More captivating details and links to her work can be found at www.about.me/sriyasarkar
CINEMATOGRAPHER – Olivia Divecchia
Olivia Divecchia graduated from Southern Methodist University in 2010 with a BFA in photography. She now resides in New York where she is pursuing fine art photography and cinematography. Her work can be viewed at www.oliviadivecchia.com
SOUND MIXER – Alexa Harris
Alexa A. Harris is a Washington,DC-based producer. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Masters degree in Documentary Film and History and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Spelman College. She also holds a doctorate in Communication from Howard University. Alexa also completed a certificate program in Producing for Television and Film from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She has worked in television for nearly ten years, in the script department for an array of variety-genre shows. Most recently, she has conducted research, provided recommendations, and executed solutions to meet the needs of clients ranging from non-profit organizations to production companies at her own boutique consulting practice. She also facilitates media literacy, self esteem, and production workshops for middle and high school students. Through each of her projects, she hopes to educate, empower and inspire audiences to think critically and strive to be change agents.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 54

Sakura 1 sakura2

O! how much more doth beauty beauteous seem
By that sweet ornament which truth doth give.
The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
For that sweet odour, which doth in it live.
The canker blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumed tincture of the roses,
Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly
When summer’s breath their masked buds discloses:
But, for their virtue only is their show,
They live unwoo’d, and unrespected fade;
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made:
     And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
     When that shall vade, my verse distills your truth.

Sonnet 54 espouses that truest beauty is the kind to leave something after it is gone, in this case the poetry inspired by the beloved.

Bill opines how much more beautiful beauty is when it is true. The rose is pretty but we make it seem even prettier based on its smell. Canker blooms (wild roses) have the same color as the perfumed roses. But this is all for show, they live unnoticed and disrespected and die alone. Roses do not have this fate, after they die you can still smell them. But Bill assures the youth that while his beauty and bloom will die with him, Bill’s words will linger like perfume after.
Will’s Wordplay
This poem is a comparison between two flowers that are representations of the youth’s beauty. Shakespeare compares these flowers, which vary greatly in their appearance, although they are essentially the same kind of flower, it is obvious that the “canker-blooms” or wild roses are less desirable than that the other.

Canker buds are also referred to as “unwooed”, like an undesirable woman.Although the wind plays wantonly with them,it is not serious wooing with the intention of marriage, and therefore they are left on the shelf. Poor wild roses…
Scholar’s Corner
Katharine Duncan Jones gives us the botanical business: “There is an additional problem about Shakespeare’s contrast between ‘The rose’ and ‘The canker blooms’. It is strongly implied that the latter have no scent, and cannot be distilled into rose-water: for their virtue only is their show… Yet it is clear that some wild roses, especially the sweet briar or eglantine, had a sweet, though not powerful, fragrance, and could be culled for distillation and conservation when better, red, roses were not available: their ‘virtues’ were identical”. [1]
1. Katherine Duncan-Jones. “Deep-dyed canker blooms: botanical reference in Shakespeare’s Sonnet,” The Review of English Studies 46.n184 (Nov 1995): pp521(5).54.

Sakura Park, Manhattan
Enjoy the cherry blossoms in Sakura Park. Located between Riverside Church and International House, the Park owes its name to the more than 2000 cherry trees delivered to parks in New York City from Japan in 1912 as a gift from the Committee of Japanese Residents of New York.

This 18-day celebration, which commemorated the 100th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s innovative demonstration of the steam-powered boat on the Hudson River and the 300th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery and exploration of that river, took place throughout the state of New York.  However, the steamer that carried the original delivery of cherry trees from Japan was lost at sea.  A new shipment of trees arrived in New York City in 1912, and they were planted in Riverside and Sakura Parks at that time.

Land for Sakura Park was purchased from John D. Rockefeller by the City of New York as an easterly extension of Riverside Park in 1896.  Also known as Claremont Park, this land directly east of Grant’s Tomb featured rolling terrain with a curvilinear path system and benches facing the Hudson.  With a donation from Mr. Rockefeller, the City hired the firm of Olmsted Brothers as landscape architects to redesign the park in 1932.

The two year process included grading the site and laying formal paths to create rectangular plots of grass and shrubs, enclosed by hedges and fencing.  A massive buttressed retaining wall, whose design reproduced that of the wall surrounding Kenilworth Abbey in England, was built on the eastern border of the park along Claremont Avenue. The park was reopened to the public on May 25, 1934.

A monument to General Daniel Butterfield (1831-1901) was erected in 1918 in the southeast corner of Sakura Park. Sculpted by Gutzon Borglum, who also designed Mount Rushmore, the bronze Butterfield monument depicts the Civil War hero standing on a rock with his arms crossed and hat cocked.  Butterfield, a Union soldier who rose to the rank of major-general and chief of staff of the Army of the Potomac, is best known for composing Taps, the melancholy bugle call performed during military funerals and memorial ceremonies.

A stone Japanese tori, or lantern, was donated to Sakura Park by the City of Tokyo and officially dedicated on ctober 10, 1960 with Crown Prince Akihito, now Emperor of Japan, and Princess Michiko in attendance.  A common fixture in traditional Japanese gardens, this tori was made from the native rock of Japan.  Its inscription read: “Presented by the citizens of the Metropolis of Tokyo to the citizens of the City of New York in celebration of the Tokyo-New York sister-city affiliation inaugurated on February 29th, 1960.”  In 1987, the Crown Prince and Princess personally rededicated the ten-foot tall lantern in a ceremony hosted by Mayor Edward I. Koch and Parks Commissioner Stern.

In 1981 the architectural firm of Quennell Rothschild Associates was engaged to renovate Sakura Park.  The capital reconstruction included the installment of a play area for toddlers and plantings of linden trees, barberry shrubs, and several varieties of Japanese cherry trees.  A pavilion, which is used as a performance space by the Manhattan School of Music, was also added to the park.

At the 1986 ribbon-cutting ceremony, Japanese Consul Hideo Nomoto stated: “In Japan, the sakura is a symbol of renewal and bright promise.  The appearance of their fragile blossoms each spring strikes a resonant note in all Japanese.  New Yorkers can enjoy cherry trees once again in Sakura Park, an island of calm on the hectic island of Manhattan.”[1]
Sonnet Project
Sakura Park was the featured location for Sonnet 54, performed by (name?), directed by (name?). The video was released on (date?)
1.   http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/sakurapark/history

ACTOR – Gabrielle Beans
Gabrielle (Gabby) Beans is a rising Senior double majoring in Neuroscience and Theater at Columbia University. The daughter of a physician and a military man, she has lead a rather nomadic existence having lived throughout the US and in Germany. Now however, she’s feeling strangely attached to the city and balks at the thought of moving away after graduation. She recently returned from Skidmore campus in gorgeous Saratoga Springs where she participated in the SITI Company Summer Intensive. Though acting has always been one of her passions, the joy of acting Shakespeare has been a more recent development. It is for this reason that Gabrielle is so excited to be part of the Sonnet Project, playing her part in helping others to access such rich and profound language!

DIRECTOR – Charlie Gillette
Charlie Gillette just graduated from Columbia University with a degree in film studies. She was a member of the King’s Crown Shakespeare Troupe all four years of college and is honored to be a part of the Sonnet Project. The next year will be full of changes and adventures as she prepares for the next stages in her career and life. Charlie hopes to continue acting and making films in New York City and of course bringing Shakespeare to everyone.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 55

9-11 2 9-11 1

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear’d with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword, nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death, and all oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
     So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
     You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.
Sonnet 55 promises the beloved that absolutely nothing time or man can do will impede his immortality in verse and the hearts of those who remember.

Shakespeare makes some very big promises here. His words will outlive stone monuments, the young man flattered more than by statues that can be harmed by time and war. No war or fire can eradicate a memento that lives on; thus he will live past death, still a subject of admiration until the end of all time. To live in words and in those who love him is the strongest form of immortality.
Will’s Wordplay
“upswept stone” is stone left uncared for.Those in cathedrals and churches would generally be kept clean and polished. But older monuments in churchyards gradually would be forgotten and fall to ruin, as the living memory of its builders and inhabitants died out.
“sluttish” was used in Shakespeare’s time to refer to both men and women of questionable morals or slovenly habits, and here it refers to time’s tendency toward chaos and disorder.
“living record” being more immortal than monuments means that you live as long as someone who loves you lives.
Scholar’s Corner
Ernest Fontana focuses on the epithet “sluttish time.” The Oxford English Dictionary gives “sluttish” two definitions: 1) dirty, careless, slovenly (which can refer to objects and persons of both sexes) and 2) lewd, morally loose, and whorish. According to Fontana, Shakespeare intended the second meaning, personifying and assigning gender to time, making the difference between the young man sonnets and the dark lady sonnets all the more obvious. Shakespeare had used the word “slut” nearly a year before he wrote sonnet 55 when he wrote Timon of Athens. In the play, Timon associates the word “slut” with “whore” and venereal disease. Associating “sluttish” with venereal disease makes Shakespeare’s use of the word “besmeared” more specific. Fontana states: “The effect of time, personified as a whore, on the hypothetical stone statue of the young man, is identified in metaphor with the effect of syphilis on the body—the statue will be besmeared, that is, covered, with metaphoric blains, lesions, and scars.” (Female) time destroys whereas the male voice of the sonnet is “generative and vivifying.” [1]
1. Fontana, E. “Shakespeare’s Sonnet 55.” The Explicator v. 45 (Spring 1987) p. 6-8. EBSCO Host Database

9/11 Memorial
This is a spot in the city and the nation which has experienced great tragedy, and it is now a place of even greater remembrance…The September 11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks upon the United States in New York City and the Washington, D.C. area on Tuesday September 11, 2001.

Four passenger airliners were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists so they could be flown into buildings in suicide attacks. Two of those planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were crashed into the North and South towers, respectively, of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. Within two hours, both towers collapsed with debris and the resulting fires causing partial or complete collapse of all other buildings in the WTC complex, as well as major damage to ten other large surrounding structures. A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, was crashed into the Pentagon (the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense), leading to a partial collapse in its western side. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, was targeted at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., but crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after its passengers tried to overcome the hijackers. In total, almost 3,000 people died in the attacks, including the 227 civilians and 19 hijackers aboard the four planes.
About the Memorial
“The National September 11 Memorial is a tribute of remembrance and honor to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in February 1993.

The Memorial’s twin reflecting pools are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest manmade waterfalls in the North America. The pools sit within the footprints where the Twin Towers once stood. Architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker created the Memorial design selected from a global design competition that included more than 5,200 entries from 63 nations.

The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels edging the Memorial pools, a powerful reminder of the largest loss of life resulting from a foreign attack on American soil and the greatest single loss of rescue personnel in American history.” [1]
Sonnet Project
The 9/11Memorial was the featured location for Sonnet 55, performed by Amanda Holston, directed by Estefania Fadul. The video was released on June 28, 2013.
1. http://www.911memorial.org/about-memorial

ACTOR – Amanda Holston
Amanda is thrilled to be part of the NY Shakespeare Exchange team. Producing, acting, and coaching for The Sonnet Project has been a wonderful creative outlet for her growing passion for Shakespeare’s works. Amanda began her affair with the Bard during her undergraduate studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she played Jessica in The Merchant of Venice. While pursuing her graduate degree at Brooklyn College, Shakespeare’s language was a strong undercurrent of the training, adding fuel to the fire. Amanda is honored to be part of a company that is casting the Sonnets into the hands of all who wish to experience Shakespeare through a new lens.


DIRECTOR – Estefania Fadul
Estefania Fadul is a New York City-based director and producer. She is the co-founder and artistic director of Pleiades Productions, a theatre company through which she most recently directed Well by Lisa Kron. Other stage credits include Selvish by Carlyn Flint, Garden of Ashes by Jan O’Connor (Looking Glass NYC Writer/Director Forum; winner ‘Best Directorial Debut’), Susan Glaspell’s Trifles (Experimental Theatre of Vassar College), and Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire (Experimental Theatre of Vassar College senior thesis project), for which she was awarded the Molly Thacher Kazan Prize for distinction in the theatre arts. In 2010, Estefania wrote, directed, produced, and edited her first short film BEAUTY MARK, which had its premiere screening at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner. She has assistant directed on various NY-area productions, including for Tony-nominee Sheryl Kaller (Powerhouse/NYSAF and LCT3), Elise Thoron (Public Theater), and Michael Barakiva. She is a proud graduate of Vassar College, where she was a co-founder and member of Idlewild All-female Theatre Ensemble. www.estefaniafadul.com. www.pleiadesproductions.org

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 57

Yankee Tavern

Being your slave what should I do but tend
Upon the hours, and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend;
Nor services to do, till you require.
Nor dare I chide the world without end hour,
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour,
When you have bid your servant once adieu;
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought
Save, where you are, how happy you make those.
     So true a fool is love, that in your will,
     Though you do anything, he thinks no ill.
In Sonnet 57, the poet is portrayed as a content slave to love.

Bill counts himself as a slave, bound to wait upon the youth. He has nothing to do with his time until he is asked. He does not grow angry with clock-watching tedium while he waits to be asked, he doesn’t think bitterly on his master in this waiting absence, and he doesn’t wonder jealously what the youth may be doing and with whom, save to think sadly on how happy he is making those around him. This is what it is to be in love– foolishly in service and happy about it.
Will’s Wordplay
In a world where servants were ubiquitous, the word service was much more frequently used than it is nowadays. Shakespeare uses it only twice in the sonnets, here and in 149. This is the only use of it in the sonnets to the youth, although the chivalric tradition of devotion to a beloved (usually a woman) through thick and thin embraced the idea of service and slavery.

The couplet’s reference to”do anything” is about the youth’s licentiousness. The fears raised in the previous lines make it inevitable that this has a meaning of sexual unfaithfulness, a betrayal of love, a meaning that is enhanced by ill at the end of the line. The poet thinks no ill because love has made a fool of him.
Scholar’s Corner
Literary critics such as David Schalkwyk see this sonnet as playing out a relationship with unequal power. “This sonnet’s hyperbolic reference to slavery invokes more clearly the late-sixteenth-century, almost wholly pejorative sense of vassalage…”.[11] With the first lines of the sonnet, “Being your slave what should I do but tend Upon the hours, and times of your desire?” Shakespeare seemingly emphasises a class or power difference between himself and the youth that the sonnet addresses. Schalkwyk goes on to say “This declaration of abject powerlessness (i.e. aforementioned slavery) pushes the notion of vassalage away from that of feudal reciprocity toward a commonplace early modern conception of the servant as utterly, submissive, silent and undemanding”. During this period servitude was not viewed then as we view it today, but as something quietly accepted, linking to Shakespeare’s “servitude” to the youth as accepting the fact that his rank in society was less than the addressee, and that his position as “slave” nothing more than a simple fact.
1. Schalkwyk, David. Love and Service in “Twelfth Night” and the Sonnets. (Pps. 76-100). Shakespeare Quarterly, Folger Shakespeare Library in association with George Washington University.

Yankee Tavern

“Family owned since 1923, the Yankee Tavern was once a watering hole for Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, and Babe Ruth (who was known to buy a round after the game). These days the extensive surf-turf-and-pasta menu draws a crowd of middle-aged fans and nearby courthouse employees. At the long bar in front, both groups chow on wings while listening to loud rock or watching a flat screen TV; in the narrow backroom (renovated by owner Joe Bastone who’s worked here since he was 10), art deco lights gleam off the pressed-tin ceiling, while cherry-colored wood chairs tucked under two-tops share real estate with banquettes painted bomber blue. Every bit of wall space pays homage to the home team:players’ posters, photos of Joltin’ Joe and Jason Giambi, a bat signed by Berra over the bar. On game days, when hours are often extended, dear departed Yankee fanatic Freddy Sez was known to stop by to bang his shamrock-adorned frying pan, too.” — Leslie Hendrickson, NY Mag [1]
Sonnet Project
Yankee Tavern was the featured location for Sonnet 57, performed by (name?), directed by (name?). The video was released on (date?)
1. http://nymag.com/listings/bar/Yankee-Tavern/

Actor, singer and writer Maya Jordan, is a University of Michigan graduate. She is thrilled to be in New York to continue in her performance and creative endeavors. Maya is a self-proclaimed nerd (for example, she reads Beowulf for fun), professional daydreamer, and volunteer enthusiast. Her goal is to be a light for people in dark places, when all other lights go out. Maya is so grateful for and would like to dedicate all of her creative pursuits to Robert, to her Mom, to her family and friends as well as to the memory of Jim Posante, her first mentor. Some people wear “I’d rather be golfing” t-shirts or have “I’d rather be fishing” bumper stickers well for Maya it is “I’d rather be doing Shakespeare”. Is it perhaps because she was spoon-fed Shakespeare from her mother who is an English professor, or maybe because some of her happiest performance experiences have been when in a Shakespeare play? Both are contributing factors. The main reason is the simple (and unoriginal, she fears) fact that Maya loves Shakespeare, the language, characters, stories and his great understanding of the human condition. So yes, Maya would rather be doing Shakespeare, it comes naturally to her and it always feels like coming home. In New York, Maya has been fortunate enough to work with John Basil at The American Globe Theater, Bare Shakespeare and Bradley Dean at the Singer’s Forum just to name a few. In 2011 Maya was featured in Never Say Goodbye Twice which won Best Comedy in the 48 Hour Guerrilla Film Competition. Some of Maya’s favorite Shakespearean roles to play include, Hermia, Kate and Caliban. Beyond Shakespeare some favorite past roles have been, Consuelo in Waiting Women with The Actor’s Project NYC, Donna-Mae in The First & Last Annual Homeless Fashion Show written by New York playwright Collette Johnson, and Winifred in Once Upon a Mattress. Please visit Maya’s website www.mayaj.com for more details, Thank You!

Daniel, a military brat whose childhood consisted of constant traveling, developed an early interest and desire to capture and retain places in his life. This manifested in an interest in photography and motion pictures. More than a director, Daniel considers himself part of the emerging artists scene dealing with the contemporary meanings of art and human desire to share experiences. Daniel has worked in film over the past 5 years in both Louisiana and New York City. For more information, visit www.DanielLachman.com, www.daniellachman.tumblr.com, www.retrocamerareview.tumblr.com, https://vimeo.com/daniellachman

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 58

That god forbid, that made me first your slave,
I should in thought control your times of pleasure,
Or at your hand the account of hours to crave,
Being your vassal, bound to stay your leisure!
O! let me suffer, being at your beck,
The imprison’d absence of your liberty;
And patience, tame to sufferance, bide each check,
Without accusing you of injury.
Be where you list, your charter is so strong
That you yourself may privilege your time
To what you will; to you it doth belong
Yourself to pardon of self-doing crime.
     I am to wait, though waiting so be hell,
     Not blame your pleasure be it ill or well.

Sonnet 58 sees the poet an emotionally enslaved lover, the object of his affections behaving wantonly while he quietly suffers, unquestioning.

Willy prays that the god of love who emotionally enslaved him to the youth also keeps him from ever getting too controlling. He doesn’t want to ask the young man to account for his time. As the youth’s servant he has no choice but to accept his decisions and suffer patiently, waiting for his time to receive attentions. But this does Willy no injury. The youth has the power not only to decide for himself, but also to pardon himself for crimes in love. And even though waiting is hell for Willy, he remains patient with the young man’s actions, good or bad.
Will’s Wordplay
“At your hand” refers to hand writing; directly from you, from your hand.

The meaning of “imprison’d absence of your liberty” is approximately ‘the self imprisonment that falls on me due to your absence, and as a result of your enjoyment of your own liberty’. Imprisonment calls up the opposite idea of liberty; the pain and suffering is caused by the loved one’s absence and infidelity and metaphorically imprisons the poet in the dark world of his own tortured reflections. Liberty also carries the idea of wantonness and libertinism.


White Horse Tavern, Manhattan
What does it take to get some service around here? The White Horse Tavern earned its place in history when Dylan Thomas supposedly died waiting for a drink.

“Whether or not you have the Great American Novel in your head, you can still get blasted at this nostalgic high temple of the Alcoholic Artist. The scene today is characterized less by sailors, workers and bohemian writers (like Dylan Thomas, a regular back in the day, whose portrait hangs in the bar’s middle room) than by a mix of locals, NYU students and tourists, but the surroundings haven’t changed much. After a dozen whiskies or so (legend has it that Dylan’s record was eighteen), you might even indulge the fantasy that you can afford to write poetry, live here in the West Village and still have money left over to drink. (Oh, by the way, those eighteen drams killed Thomas several days later.)” — Andrew Yamato, NY Mag [1]
Literary Clientele
The White Horse is perhaps most famous as the place where Dylan Thomas drank heavily, returned to the Chelsea Hotel, became ill, and died a few days later of unrelated causes. Other famous patrons include James Baldwin, Bob Dylan, Richard Farina, Norman Mailer, Jim Morrison, Delmore Schwartz, Hunter S. Thompson, and Mary Travers.

Another of the White Horse’s famous patrons is Jack Kerouac, who was bounced from the establishment more than once. Because of this someone scrawled on the bathroom wall: “JACK GO HOME!” At that time, Kerouac was staying in an apartment in the building located on the northwest corner of West 11th St.

About the same time, the White Horse was a gathering-place for labor members and organizers and socialists, as well. The Catholic Workers hung out here and the idea for the Village Voice was discussed here. The Village Voice original offices were within blocks of the White Horse. Much of the content was discussed here by the editors, a practice we at NYSX believe would be much approved by W. Shakespeare.
1. New York Magazine – White Horse Tavern


ACTOR – Mary Ann Walsh
Recent NYC credits: The Unauthorized Biography of Dr. Irma King (TheatreRow), Cradle To Gravy (TheatreRow), Second Skin(Vineyard Theater), Stained Glasseds (Dixon Place Theater),The Drafts Year Long Reading Series (Horse Trade Theater), Any May Now (Nico’s Spoon Theater), Julius Caesar, Dancing At Lughnasa, Top Girls, The Thugs (Brooklyn College), Hayfever (NY Center Stage), Conquest of the Universe (Peculiar Works/Ohio Theater), Eula Mae’s Beauty, Bait and Tackle (The Duplex Theater), The Frogs (American Globe Theater), Dipteracon The Flies (LaMama Theater), Better and Worse (Peculiar Works/Judson).

Film/TV/Web: includes Baby Showers, The Sonnet Project, Hustler, Tea Party, Mo Goes To College, The Replacements, Ladder 49, Swimmers, National Treasure, Enemy of the State, Scrubs, Law and Order, Homicide.

Improv shows: with She’s Like the Wind at Upright Citizens Brigade, RAFFI, 78th Street Theater, The Pit, and numerous locations around NYC, Joe Loves Hobos at Under St. Marks, and Improv Nite at Upright Citizens Brigade Theater

Selected regional credits: Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding, Rumplestilkin’s Daughter, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, Rudolph the Red Hosed Reindeer, Much Ado About Nothing, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Insect Play, Jeffery, Our Miss Brooks, The Reindeer Eight, Betty’s Summer Vacation, The Foreigner, Hamlet

Training: MFA from Brooklyn College and Proud member, AEA, SAG/AFTRA

DIRECTOR – Olivier Bertin
Olivier Bertin is a New York City-based film director and writer. Born and raised in France, he started out by working in post-production for France-based companies such as Arte and CMC, focusing on translation and subtitling work.

After moving to New York in 2008, he continued work in subtitling on feature films such as Jean-Luc Godard’s À bout de souffle, Robert Bresson’s Diary of a Country Priest or Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job.

In 2012, he co-founded the INN Films with producer Rachel Spurrier. His most recent film credits include two features: L’Absinthe (2013) and A Woman In New York (2012), as well as a variety of short films, which he wrote and directed.

He is currently writing a feature film screenplay as well as a play.
Matt Nared:
Matt is currently studying with David vadim. An actor for almost 4 years, he appeared in Off-Broadway shows in such venues as the TriBeCa Performing Arts Center and in various films such as A Woman In New York (2012) or Queens Film Festival gem Just Another Part Of Me (2013).

Evan Hall:
Evan Hall has been working in both theater and film since the age of 12 when he starred as Oliver in the musical Oliver! Since then, he has attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and now studies at the Maggie Flanigan Meisner Studio in New York City. Evan has been featured in a variety of short films and stage productions. His latest film work include the lead in L’Absinthe (2013) and In Searching (2014).

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 59

If there be nothing new, but that which is
Hath been before, how are our brains beguil’d,
Which labouring for invention bear amiss
The second burthen of a former child.
Oh that record could with a backward look,
Even of five hundred courses of the sun,
Show me your image in some antique book,
Since mind at first in character was done,
That I might see what the old world could say
To this composed wonder of your frame;
Whether we are mended, or where better they,
Or whether revolution be the same.
Oh sure I am the wits of former days,
To subjects worse have given admiring praise.



Sonnet 59 questions if time is cyclical, and if so, is writing about the beloved something that you would find in the annals of history?

Will wonders aloud if there’s nothing new and everything that now exists existed in the past, then we must be fooling ourselves when we struggle to write something new, winding up, after much exhausting, painful labor, with only an imitation of an imitation! If he could look back a few hundred years he would find depiction of the young man written when writing was still being learned, and he would see praise of the youth’s beauty. he could also compare the writings on it to see if we’ve gotten better, worse, or whether things have stayed the same. Surely writers of the past devoted praise and admiration to worse subjects than this youth.


Will’s Wordplay

“If there be nothing new” hearkens to biblical Ecclesiastes 1.9: “The thing that hath been is that which shall be; and that which hath been done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun.”

“five hundred courses of the sun” is five hundred years.


New York State Pavilion, Queens

No, those aren’t spaceships. They’re the Observation towers in the New York State Pavilion, one of the last vestiges of the 1964 World’s Fair.

“The New York State Pavilion was constructed for the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Designed by architect Philip Johnson (born 1906), the “Tent of Tomorrow” measures 350 feet by 250 feet, with sixteen 100-foot columns suspending a 50,000 square-foot roof of multi-colored panels. The popular exhibit for the state of New York also held three towers, measuring 60 feet, 150 feet, and 226 feet. The two shorter towers held cafeterias for the fair, and the tallest tower, as the highest point of the fair, held an observation deck. Fair visitors ascended the towers in the “Sky Streak” capsule elevators.

The pavilion included a display from the New York State Power Authority with a 26-foot scale replica of the St. Lawrence hydroelectric plant. The pavilion’s mezzanine featured art from local museums and information about the state’s industries along a path called “Highways through New York.” The Fine Arts Gallery showed pieces from the Hudson River School and portraits of New York State colonists. Approximately six million people visited the New York State Pavilion.

Perhaps the most spectacular feature of the exhibit was the Texaco Company’s map of New York State. The map was designed with 567 terrazzo mosaic panels, each weighing 400 pounds. Rand McNally & Company assisted in constructing the $1,000,000 map, which featured the 50,000 square miles of New York State in meticulous detail. The cities, towns, highways, roads, and Texaco stations were accurately mapped in the 9,000 square-foot design. After the fair, the space under the tent was used as a roller skating rink and as a performance space by the Council for International Recreation, Culture, and Lifelong Education. By 1976, the roof above the map became unstable and the tent was removed, exposing the map of New York State to the ravages of weather.

The New York State Pavilion also included the adjacent “Theaterama,” which exhibited pop art works by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) and Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) among others. The “Theaterama” also screened a 360-degree film about the wonders of New York State, from Jones Beach to Niagara Falls. The space was converted to the Queens Playhouse in 1972 with its first production, George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion,” opening in October of the same year. The theater continued to operate until 1985 and was renovated and reopened in 1994. Borough President Claire Shulman, the Department of Cultural Affairs, the City Council, and private donors funded the $4 million renovation.

Other improvements of the fairgrounds include a $24,000 partial reconstruction of the lower tower of the New York State Pavilion funded by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani in 1998, and a $165,000 lighting installation for the Queens Theatre-In-The-Park funded by Borough President Claire Shulman in 1999. Visible from the Grand Central Parkway, the Van Wyck Expressway, and the Long Island Expressway, and located near the Unisphere and the New York City Building, the New York State Pavilion remains an important, historical landmark of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.” [1]



1. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/flushing-meadows-corona-park/highlights/12632


ACTOR – Robert Gomes

Robert Gomes has acted on Broadway, Off Broadway, regionally, and in numerous film and television roles. His Shakespeare credits include Iachimo in Cymbeline and Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, both for New Jersey Shakespeare Theatre. He is a playwright, screenwriter, and is the producer of the award-winning short film Deflated. He is honored to be a part of The Sonnet Project.


DIRECTOR – Karla Braithwaite

Karla Braithwaite is a digital filmmaker who specializes in creating virtual realities for her films.


Prologue to Sonnet 59

My father was a professional photographer. He and my mother went to the 1964 World’s Fair in Corona Park, New York. My father walked those sidewalks. He breathed that air. He looked around, saw the buildings, saw the people, saw the life and captured those moments on film. I can no longer see him, or hear his voice, but now 50 years later, I had the opportunity to walk the same path and through my eyes and my craft, breath life back into images from those days of old.

Ecclesiastes 1:9
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 60

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown’d,
Crooked eclipses ‘gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty’s brow,
Feeds on the rarities of nature’s truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
     And yet to times in hope, my verse shall stand
     Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.



Sonnet 60 is an exploration of mortality, with strong metaphors for and personifications of Time, and a belief in the immortality of words.

Shakespeare compares the movement of time to the waves moving toward the pebbled shore, each moment striving to move forward. Everything that has been born, though it existed in the world before birth, crawls into maturity, where it faces cruel obstacles to its glory. Time is both a giver of gifts and a destroyer, piercing the beauty of youth, aging it. It devours the beauty in nature; nothing escapes it. But Shakespeare knows the power of words, that his verses will last into the future, continuing to praise the young man’’s worth despite mortality.


Will’s Wordplay

The imagery of “minutes hastening to their end” calls to mind the disappearance and dissipation of each wave as it beats on the shore. The sea as such is not an obvious simile of human life, as it continues almost forever, whereas our life so patently has an ending. But the individual waves mimic the disappearance of the minutes. The sonnet seems to be placed deliberately at this point, as number 60, to coincide with the 60 minutes of the hour.

“crawl” is both as a baby and suggestive of slowness. Youth seems to last forever until it is gone. And again, the slow crawl in advanced age.

An eclipse was considered to be a dangerous event. Reversals of fortune could be attributed to their influence. “Eclipses” here has a general meaning of blight, ill fortune, or setbacks


Prospect Park Dog Run, Brooklyn

This location features the dog-friendliest spot in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park!

The Dog Beach
“There aren’t many places in the ol’ Big Apple where dogs can frolic and play in the water and catch a Frisbee on the beach. Except Prospect Park, where that’s exactly the case. Just off the Long Meadow Beach at the Pools, dogs can run off-leash and catch a cool down during the hottest summer days. And trekking there from Manhattan is a worthy day trip – there’s more to do at Prospect Park than just throw ball. The huge amount of space welcomes picnics and games, and there are 585 acres of woodlands, waterways and trails to explore with your pup, family and friends.” [1]



1. http://www.dogspin.com/nyc-dog-runs-parks/prospect-park-dog-beach-yes-its-a-swimming-hole-just-for-dogs/


ACTOR – Christopher McFarland

Christopher’s recent Shakespeare credits include Roderigo in Othello at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Touchstone in As You Like It at the Guthrie, Enobarbus in Antony and Cleopatra at Opera House Arts, Iago in Othello at Allentown Shakespeare, Hubert in King John for the New York Shakespeare Exchange, and coming up next, Pisanio in Cymbeline at the Yale Repertory Theatre. He also spent six seasons as a resident company member at the Arizona Shakespeare Festival, where, amongst other roles, he gave his Hamlet. Non-Shakespearean work includes Lennie in Of Mice and Men with the Acting Company, Captain Iditarod in Spacebar at The Wild Project, Tommy in Pride in the Falls of Autrey Mill at the Signature Theatre, Rubini in Golden Age at Philadelphia Theatre Company and the Kennedy Center, and Il Capitano Nariz de Foyar in Even Maybe Tammy at the Flea. He hails from San Francisco, CA, and received his MFA from the Yale School of Drama.


DIRECTOR – Mike Fitzgerald

Mike Fitzgerald is a filmmaker and TV editor who is thinking pretty seriously about getting a dog. His most recent short film “In Prague” was screened at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival and the Big Apple Film Festival. His educational-comedy web series “Learnin’ with Vermin” aims to explain basic concepts about elections using the chalkboard of farce. He has directed numerous other short films and music videos. As an editor for TV, he has cut content for networks including IFC, A&E, MTV, Lifetime and more. He currently edits the true-crime series “On the Case with Paula Zahn” for Investigation Discovery. Mike has cut dozens of pitch reels for TV networks, including the pitch that spawned Jersey Shore (sorry). He spent two years as a development producer for factual TV, wherein he contributed to the genesis of various shows, including “3 Days to Open” with Bobby Flay. He co-directed a production of “Pains of Youth” at the Access Theater in New York, appeared in “Julius Caesar” at the Theater for the New City, and played Jesus in a farce about – well, sort of about Jesus. Before all that he worked nights shifts as an assistant editor, sweated and froze as a production assistant (and drove Tony Danza around for two days), taught sailing and swimming at a summer camp, and earned his bachelor’s degree in film production from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He lives in Astoria with his beautiful wife, and spends his free time writing screenplays.
His other work is on his website at mikefitzgeraldfilm.com

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 61

lighthouse 2 lighthouse 1

Is it thy will, thy image should keep open
My heavy eyelids to the weary night?
Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken,
While shadows like to thee do mock my sight?
Is it thy spirit that thou send’st from thee
So far from home into my deeds to pry,
To find out shames and idle hours in me,
The scope and tenor of thy jealousy?
O, no! thy love, though much, is not so great:
It is my love that keeps mine eye awake:
Mine own true love that doth my rest defeat,
To play the watchman ever for thy sake:
     For thee watch I, whilst thou dost wake elsewhere,
     From me far off, with others all too near.

Sonnet 61 describes a sleepless night where the poet cannot stop thinking about the far-off beloved, and whose company he might be keeping.

Will asks the young man if he intended for him up all night with thoughts of his pretty face. Did he want sleep interrupted for the poet, tantalized by mocking shadows of beauty? The youth must be sending his spirit out to pry into Will’s idle hours, to learn the shameful thoughts he has and make the youth jealous by them. But no, the youth doesn’t love him that much. Its the other way around. Will’s own feelings prevent him from sleeping, he stays awake like a watchman for the youth. But the youth is far away and all too close to Wills rivals.
Will’s Wordplay
The alluded shameful behavior and idle hours imply time ill spent. It evokes a common proverb, both now and in Willy’s day: the devil finds work for idle hands. Wonder what he could be doing…

Little Red Lighthouse
This little guy jumps right out of the pages of childhood! The Little Red Lighthouse, officially Jeffrey’s Hook Light is a small lighthouse on the Hudson River. It was made famous by the 1942 children’s book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde Swift, illustrated by Lynd Ward. The lighthouse stands on Jeffrey’s Hook, a small point of land that supports the base of the eastern pier of the George Washington Bridge, which connects the Washington Heights neighborhood in Manhattan to Fort Lee, New Jersey. The shoreline north and south of the lighthouse makes up Fort Washington Park.
A 10 candle-power light was first hung on a pole at the water’s edge here in 1889 to warn the increasing Hudson River traffic away from Jeffrey’s Hook at night. The current structure was built as the North Hook Beacon at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, where it stood until 1917. It was reconstructed here in 1921 as part of a project to improve Hudson River navigational aids, and was in operation until 1947. When the George Washington Bridge was completed in 1931, however, the lighthouse was considered obsolete, as the bridge pier was illuminated.

The story of the 1942 children’s book, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, by Hildegarde Swift, centers on the fears of the lighthouse that it was now irrelevant, but the bridge reassures it that it is still needed to help keep river traffic safe.

The proposed dismantling of the lighthouse in 1951 resulted in a public outcry, largely from fans of Swift’s book, leading to the preservation of the lighthouse by the City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation. The lighthouse is now a New York City Landmark and was relighted by the city in 2002. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse in 1979.
Sonnet Project
The Little Red Lighthouse was the featured location for Sonnet 61, performed by Adam Donshik, directed by Jonathan Jacobson. The video was released on July 5, 2013

ACTOR – Adam Donshik
Adam Donshik was born in New York City but raised in the suburbs of Connecticut. From an early age he found himself surrounded by the arts: from playing the piano, violin and saxophone to performing in school plays. It wasn’t until high school, and the avoidance of mandatory sports, that Adam found his great love of acting.

When high school ended Adam was discouraged by his theatre director from actually studying acting at the collegiate level and, instead, chose to pursue the ever-fascinating study of Cognitive Neuropsychology at Carnegie Mellon University. Two years into the degree Adam wised up and auditioned for Carnegie’s prestigious College of Fine Arts. Four years later (six in total) Adam graduated with a BFA in Acting and a minor in Psychology. In addition to the degree, Adam also squeezed in two summers of training with Shakespeare & Co. in Lennox, MA and one summer in Oxford, England at the British American Drama Academy working with actors like Fiona Shaw, Derek Jacobi and Alan Rickman.

After graduating Adam moved to Los Angeles and immediately began studying at the Beverly Hills Playhouse with Milton Katselas. For twelve years Adam worked, studied and helped run the school. In that time he had the rare fortune to work closely with Katselas and to be directed in a one-man show by him.

Adam’s love of theatre once again resulted in a career-changing move when, in 2010, he auditioned for and was accepted into the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at the George Washington University. He spent a year exploring and performing classical texts and working with prominent Artistic Director Michael Kahn and faculty including Gary Logan, Ellen O’Brien and Ed Gero. He graduated with his MFA in May 2011 and in 2012 Adam’s love for classical theatre lead him to co-found Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre with two of his classmates.

Adam has worked in all media: Television (“Deception,” “Jericho,” “CSI,” “Lie To Me”), Film (First Daughter, We Were One – for which he won best actor at the Elevate Film Festival), Theatre (Love’s Labor’s Lost, The Tenth Man, Henry V, Falling) and many national commercials. Please check out his resume for a more complete list of his work.

In addition to his acting accomplishments, Adam has recorded an album of original songs, designed numerous websites, edited 3 short films, directed plays and written the plays Pink Dot and (serial). In 2006, Pink Dot was adapted into the short film Game Day which was directed by Stephen Furst.

DIRECTOR – Jonathan Jacobson
A graduate of NYU’s Tisch Film School, Jonathan has been working professionally in New York’s film & television industry for close to twenty-years. He’s currently a staff producer/director at IKA Collective, where he creates book trailers and promotional videos for clients such as Google, Showtime, and Penguin Books. On the “non-professional side” he makes short films, writes screenplays, and is involved with various organizations creating live theater and general mayhem. Currently, his favorite two movies are “Local Hero” and “Real Genius.”
CAMERA – Konner Smith
Konner Smith was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana where he picked up the family VHS camcorder at a young age and has been creating stories ever since. After studying Telecommunications and Film Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, he received the opportunity to intern at CONAN at Warner Brothers Studios in Hollywood, California. Following an amazing experience at CONAN, Konner returned to Indianapolis where he worked with 12 Stars Media Productions as a videographer and editor creating content for such companies as Simon Malls, Farm Bureau Insurance, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and Eli Lilly. He recently moved to New York City where he has worked on a number of projects including music videos, commercials, web series, and short films.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 62

Sin of self-love possesseth all mine eye
And all my soul, and all my every part;
And for this sin there is no remedy,
It is so grounded inward in my heart.
Methinks no face so gracious is as mine,
No shape so true, no truth of such account;
And for myself mine own worth do define,
As I all other in all worths surmount.
But when my glass shows me myself indeed
Beated and chopp’d with tanned antiquity,
Mine own self-love quite contrary I read;
Self so self-loving were iniquity.
     ‘Tis thee, myself, that for myself I praise,
     Painting my age with beauty of thy days.



Sonnet 62 explores themes of self-love and seeing the love in yourself– is there really a difference?

Billy admits he is extremely vain person, proud both of his outward form and personality. This sin, furthermore, is so deeply rooted that he believes it can’t ever be removed. However, upon seeing his face in the mirror, it disgusts him. Surely loving such a face would be a sin. In fact, the thing Billy truly loves about himself is his possession of the youth; his beauty is derived from the part of the young man he possesses.

Will’s Wordplay

“chopped with tanned antiquity” describes Billy’s face as scarred, wrinkled (like tanned leather).

“painting my age” could also refer either to gilding an aged countenance with associations to a younger handsomer man, to verbal descriptions, (word paintings), or to the use of cosmetics. The entire couplet may be paraphrased: “I praise myself, because in doing so I praise you, as if painting myself in colors borrowed from you”’.


Alma Mater Statue, Columbia University

Alma Mater is the name given to a sculpture of the goddess Athena by Daniel Chester French on the outdoor steps leading to Low Memorial Library on the campus of Columbia University in New York City. Installed in 1904 and donated in memory of alumnus Robert Goelet of the Class of 1860 by his wife, Harriette W. Goelet, Alma Mater has become a symbol of the university and a repository of its lore.

An owl is hidden in the folds of Alma Mater’s cloak near her left leg, a symbol of knowledge and learning, and college superstition has it that the first member of the incoming class to find the owl will become class valedictorian. The legend at another time was that any Columbia student who found the owl on his first try would marry a girl from Barnard.

In the 1960s and 70s, the radical leftist group the Weather Underground planned to blow up the statue, but these plans were shelved after the group managed to blow much of itself up inside a Greenwich Village rowhouse instead. [1]



1. Richman, Michael, Daniel Chester French: An American Sculptor (The Preservation Press, 1976, reprinted 1983), pp. 90–96: discussion of the commission, creation and installation of the sculpture.


ACTOR – Michael Markham

Michael Markham is a Actor/Filmmaker based out of New York City. As an actor his favorite roles in New York include Platonov in The Spectacular Demise of Platonov at Shapiro Theater; Giant in Giants at HERE; and The Singing Soldier in Mother Courage and Her Children at The New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park. He is a current member of Lunar Energy Productions and the New York Madness Acting Company.

Film and television include Law and Order; Unearthed, which has played at The Tallahassee and Macon Film Festivals; Game Theory at the Festivus and Bare Bones Film Festivals; and Blind Date, which aired on BET.

Regionally he has performed in A Little Night Music, Hamlet, the title role in Julius Caesar, and The Ibsen Project: A Lonely Light.

He is an award winning filmmaker having directed and produced numerous short films through his production company KiteMonkey Productions including, Pinecone, Jake’s Dilemma, Lies, and the upcoming, Fumes.

Michael grew up in Montpelier, VT but has lived in 7 different states throughout his life. He currently resides in Central Harlem with his wife, Karen, daugher, Claire, and their 2 cats. He graduated from the Julliard School Drama Division, and has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Acting from Washington University in St. Louis.

Michael is also an avid photographer, and supporter of arts education through an organization called ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty). Look them up at www.asteponline.org Through ASTEP Michael has taught drama to kids in camps from Bronxville, to Florida, to South Africa. His photography has been seen at 1359 Broadway in the summer of 2010 and on the side of 410 West 40th St. in October of 2011.


DIRECTOR – Michael Markham

Michael Markham is a Actor/Filmmaker based out of New York City. As an actor his favorite roles in New York include Platonov in The Spectacular Demise of Platonov at Shapiro Theater; Giant in Giants at HERE; and The Singing Soldier in Mother Courage and Her Children at The New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park. He is a current member of Lunar Energy Productions and the New York Madness Acting Company.

Film and television include Law and Order; Unearthed, which has played at The Tallahassee and Macon Film Festivals; Game Theory at the Festivus and Bare Bones Film Festivals; and Blind Date, which aired on BET.

Regionally he has performed in A Little Night Music, Hamlet, the title role in Julius Caesar, and The Ibsen Project: A Lonely Light.

He is an award winning filmmaker having directed and produced numerous short films through his production company KiteMonkey Productions including, Pinecone, Jake’s Dilemma, Lies, and the upcoming, Fumes.

Michael grew up in Montpelier, VT but has lived in 7 different states throughout his life. He currently resides in Central Harlem with his wife, Karen, daugher, Claire, and their 2 cats. He graduated from the Julliard School Drama Division, and has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Acting from Washington University in St. Louis.

Michael is also an avid photographer, and supporter of arts education through an organization called ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty). Look them up at www.asteponline.org Through ASTEP Michael has taught drama to kids in camps from Bronxville, to Florida, to South Africa. His photography has been seen at 1359 Broadway in the summer of 2010 and on the side of 410 West 40th St. in October of 2011.


MAKE-UP ARTIST – Chelsea Paige

Chelsea Paige MUA is a NY Metro Special FX -Hair- Makeup Artist. Recent grad of Makeup Designory, she has a love for film and projecting characters to help stories be told to their fullest extent. Chelsea works in all areas of makeup and loves each one equally. She hopes to keep working with film and build herself as an artist in every possible way she can.


DP – Robert Manning Jr.

Robert is a graduate of the University of Washington’s Professional Acting Training Program, MFA. Television: Southland, The Unit, Criminal Minds. Film: Frogtown, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Theatre – Broadway: Magic/Bird. Regional: Sterling in Two Trains Running, Cassio in Othello, Banquo in Macbeth. 2008 NAACP Theatre Award Nomination: Defiance – Pasadena Playhouse. 2010 NAACP Theatre Award Nomination: Battle Hymn – Ford Theatre. 2012 NAACP Theatre Award Win: Blues for an Alabama Sky – Pasadena Playhouse. Robert recently completed the original production of How I Learned to Become a Superhero. For more information and full credits, please visit robertmanningjr.com.


GAFFER – Brian Kazmarck

Brian Kazmarck is an award-winning film director whose films have played both in the United States and internationally. His latest short film, The Portland Empire, played at the 2012 Cannes Short Corner and was sold to Shorts International U.K. He most recently completed his debut feature, Terminal Legacy, which premiered at the 2012 Big Apple Film Festival. He is the owner of Open Fire Films, LLC.


CREW – Meredith Witte

Meredith Witte is a creative producer based in NYC. Originally from Texas, she’s spent the last 10 years producing TV commercials and content for clients like Walmart, Expedia, Comcast, Exxon, Sprint, and Google. When not helping Michael with passion projects, she enjoys pilates and horseback riding.


CREW – Matthew Minnicino

Matthew Isaac Minnicino hails from the small town of Leesburg, Virginia, a sort of Mecca for Civil War Trivia fiends. He is currently playing the role of a Graduate Student at Columbia University under the tutelage of Charles L. Mee and Kelly Stuart. From a little hole in upper Manhattan, he writes plays and makes theatre happen sometimes. His plays include Troy is Burning (a goat song), Persephone, Friend of the People, Marvellous. Matt, masquerading as a professional Colleague-Worth-Having, has been working with Northern Virginia’s Empty Chair Theatre since 2008 as actor and Literary Associate, and co-founded Washington D.C.’s Idly Bent Theatre Company with Anne Haney in 2012, for which he acts as Literary Manager and Playwright-at-Large. Matt can fit into a television set.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 63

Against my love shall be as I am now,
With Time’s injurious hand crushed and o’erworn;
When hours have drained his blood and filled his brow
With lines and wrinkles; when his youthful morn
Hath travelled on to age’s steepy night;
And all those beauties whereof now he’s king
Are vanishing, or vanished out of sight,
Stealing away the treasure of his spring;
For such a time do I now fortify
Against confounding age’s cruel knife,
That he shall never cut from memory
My sweet love’s beauty, though my lover’s life:
     His beauty shall in these black lines be seen,
     And they shall live, and he in them still green.



Sonnet 63 pits the immortality of words against Time’s never ending destruction.

Will wonders about when the young man will be crushed and worn out by time. When the youth is marred and wrinkled and has reached the evening of his life, and all his beauty has fled, Will hopes that his lines have fortified the memory of his love, keeping him fresh and relevant.

Will’s Wordplay

Like Sonnet 2, this poem makes use of cutting and crushing imagery to depict the effects of time in creating wrinkles on the face. The prevailing metaphors in this sonnet compare youthful beauty to riches, similar to Sonnet 4, and old age and death to night, similar to Sonnet 12.

Since there is no specific addressee (no you or thou) one may perhaps more accurately say that the poem celebrates the Fair Youth than that it is is specifically addressed to him.

Unlike the many procreation sonnets in the Fair Youth sequence, the resolution found here is in the immortality granted by the writing of the poem (“these black lines”).

Blackness and beauty seem to be opposites. Blackness is akin to the night of death, set against the brightness of his “youthful morn”. The preserving blackness of ink contrasts with the greenness and vitality it preserves.


Greywacke Arch, Central Park, Manhattan

Greywacke Arch was designed by Calvert Vaux and completed in 1862.

An “exuberent spirit animates the Greywacke Arch, a little jewel of Victorian park architecture tucked away in the gently undulating ground northeast of the Ramble, where it permits pedestrians to walk beneath the east drive.” Its Saracenic pointed arch, is “composed of alternating voussoirs of brownstone and greywacke,” [1] a grayish sandstone found in the Hudson River Valley. Greywacke Arch is the only arch in Central Park that gets its name from the material with which it is built. [2]

“The polychromatic theme carries into the vault, which Vaux lined with red and white brick.” Jacob Wrey Mould, Vaux’s close assistant, designed the railing above the arch in 1871 that, “in its diagonal lines and bobbing circles, nicely complements the stonework.” [1]

“Greywacke links Parkgoers to the Great Lawn under the East Drive by a path beginning at Fifth Avenue and 79th Street, just south of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Conservancy restored the deteriorated bridge in 1985.” [2]

The Greywacke Arch was used as a film location in Woody Allen’s Anything Else (2003) and You Don’t Mess With Zohan (2008) featuring Adam Sandler. [4]



1. Kowsky, Francis R. Country, Park and City: The Architecture and Life of Calvert Vaux, Oxford University Press, USA, 1998, pg. 108.
2. http://forgotten-ny.com/2001/07/bridges-of-central-park-part-1/
3. http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/attractions/greywacke-arch.html
4. http://www.onthesetofnewyork.com/


ACTOR – Austin Pendleton

Austin Pendleton is an actor, director, playwright, and teacher of acting. His most recent acting appearances in New York have been in Choir Boy at MTC, Playing Sinatra at Theatre for the New City, and Seagull69 at Mississippi Mud. As a director he has worked at CSC (Ivanov, Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya and, next season, Hamlet), Mississippi Mud (many productions), and Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, where he is member of the Ensemble. He apprenticed at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, under the guidance of NIkos Psacharopoulos. He has appeared in about 200 movies, as well as much TV, notably Oz, Homicide, Law and Order, and Person of Interest. He has written three plays, all published, all produced in New York and around the country: Booth, Uncle Bob, and Orson’s Shadow, as well as the libretto for A Minister’s Wife, first done at Writers’ Theatre in Chicago and then at Lincoln Center in New York. He teaches acting at HB Studio in New York.


DIRECTOR – Josh Barrett

Josh Barrett is a producer, director, actor and writer. His debut film This Is Where We Live premiered in the Narrative Competition at the SXSW Film Festival, and has garnered several awards including the Emerging Director Award at the St. Louis Film Festival. He received his MFA at NYU’s Graduate Acting Program where he was the recipient of the Dean’s Fellowship. He has appeared in various films, televisions shows and commercials, including a series regular on HBO’s Generation Kill. His writing has been featured at New York’s Flea Theater and he was a contributing writer for the play columbinus, which has been produced off-Broadway and several times regionally. Josh currently is a digital producer for VH1. He is honored to have been given the opportunity to contribute to The Sonnet Project.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 64


When I have seen by Time’s fell hand defaced
The rich proud cost of outworn buried age;
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razed,
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store;
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded to decay;
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate
That Time will come and take my love away.
     This thought is as a death which cannot choose
     But weep to have that which it fears to lose.



Sonnet 64 details the ravages of Time and reminds us that all things, even love, can be taken from us.

Shakespeare has seen Time’s hand deface splendid monuments to men from ages past, tear down lofty towers, oceans encroach upon the land and vice versa, all things constantly changing and decaying. This destruction has taught him that all things will be lost, including his beloved. . This thought feels like death, and makes he weeps in fear of his loss.

Will’s Wordplay

“Fell” as used here means savage or fierce.

“Store” is surplus. The land wins an increasing store of territory from the ocean, with some losses. Then it receives further losses, with some gains 


Cemetery, Trinity Church, Financial District, Manhattan

Final resting place of luminaries from every century, from John Jacob Astor to Jerry Orbach, Trinity Church Cemetery consists of three separate burial grounds associated with Trinity Church in Manhattan.

The first was established in the Churchyard located at 74 Trinity Place at Wall Street and Broadway. In 1842, the church, running out of space in its churchyard, established Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum in Upper Manhattan between Broadway and Riverside Drive, at the Chapel of the Intercession (now The Church of the Intercession, New York), formerly the location of John James Audubon’s estate. A third burial place is the Churchyard of St. Paul’s Chapel.

The burial grounds have been the final resting place for many historic figures since the Churchyard cemetery opened in 1697. A non-denominational cemetery, it is listed in the United States National Register of Historic Places and is the only remaining active cemetery in Manhattan. There are two bronze plaques at the Church of the Intercession cemetery commemorating the Battle of Fort Washington, which included some of the fiercest fighting of the Revolutionary War.



ACTOR – Julian Elfer

British born actor Julian Elfer graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA), after which he honed his craft under the supervision of British Director Frank Hauser, founder of the Oxford playhouse in England.
As a working actor in NYC, Julian is the winner of the 2009 New York Innovative Theatre Award for best Actor in a Lead Role for his portrayal of Malvolio in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Most recently he starred in World of Fuh, a short film written and directed by Cady McClain.
New York stage credits include the role of Guildenstern in Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead directed by Cat Parker, Moon in Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound (Gloria Maddox Theatre), Austin Pendleton’s Orson’s Shadow (Midlantic Theatre Company), Asher in Off Broadway’s long running show A Perfect Crime, Poor Ophelia (New York Directors’ Guild) and Coriolanus (Shakespeare NYC) to name a few. Julian is a founding member of Articulate Theatre in NYC. Many Thanks to NY Shakespeare Exchange for this great project!



DIRECTOR – Jeff Barry

Jeff Barry is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama where he received the Oliver Thorndike Award in acting.

He is currently editing his directorial debut, the independent film Bridesburg, which follows the lives of two working class siblings and their desperate attempt to free themselves from their circumstances. The play, written by Victor Kaufold, was originally produced in 2012 by Miscreant Theatre Company. In addition to his directorial duties Mr. Barry wrote the screenplay and produced the feature along with starring in the production. Doug Strassler of the New York Press said Barry “demonstrates keen insight into wounded male pride as matt eventually looses his meager job.”

Mr. Barry’s film How We Got Away With It, which he wrote, produced and starred in, has just been finished and is currently starting its festival run throughout the country. The film also stars McCaleb Burnett (Annapolis, Men Who Stare At Goats) and Cassandra Freeman (Kinyarwanda, Inside Man). Rounding out his duties, Mr. Barry also served as the Stunt Coordinator and the Second Unit Director on the film.

In 2010 he was cast by John Wells in The Company Men, working alongside Ben Affleck, which had its premiere at the 26th Annual Sundance Film Festival.

Mr. Barry is proud to work often in the theatre. Some of his favorite roles are Daunceney in Les Liasons Dangerouseses alongside Michael T. Weiss. Frank Rizzo of Variety called Mr. Barry “A standout.” He also received rave reviews as Happy in Death of a Salesman, with AltDaily also referring to his work as a “standout performance.” Other film & TV credits include: Date Night with Steve Carell and Tiny Fey, The Last Harbor, the short films Carter and Liberty, and Upright Citizens Brigade and Guiding Light.

Mr. Barry is the co-founder and artistic director of NYC based Miscreant Theatre, which the New York Post has cited as “gripping and raw theater.”

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

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.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 66

Tired with all these, for restful death I cry,
As to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm’d in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And gilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly, doctor-like, controlling skill,
And simple truth miscalled simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
     Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
     Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

Sonnet 66 laments how false people are, deeming the world not worth living in.

Will is tired and wishes for the quiet of death. The world presents him only with deserving people begging, worthless people with wealth, sacred vows broken, rewards and honors bestowed on the wrong people, chaste women turned into whores, and a host of other examples of good enslaved by evil. Will would happily embrace death to escape them, by dying, he leaves his beloved alone.

Will’s Wordplay
The resemblance of the word strumpet to trumpet hints at the possibility of public shaming of the innocent.

Unlike most of the sonnets, which have a “turn” in mood or thought at line 9, (the beginning of the third quatrain) the mood of Sonnet 66 does not change until the final line of the poem. This stresses the fact that his lover is helping him merely survive.

Times Square, Manhattan
The Crossroads of the World! Times Square is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway Theater District, one of the world’s busiest pedestrian intersections [1], and a major center of the world’s entertainment industry. It resides at the junction of Broadway (now converted into a pedestrian plaza) and Seventh Avenue and stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets. According to Travel + Leisure magazine’s October 2011 survey, Times Square is the world’s most visited tourist attraction, hosting over 39 million visitors annually. Approximately 300,000 people pass through Times Square daily.[3]

Formerly Longacre Square, Times Square was renamed in April 1904 after The New York Times moved its headquarters to the newly erected Times Building – now called One Times Square – site of the annual ball drop on New Year’s Eve. [4]

The northern triangle of Times Square is technically Duffy Square, dedicated in 1937 to Chaplain Francis P. Duffy of New York City’s “Fighting 69th” Infantry Regiment; a memorial to Duffy is located there, along with a statue of George M. Cohan, and the TKTS discount theater tickets booth. The stepped red roof of the TKTS booth also provides seating for various events. The Duffy Statue and the square were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.[5]
Early 20th Century
In 1904, New York Times publisher Adolph S. Ochs moved the newspaper’s operations to a new skyscraper on 42nd Street at Longacre Square. Ochs persuaded Mayor George B. McClellan, Jr. to construct a subway station there, and the area was renamed “Times Square” on April 8, 1904. Just three weeks later, the first electrified advertisement appeared on the side of a bank at the corner of 46th Street and Broadway.[6]

The New York Times, according to Nolan, moved to more spacious offices west of the square in 1913. The old Times Building was later named the Allied Chemical Building, now known simply as One Times Square.

In 1913, the Lincoln Highway Association, headed by entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher, chose the intersection of 42nd Street and Broadway, at the southeast corner of Times Square, to be the Eastern Terminus of the Lincoln Highway, the first road across the United States, which originally spanned 3,389 miles coast-to-coast through 13 states to its Western Terminus in Lincoln Park in San Francisco, California.[7]

Celebrities such as Irving Berlin, Fred Astaire, and Charlie Chaplin were closely associated with Times Square in the 1910s and 1920s. During this period, the area was nicknamed The Tenderloin because it was supposedly the most desirable location in Manhattan. However, it was during this period that the area was besieged by crime and corruption, in the form of gambling and prostitution; one case that garnered huge attention was the arrest and subsequent execution of police officer Charles Becker.[8]

The general atmosphere changed with the onset of the Great Depression in the 1930s. Times Square acquired a reputation as a dangerous neighborhood in the following decades. Into the early 1990s, the seediness of the area, especially due its go-go bars, sex shops, and adult theaters, became an infamous symbol of the city’s decline.

In the 1980s, a commercial building boom began in the western parts of the Midtown as part of a long-term development plan developed under Mayors Ed Koch and David Dinkins. In the mid-1990s, Rudolph Giuliani led an effort to clean up the area, increasing security, closing pornographic theaters, pressuring undesirables to relocate, and opening more tourist-friendly attractions and upscale establishments. Advocates of the remodeling claim that the neighborhood is safer and cleaner. Detractors have countered that the changes have homogenized or “Disneyfied” the character of Times Square and have unfairly targeted lower-income New Yorkers from nearby neighborhoods such as Hell’s Kitchen.

In 1990, the state of New York took possession of six of the nine historic theaters on 42nd Street, and the New 42nd Street non-profit organization was appointed to oversee their restoration and maintenance. The theaters underwent renovation for Broadway shows, conversion for commercial purposes, or demolition.

In 1992, the Times Square Alliance (formerly the Times Square Business Improvement District, or “BID” for short), a coalition of city government and local businesses dedicated to improving the quality of commerce and cleanliness in the district, started operations in the area. [9] Times Square now boasts attractions such as ABC’s Times Square Studios, where Good Morning America is broadcast live, an elaborate Toys “Я” Us store, as well as several chain restaurants and a number of multiplex movie theaters. It has also attracted a number of large financial, publishing, and media firms to set up headquarters in the area. A larger presence of police has improved the safety of the area.

1. “The Most Jivin’ Streetscapes in the World”. Luigi Di Serio. 2010. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
2. Joshua Pramis (October 2011). “World’s Most-Visited Tourist Attractions No. 1: Times Square, New York City”. Copyright © 1997 – 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
3. Owen, David (January 21, 2013). “The Psychology of Space – Can a Norwegian firm solve the problems of Times Square?”. The New Yorker. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
4. VR Macbeth (November 17, 2005). “Times Square: Part of New York City History”. (C) 1980 – 2010 TimesSquare.com A Dataware Corporation Company. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
5. Harris, Stephen L. Duffy’s War: Fr. Francis Duffy, Wild Bill Donovan, and the Irish Fighting 69th in World War I, Potomac Books, 2006
6. “Times Square – New York, New York – Scenic at Night on”. Waymarking.com. Retrieved April 21, 2010.
7. www.Cruise-IN.com (July 7, 1919). “The Lincoln Highway: Main Street across America”. Cruise-in.com. Retrieved April 21, 2010.
8. “Killer Cop: Charles Becker – Crime Library on”. Trutv.com. July 15, 1912. Retrieved April 21, 2010.
9. Times Square Alliance

ACTOR – Michael Shattner
Michael Shattner is a 2013 IT Award Nominee for his performance as Sir Pompey Martext in Kevin Brewer’s Island with NY Shakespeare Exchange. Most recently, he appeared as Gower, Antiochus, Simonides and Bolt in NYSX’s Pericles, for which he also composed and performed his own original music on the cello. Favorite past roles include: Queen Margaret (Henry VI Parts 1, 2 & 3), Nicia (The Mandrake), Touchstone (As You Like It), Stefano (The Tempest), Neal Tilden (The 1940s Radio Hour), Carl (Lonely Planet), Adam (The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged)), and the title role in Scapino. An avid cellist, Michael is a founding member of the anarchy String Quartet. He plays in the New Amsterdam and Queer Urban orchestras, and in the pit for various musicals around NYC.

Marcarthur Baralla
Since he was a small child, Marcarthur’s imagination has been full of stories – perhaps the fact that he grew up near an
enchanted forest – or so he believed – piqued his taste for fantasy fiction. After high school, Marcarthur moved from his small
village in Burgundy, France to Paris, where he studied business for two years before moving to San Francisco to finish his

It was there that he realized his true passion for film. With no money, Marcarthur worked his way through the College of San
Francisco to earn his Associates degree in Film Production, focusing on directing and cinematography. Since another two years of school was financially unfeasible, Marcarthur went to work on film sets to gain experience to compliment his educational background.

Marcarthur has been working in the film industry for eight years. He created a production company – Defendshee Productions- in 2005, under which he has produced and directed music videos, commercials, short and feature films, as well as documentaries.

Today, Marcarthur resides in Brooklyn, where he is focused on directing a number of projects. He is currently finishing a
documentary about wine (one of his other passions), finishing the first in a trilogy of books for kids and working on his

Marcarthur is highly regarded as a meticulous director and producer who able to manage all aspects of filmmaking. His work has been seen around the world in film festivals and on TV.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 67

Ah! wherefore with infection should he live,
And with his presence grace impiety,
That sin by him advantage should achieve,
And lace itself with his society?
Why should false painting imitate his cheek,
And steal dead seeming of his living hue?
Why should poor beauty indirectly seek
Roses of shadow, since his rose is true?
Why should he live, now Nature bankrupt is,
Beggared of blood to blush through lively veins?
For she hath no exchequer now but his,
And proud of many, lives upon his gains.
     O! him she stores, to show what wealth she had
     In days long since, before these last so bad.



Sonnet 67 questions why Nature allows false things to mimic the beloved’s beauty and goodness, and how the beloved can even remain alive in such a den of sin as this world.

Bill wonder why the for whom he has such affection lives in such moral corruption. The youth graces to the sins of those around him, and sin looks better for it. Why do others anoint themselves with makeup to imitate the beauties he has naturally? They become false roses when he himself is a true bloom. Why should this young man himself live, now that Nature itself has used up all the power to create beautiful things in creating him? Nature preserves him in order to show what she was capable of long ago, before everyone else went to hell.

Will’s Wordplay

This sonnet is unique in that the youth has becomes the distant ‘he’, rather than ‘dear my love’ etc. It comes almost as a shock, as if you were suddenly to start addressing your partner as “himself”.


Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, the Bronx

Perhaps you’ll hear a croak of “nevermore” at Poe Cottage…

The Poe family—which included Edgar, his wife Virginia Clemm, and her mother Maria—moved in around May 1846 after living for a short time in Turtle Bay, Manhattan. At the time, Fordham was rural and was only recently connected to the city by rail. The cottage, which then on Kingsbridge Road to the east of its intersection with Valentine Avenue, was small and simple: it had on its first floor a sitting room and kitchen and its unheated second floor had a bedroom and Poe’s study. The home sat on 2 acres of land.

The family seemed to enjoy the home, despite its small size and minimal furnishings. “The cottage is very humble”, a visitor said, “you wouldn’t have thought decent people could have lived in it; but there was an air of refinement about everything.”[1] A friend of Poe’s years later wrote: “The cottage had an air of taste and gentility… So neat, so poor, so unfurnished, and yet so charming a dwelling I never saw.”[2] In a letter to a friend, Poe himself wrote: “The place is a beautiful one.”[3] Maria wrote years later: “It was the sweetest little cottage imaginable. Oh, how supremely happy we were in our dear cottage home!”[4] Poe’s final short story, “Landor’s Cottage”, was likely inspired by the home.

“Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life, from 1846 to 1849, in The Bronx at Poe Cottage, now located at Kingsbridge Road and the Grand Concourse. A small wooden farmhouse built about 1812, the cottage once commanded unobstructed vistas over the rolling Bronx hills to the shores of Long Island. It was a bucolic setting in which the great writer penned many of his most enduring poetical works, including ‘Annabel Lee,’ ‘The Bells’ and ‘Eureka.’

Poe spent much of his life moving from place to place in restless search of literary recognition and financial security. In April 1844, he and his wife, Virginia, and mother-in-law, Maria Clemm, moved to New York, where Poe sought the opportunity for international acclaim. But Virginia was ill, and in early summer of 1846 Poe brought her to The Bronx, where he hoped the country air would rescue her failing health. However, in January of 1847, she died of tuberculosis. Poe himself died two years later, under mysterious circumstances, in Baltimore, MD.

Administered by The Bronx County Historical Society since 1975, the cottage is restored to its original appearance, with authentic period furnishings. A film presentation and guided tour help bring Poe Cottage to life. Visitors can see the bed in which Virginia died and the rocking chair Poe used. In the kitchen, the dishes on the table appear as if the great author had just stepped out for air.” [5]



1 .Silverman, Kenneth. Edgar Allan Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance. New York: Harper Perennial, 1991: 302. ISBN 0-06-092331-8
2. Quinn, Arthur Hobson. Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998: 508–509. ISBN 0-8018-5730-9.
3. Phillips, Mary E. Edgar Allan Poe: The Man. Volume II. Chicago: The John C. Winston Co., 1926: 1115.
4. Phillips, 1116–1117.
5. http://www.bronxhistoricalsociety.org/poecottage.html


ACTOR – Leigh Williams

Leigh Williams has been working with New York Shakespeare Exchange since 2010. She played Constance in the company’s acclaimed production of The Life and Death of King John and Asnath in Kevin Brewer’s ingenious Shakespearean homage Island. She’s also participated in several of the company’s readings and ShakesBEER pub crawls. Leigh has been acting in the Bard’s plays for 18 years, and some favorite roles have been Hermione, Adriana, Kate, Ariel and Olivia. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity, SAG and AFTRA and received her M.F.A. at Case Western/Cleveland Play House.


DIRECTOR – Russ Senzatimore

Russ Senzatimore has worked as an assistant editor on American and European feature films for the past fourteen years, providing an invaluable education on the road to becoming a filmmaker. His varied filmography includes work done at the studio and independent level.

He has assisted Madonna on “W.E.“, “The MDNA Tour“, and “Secret Project“, Robert Benton on “The Human Stain“, Rebecca Miller on “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee“, and Milcho Manchevski on “Senki“.

As a filmmaker, Senzatimore has seen success with numerous short films. “We Follow The Rules“, concerning the treatment of an ostracized police officer following a fatal shooting, was screened at the Orlando Film Festival in 2010. A story of two lovers separated by many years, “Isabella“, won the Best Short Film – 16mm award at the 2004 Long Island International Film Expo. In 2012, he served as a cinematographer on “Best Friend / Interlude“, a back screen projection video which was seen internationally as part of Madonna’s MDNA Tour.

His latest project is “Pastor Paul“, a 35mm black and white drama, due for release in 2014.


Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

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]



1. https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/union-square-park/highlights/12380


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.


Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 69

Those parts of thee that the world’s eye doth view
Want nothing that the thought of hearts can mend;
All tongues, the voice of souls, give thee that due,
Uttering bare truth, even so as foes commend.
Thy outward thus with outward praise is crown’d;
But those same tongues, that give thee so thine own,
In other accents do this praise confound
By seeing farther than the eye hath shown.
They look into the beauty of thy mind,
And that in guess they measure by thy deeds;
Then, churls, their thoughts, although their eyes were kind,
To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds:
     But why thy odour matcheth not thy show,
     The soil is this, that thou dost common grow.



Sonnet 69 expresses extremes of feelings about the beloved subject, who is presented as at once superlative in every way and treacherous or disloyal.

Will admits that what the world can see of the youth is perfect. Everyone knows it. But the same people who praise his beauty reverse that praise when they examine you in other ways. These people, judging his mind and character by your actions, decide that he is as much foul as beautiful. The reason nobody can “smell” the internal foulness is that the young man surrounds himself with people who are even fouler by comparison.

Will’s Wordplay

A churl was a boorish peasant. By attributing the churlish thoughts of the youth’s moral perfection to churlish men, Will neatly avoids casting the first stone. Nice save!

The “odour” mentioned may be figurative, a reference to social reputation.


Hell Gate, Astoria, Queens

Dare you cross? Hell Gate is a narrow tidal strait in the East River in New York City in the United States. It separates Astoria, Queens from Randall’s and Wards Islands (formerly two separate islands, now joined by landfill).

The name “Hell Gate” is a corruption of the Dutch phrase Hellegat, which could mean either “hell’s hole” or “bright gate/passage”, which was originally applied to the entirety of the East River. The strait was described in the journals of Dutch explorer Adriaen Block, who is the first European known to have navigated the strait, during his 1614 voyage aboard the Onrust. Hellegat is a fairly common toponym for waterways in the Low Countries, with at least 20 separate examples.[1] Because explorers found navigation hazardous in this New World place of rocks and converging tide-driven currents (from the Long Island Sound, Harlem River strait, Upper Bay of New York Harbor and lesser channels, some of which have been filled), the Anglicization stuck.

In 1851 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began to clear obstacles from the strait with explosives; the process would last seventy years.[2] On September 24, 1876, the Corps used 50,000 pounds of explosives to blast the dangerous rocks, which was followed by further blasting work.[3] On October 10, 1885, the Corps carried out the largest explosion in this process, annihilating Flood Rock with 300,000 pounds of explosives. The explosion sent a geyser of water 250 feet in the air; the blast was felt as far away as Princeton, New Jersey. The explosion has been described as “the largest planned explosion before testing began for the atomic bomb”,[4] although the detonation at the Battle of Messines was larger. Rubble from the detonation was used in 1890 to fill the gap between Great Mill Rock and Little Mill Rock, merging the two islands into a single island, Mill Rock.

By the late 19th century, hundreds of ships including HMS Hussar had sunk in the strait. It was spanned in 1917 by the New York Connecting Railroad Bridge (now called the Hell Gate Bridge), which connects Wards Island and Queens. The bridge provides a direct rail link between New England and New York City. In 1936 it was spanned by the Triborough Bridge, allowing vehicular traffic to pass between Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens.


The Bridge

The Hell Gate Bridge (originally the New York Connecting Railroad Bridge or The East River Arch Bridge) is a 1,017-foot steel through arch railroad bridge in New York City. The bridge crosses the Hell Gate, a strait of the East River, between Astoria, Queens and Wards Island in Manhattan.

The bridge is the largest of three bridges that form the Hell Gate complex. An inverted bowstring truss bridge with four 300-foot spans crosses the Little Hell Gate (now filled in); and a 350-foot fixed truss bridge crosses the Bronx Kill (now narrowed by fill). Together with approaches, the bridges are more than 17,000 feet (3.2 mi) long.

This bridge was the inspiration for the design of Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia, which is about 60 percent bigger. It was conceived in the early 1900s to link New York and the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) with New England and the New Haven Railroad (NH).

Construction was overseen by Gustav Lindenthal, whose original design left a gap of 15 feet between the steel arch and the masonry towers. Fearing that the public assumed that the towers were structurally integral to the bridge, Lindenthal added aesthetic girders between the upper chord of the arch and the towers to make the structure appear more robust. The original plans for the piers on the long approach ramps called for a steel lattice structure. The design was changed to smooth concrete to soothe concerns that asylum inmates on Wards and Randall’s islands would climb the piers to escape.

The engineering was so precise that when the last section of the main span was lifted into place, the final adjustment needed to join everything together was just 1⁄2 inch! Construction of the Hell Gate Bridge began on March 1, 1912 and ended on September 30, 1916. It was the world’s longest steel arch bridge until the Bayonne Bridge opened in 1931, and was surpassed again by the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932.

In 1996, the bridge received a facelift, including its first comprehensive paint job in 80 years. It was painted “Hell Gate Red”, a dark, natural red. The bridge would be the last New York City bridge to collapse if humans disappeared, taking at least a millennium to do so, according to the February 2005 issue of Discover magazine. Most other bridges would fall in about 300 years.



1. Van Dyck, Vic. “Hellegat en Hellegat” (in Dutch).
2. “NOAA 200th Collections: Hell Gate and Its Approaches nautical chart from 1851”. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2009-04-12.
3. “Rendering Hell-Gate Rocks; The Submarine Mine Exploded”. The New York Times. September 25, 1876. p. 1. Retrieved 2011-11-19
4. Whitt, Toni (June 2, 2006). “The East River is Cleaner Now. The Water Birds Say So.”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-12.


ACTOR – Vince Gatton

Vince Gatton received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Play in David Johnston’s Candy and Dorothy, which he also performed at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors’ Theater in Cape Cod. He is a founding board member of the New York Shakespeare Exchange, and has appeared as an actor in NYSX’s The Life and Death of King John, Mucedorus, The Comedy of Errors, and ShakesBEER: The Original Shakespearian Pub Crawl. He was also the guy in the original pilot film for The Sonnet Project, which was widely seen via the project’s Kickstarter campaign and was featured on NPR’s Monkey See blog. Other notables: I Am My Own Wife and Fully Committed at Barrington Stage Company in the Berkshires (Metroland’s Critic’s Pick as Best Actor of 2008); Cock at the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca; The Temperamentals at New World Stages, standing by for Michael Urie; The Turn of the Screw at the Merchant’s House in NYC and the Hennegar Center in Melbourne, Florida; Henry 4 parts 1 & 2, Henry 6 parts 1 & 2, and Love’s Labor’s Lost with Judith Shakespeare Company; Perspective Coward for The Fugitive Kind; To Fool the Eye and Taylor Mac’s The Hot Month with Boomerang Theater Company; and The Americans and Johnston’s Busted Jesus Comix with Blue Coyote Theater Group. He has worked with Tectonic Theater Project on the development of various projects, including Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations and Leigh Fondakowski’s Casa Cushman and SPILL. Vince is a native of Louisville, Kentucky and got his BFA in Acting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2012 he lived the trivia nerd’s dream by competing on Jeopardy. He didn’t win.



DIRECTOR – Emily Lyon

Emily Lyon is a NYC stage and film director. Her love of witty, thought-provoking, accessible stories has lead her to: become Literary Manager at Bedlam (theatrebedlam.org); direct Hamlet, Measure for Measure, and Harold Pinter’s The Hothouse; coach students in Detroit to present their own poetry; participate in a Royal Shakespeare Company residency; assist a series of readings for Julie Taymor at Theatre for a New Audience. With a thorough background in Shakespeare, she’s studied at Shakespeare’s Globe, Folger Shakespeare Library, and University of Michigan (BFA: Directing). She also co-founded an award-winning film production company, known for creative pieces for community impact. Her upcoming shows will be announced on her website (EmilyALyon.com).

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 71

Holocaust 2 Holocaust 1

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it, for I love you so,
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O! if, I say, you look upon this verse,
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse;
But let your love even with my life decay;
     Lest the wise world should look into your moan,
     And mock you with me after I am gone.
Sonnet 71 requests that the beloved not mourn the poet’s death if it would bring sadness or shame to him.

Willy bids the young man not to mourn long when the poet dies. He may cry until the deathknell of the church bell and no longer. He asks the youth not to remember the hand that wrote this poem, but would rather be forgotten than bring any sadness to him. Should the poem be read while Willy is in the ground, he doesn’t want the youth to mention his name, but wants their love to decay as he does, and so avoid mockery for loving one dead.
Will’s Wordplay
At funerals during the Renaissance, one could pay to have the “passing-bell” rung as many times as years the deceased was alive, as a tribute to his or her life.

The final line reveals that Shakespeare is worried about bringing shame by association on one who loves him. Oh Willy if you only knew…

Memorial to Victims of the Injustice of the Holocaust, Manhattan
Erected as a righting of a wrong, Memorial to Victims of the Injustice of the Holocaust is a sculpture by Harriet Feigenbaum, on the side of the Appellate Division Courthouse, at Madison Avenue and 25th Street.

Judge Francis T. Murphy, presiding justice of the New York State Court of Appeals, conceived of creating a Holocaust monument at the site. The artist, Harriet Feigenbaum, won the 1988 competition to design the memorial, with a proposal to feature a replica of an aerial photograph of Auschwitz taken by American planes as they bombed German oil factories nearby on August 25, 1944. The photos are significant because they demonstrate that U.S. planes had the ability to destroy the death camp. [1]

Harriet Feigenbaum attended both Columbia University and the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York City. Throughout her career she has focused on sculptures and installations out-of-doors, both in rural and urban settings. Feigenbaum has developed many environmentally conscious works, spending a great deal of time in the coal mining regions of Pennsylvania. “Reclamation Art” was a project in which Feigenbaum attempted to repair the damage that strip-mining has done to the land. Her work is concerned with sociopolitical issues as well. She has said, “For me, a work of public art must enhance the environment in a provocative way. Art created for a particular situation cannot satisfy every special interest group, nor should it. The artist’s mission must prevail or the resulting project will not be an artwork.” [2]

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs describes it as a six-sided half column rising 27 feet above its base. The five-sided concave base extends one story below ground level, the overall height of the Memorial being 38 feet. Carvings of flames along the length of the column recall the flames of the gas chambers at Auschwitz. They appear to blow in the direction of the courthouse as if to threaten the symbol of Justice. A relief of an aerial view of the main camp at Auschwitz is carved into the base at eye level…On the base under the relief is a giant flame extending below ground level as a final reminder of Crematorium 1 at Auschwitz.” The words “Indifference to Injustice is the Gate to Hell” are engraved around the image. The carving notes five of the specific points within the Auschwitz camp that were visible in the original photograph: Torture Chamber, Execution Wall, Gas Chamber and Crematorium 1, Commandant’s House.
Sonnet Project
The Holocaust Memorial was the featured location for Sonnet 71, performed by Kristi Dana, directed by Noemi Charlotte Thieves. The video was released on June 10, 2013.
1. “Wyman Institute Briefs Congress on U.S. Failure to Bomb Auschwitz”.
2. http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcla/html/panyc/feigenbaum.shtml

ACTOR – Kristi Funk Dana
Kristi is a native of Hudson, NY and currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband. She is a recent graduate of the Brooklyn College, CUNY, MFA Acting Program. Brooklyn College credits: A Bright Room Called Day; In the Next Room or the vibrator play; Julius Caesar; New York Credits: Armor of Wills; ABC’s All My Children; Apprenticeships at The Actors Theatre of Louisville and The Berkshire Theatre Festival. Kristi also holds an MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College and a BA in Theatre Arts from Penn State. Kristi is the Producing Artistic Director of The Proprietors Theatre Company, based in Hudson, NY. The Proprietors focuses on classical theatre, the works of women playwrights and theatre education for the community’s youth. Kristi is also an active theatre educator, having taught acting at Brooklyn College, The School of Creative and Performing Arts, Acting Out! Brooklyn, Kentucky Classical Theatre Conservatory and the Boston Children’s Theatre. She is currently teaching voice and movement for the T. Schreiber Youth Conservatory and Introduction to Theatre for the STAR Early College Program at Brooklyn College. VASTA member. AEA & SAG-AFTRA. www.proprietorstheatre.org; www.kristifunkdana.com

DIRECTOR – Noemi Charlotte Thieves
Noemi is a filmmaker/photographer/illustrator/writer whose work tackles the value of contemporary mythos within modern storytelling. Using live theater, film, and trick editing, his work aspires to meld the advances made in literature, photography, sound and performance, using cinema to create a novel phenomenological experience. He garnered his BFA from The Cooper Union School Of Art, where his senior thesis Glengarry Glen Ross Live! received piece of the year. He was awarded the TAM memorial prize given to the best multimedia artist, as well as the Mielcarek prize for outstanding work in photography. He is currently working on a full-length graphic novel, a documentary about the history of education, and his first feature film, GHETTO.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 72

O! lest the world should task you to recite
What merit lived in me, that you should love
After my death,–dear love, forget me quite,
For you in me can nothing worthy prove.
Unless you would devise some virtuous lie,
To do more for me than mine own desert,
And hang more praise upon deceased I
Than niggard truth would willingly impart:
O! lest your true love may seem false in this
That you for love speak well of me untrue,
My name be buried where my body is,
And live no more to shame nor me nor you.
     For I am shamed by that which I bring forth,
     And so should you, to love things nothing worth.



Sonnet 72 sees the poet imagining that anything the beloved could justify their love with would be false, and embarrass them both.

Billy imagines that after he is dead, the world challenges the youth to list any merit he possessed to would justify their love. He bids the youth to forget him entirely at this point, for there will be nothing worthy to say that isn’t a generous lie. To prevent their true love from becoming false, as it will under such well-meaning exaggerations, let he hopes that his name is buried with his corpse and no longer bring shame to anyone. For I’m ashamed of what he produces, and encourages the young man to share the shame for loving such worthless things.


Will’s Wordplay

“Niggard” means miserly or sparing; the truth would leave him morally impoverished.

There is a lurking secondary meaning of the line “And live no more to shame not me or you”. It can also imply, “You yourself should not live any longer, shaming both of us by your refusal to speak of and acknowledge our love.”


Seneca Village, Central Park, Manhattan

Seneca Village was a small village on the island of Manhattan, founded by free blacks, Seneca Village existed from 1825 through 1857, when it was torn down for the construction of Central Park. The village was the first significant community of African American property owners on Manhattan, and also came to be inhabited by several other minorities, including English, Irish and German immigrants. The village was located on about 5 acres between where 82nd and 89th Streets and 7th and 8th Avenues would now intersect, an area now covered by Central Park.
“Although the reason for the name Seneca Village is unknown, recent historical and geophysical research has uncovered a great deal of information about this unique community and its inhabitants. Seneca Village, which was located from 81st to 89th Streets between Seventh and Eighth Avenues in what is now a section of Central Park, is important to the history of New York City because it may possibly be Manhattan’s first prominent community of African American property owners.
Beginning in 1825 parcels of land were sold to individuals and to members of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, described as the “largest and wealthiest church of coloured people in this city, perhaps in this country.” Within a few years the community developed into a stable settlement of over 250 working-class people, with African Americans owning more than half the households in the village – an unusually high percentage of property ownership for any New York community. The presence of an abundant natural spring near 82nd Street would have provided the fresh drinking water necessary for the maintenance and stability of a large community”.[1]

In the early 19th century, Seneca village attracted many other ethnic groups for different reasons. Seneca Village grew in the 1830s when people from a community called York Hill were forced to move after a government-enforced eviction; the York Hill land was used to build a basin for the Croton Distributing Reservoir. During the potato famine in Ireland many Irish residents came to live in Seneca Village. The village grew by 30 percent during this time. [2]

The village had three churches, a school, and several cemeteries. The First African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church of Yorkville laid its cornerstone in Seneca Village in 1853. A box put into the cornerstone contained a Bible, a hymn book, the church’s rules, a letter with the names of its five trustees and copies of the newspapers, The Tribune and The Sun. There was a school located in a church.

In 1855, a New York State Census found that Seneca Village had 264 residents. [3] At this time in New York City’s history, most of the city’s population lived below 14th Street, and the region above 59th Street was only sporadically developed and was semi-rural or rural in character. No one knows where the residents of Seneca Village resettled. Unfortunately, to date, no living descendants of Seneca Villagers have been found. [4]

As the campaign to create Central Park moved forward park advocates and the media began to describe Seneca Village and other communities in this area as “shantytowns” and the residents there as “squatters”. The village was razed for park construction. Residents were offered $2,335 for their property. Members of the community fought to retain their land. For two years, residents resisted the police as they petitioned the courts to save their homes, churches, and schools. However, in the summer of 1856, Mayor Fernando Wood prevailed and residents of Seneca Village were given final notice. In 1857, the city government acquired all private property within Seneca Village through eminent domain. On October 1, 1857, city officials in New York reported that the last holdouts living on land that was to become Central Park had been removed. [5]


The Site Today

A little beyond Spector Playground, there is what appears to be a stone outcropping which is the corner of a foundation. This is believed to be what is left of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. On Saturday, February 10, 2001 Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern, State Senator David Paterson, Borough President C. Virginia Fields, and New York Historical Society Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum unveiled the Historical Sign commemorating the site where Seneca Village once stood. [6]

In the summer of 2011, the Seneca Village Project organized an archaeological dig of the site. This eight-week field season uncovered the homestead of William Godfrey Wilson, a sexton for All Angels’ Church, and another important deposit from the backyard of two other Seneca Village residents. Ten undergraduate students worked diligently on the site, finding artifacts such as the bone handle of a toothbrush and the leather sole of a child’s shoe. In all, they excavated over 250 bags of artifacts. The public location of the site in Central Park meant that excavators had to back-fill incomplete units each weekend and could not cut any root thicker than half an inch. Nighttime guards also monitored the site to ensure that it was undisturbed. Excavations concluded in July with an open house in which each student presented a poster on some element of the site’s material. These posters are now on display here.



1. http://www.centralparknyc.org/visit/things-to-see/great-lawn/seneca-village-site.html
2. http://www.harlemlive.org/community/parks/senecavillage/seneca.html
3. “Seneca Village”. The New York Historical Society. Retrieved 2006-05-15.
4. Martin, Douglas (January 31, 1997). “A Village Dies, A Park Is Born”. The New York Times.
5. http://www.irishecho.com/newspaper/story.cfm?id=17187
6. http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_newsroom/media_advisories/media_advisories.php?id=8572


ACTOR – Edith Bukovics

Austrian actress Edith Bukovics grew up in several countries including Norway, New Zealand and the US, and is now based between New York and London. She received an MA (Hons) in English Literature from Cambridge University where she performed in numerous critically acclaimed theatrical productions, such as Lorca’s Once Five Years Pass (ADC Footlights) and Hamlet (Cambridge Playroom).
Edith carved out a reputation playing Shakespearean roles including Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Arts Theatre. Subsequent London theatre credits include lead roles in Peer Gynt (Arcola) and Polygraph (Soho Theatre). She enjoys an ongoing collaboration with the professional acting troupe at Richmond Bridge Theatre, where she was recently directed by Harry Burton in David Hare’s The Secret Rapture.
Edith’s first leading screen role was in the powerful Greek-Cypriot film ‘Secret Paths’ and she has gone on to work with BAFTA and FIPRESCI award-winning film directors such as Vadim Jean and Julian Kemp. Stand-out feature film roles include Natalie in the romantic comedy My Last Five Girlfriends and Camilla in the psychological thriller Fossil. Since moving to New York she has enjoyed collaborating on new plays such as Kacie Devaney’s “The Unknowns” (Strawberry Festival, Theatre at St Clements) alongside her ongoing screen work. She is next slated to appear alongside Amber Tamblyn and Jackie Cruz in writer/director Danny Ward’s new feature film “Cleveland.”

Away from the camera, Edith is a published writer and co-founder of the international acting support network and blog “Actors Gone Global” (http://www.actorsgoneglobal.com.) She consults for Liquid Entertainment Ltd. with a feature film and sci-fi TV series currently in development.

Edith is an ardent fan and supporter of New York Shakespeare Exchange’s vision for bringing Shakespeare to a wider audience and is delighted to be part of the Sonnet Project!

For more information please visit edithbukovics.com


DIRECTOR – Elitza Daskalova

Elitza Daskalova is a filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. Her interest in film and theatre span over two decades and several continents beginning from her native Bulgaria. She received her BFA in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College and earned her filmmaking stripes from sets big (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) and small (most recently, The Applicant).

Previously, Elitza partnered with The Sonnet Project on Sonnet 43, which was featured in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (UK) and CineFuturo Film Festival (Brazil). Her past work has been shown in the NYC International Fringe Festival, NewFilmmakers Festival & in variety of media across USA, Europe, & Asia.

Elitza is, at best, an amateur astronomer and at worst, an avid enthusiast.


Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 73

wisteria 1 wisteria 2

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourish’d by.
     This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
     To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.
Sonnet 73 paints a picture of the poet on the brink of death, and thanks the beloved for being accepting.

William imagines that looking at him must resemble an image of autumn, when leaves are crunchy and skeletal, or when bare branches shiver in anticipation of the winter. He is the twilight, which is when night falls and, like death, closes up everyone in rest. The almost-death of glowing coals atop the ashes, killing what kept it alive. But the young man sees all these things but the young man loves him anyway, though he will not be around long.
Will’s Wordplay
Shakespeare’s use of a consistent metaphor at the end of each quatrain shows both the author’s acknowledgement of his own mortality and a cynical view on aging. By dropping from a year, to a day, to the brief duration of a fire, Shakespeare is establishing empathy through the lapse in time. Despite negatively depicting the problem of aging in the first three quatrains, each symbol is needed to set up the purpose defined by the last couplet of the sonnet. In these lines, our speaker acknowledges the growth in his love for his significant other. This growth directly correlated to his lover’s unrelenting adoration in spite of the physical deterioration caused by aging.LOCATION

Wisteria Pergola, Conservatory Garden, Central Park

“The Conservatory Garden is divided into three smaller gardens, each with a distinct style: Italian, French and English. The Garden’s main entrance is through the Vanderbilt Gate, on Fifth Avenue between 104th and 105th Streets. This magnificent iron gate, made in Paris in 1894, originally stood before the Vanderbilt mansion at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street.

Wide stairs lead down to the Italianate Center Garden. The large lawn is surrounded by yew hedges and is bordered by two exquisite allées of spring-blooming pink and white crabapple trees. A 12-foot high jet fountain plays on the western end of the lawn, backed by tiered hedges and stairs that lead up to a pergola covered in wisteria. On the walkway under the pergola are medallions inscribed with the names of the original 13 states.” [1]
Sonnet Project
The Wisteria Pergola was the featured location for Sonnet 64 performed by Pat Dwyer, directed by Malinda Sorci. The video was released on May 26, 2014.

ACTOR – Pat Dwyer
Pat Dwyer* last appeared with The New York Shakespeare Exchange playing Montague and the roles of The Headmaster, Dr/s. Dred & Drake, Mr. Steifel in their reading of Romeo & Juliet paired with Spring’s Awakening. Pat first worked with The Exchange appearing for them in the “What’s So Funny” staged readings of Much Ado About Nothing and Island and has taken part in one of their Summer ShakesBEER pub crawls. Other highlights: Sheila Head’s The Egg Game, The Shakespeare Forum’s inaugural production of Hamlet and, most recently in the Austin Pendleton helmed production of Look Homeward Angel

In 2010 Pat appeared as Matthew in a production of 100 Saints You Should Know. This marked his return to the stage as his profession after an absence of more than 16 years. During that time away Pat had a career in advertising for which he offers to the public his sincerest apologies. His reason for leaving the stage are many and totally unjustified now by virtue of the time he wasted in the world of internet advertising. Fortunately he kept his union card that allowed him access to the Equity building on 46th Street, justifying the yearly dues by saying “At least I always have a clean place in Times Square where I can go pee.”

DIRECTOR – Malinda Sorci
Malinda Sorci is Producing Artistic Director of theNEST, an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Marymount Manhattan College, and an Adjunct Instructor at St. John’s University. Malinda was formerly the Concert and Special Event Producer at Foster Entertainment. Malinda received her MFA in Directing from the New School for Drama. Malinda Sorci has produced and directed productions and readings internationally and nationally at venues, including: Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Town Hall, Old Vic/New Voices, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Cherry Lane, 59E59 Theaters, and the Barrow Street Theatre, among others.www.malindasorci.com www.thenestnyc.org
CINEMATOGRAPHER – Yevgeniy K’banchik
Yevgeniy K’banchik is an award-wining cinematographer and filmmaker. A graduate of the Moscow School for Filmmaking and Screenwriting, Yevgeniy has worked in Telesto film company in Moscow (Russia) directing films for TV, as well as a freelance special effects artist and cinematographer. In 2004 his first short Stalker-Blues, received a special recognition at Ashland Literary film festival. In 2005 his documentary Master was a nominee for Golden Lion at Swaziland Film festival in Africa. In 2010 His film Pechatnikoff Alley #3, won the Prodigy Auteure Prize in Amsterdam and a prize at the Indie Film Fest USA. In 2009, Yevgeniy created Zoige Production Company, and has been producing short films and instructional videos as a director and cinematographer.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 74

But be contented when that fell arrest
Without all bail shall carry me away,
My life hath in this line some interest,
Which for memorial still with thee shall stay.
When thou reviewest this, thou dost review
The very part was consecrate to thee:
The earth can have but earth, which is his due;
My spirit is thine, the better part of me:
So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life,
The prey of worms, my body being dead;
The coward conquest of a wretch’s knife,
Too base of thee to be remembered.
     The worth of that is that which it contains,
     And that is this, and this with thee remains.



Sonnet 74 contemplates the separation and values of the soul and body to one who loves you.

Shakespeare asks his beloved, as though in mid-conversation, not to be upset when death arrives and carries him off. His life will continue to some extent in these lines, which his beloved will always have to remember him by. In the future, when this poem is reread, the youth will see again the precise thing that was so dedicated to him– Shakespeare’s spirit. He says the earth can only take his body, the earthly part of him. But his spirit, the better part, is the youth’s to keep. Shakespeare looks down on his body, mere worm-food, so easily killed, because what gives his body its worth is the spirit it contains, and that spirit is this poem, and this poem will remain with his beloved.

Will’s Wordplay

It is uncertain whether the wretch in line 11 is victim, Time, or a common murderer,or even seamier implications. The line obviously refers to the body, being dead, and it could be read as an injunction to the youth to regard the poet’s body, when dead, as nothing more than something slain in a back alley. Or it could again anthropomorphise Time, as a cowardly killer brandishing his reaper’s scythe. Or perhaps Shakespeare felt he was being targeted by a killer, or perhaps was himself a coward, contemplating suicide…


Strawberry Fields, Central Park, Manhattan

“Living is easy with eyes closed” at Strawberry Fields, a 2.5-acre landscaped section in Central Park dedicated to the memory of Beatles member John Lennon.

Creation and Location

The Central Park memorial was designed by Bruce Kelly, the chief landscape architect for the Central Park Conservancy. Strawberry Fields was dedicated on what would have been Lennon’s 45th birthday, October 9, 1985, by New York Mayor Ed Koch and Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono, who had underwritten the project.

The entrance to the memorial is located on Central Park West at West 72nd Street, directly across from the Dakota Apartments, where Lennon had lived for the later part of his life, and where he was murdered. The memorial is a triangular piece of land falling away on the two sides of the park, and its focal point is a circular pathway mosaic of inlaid stones,a gift from the city of Naples, with a single word, the title of Lennon’s famous song: “Imagine”. Along the borders of the area surrounding the mosaic are benches which are endowed in memory of other individuals and maintained by the Central Park Conservancy. Along a path toward the southeast, a plaque on a low glaciated outcropping of schist lists the nations which contributed to building the memorial. Yoko Ono, who still lives in The Dakota, contributed over a million dollars for the landscaping and the upkeep endowment.[1]

The mosaic, in the style of Portuguese pavement, is at the heart of a series of open and secret glades of lawn and glacier-carved rock outcroppings, bounded by shrubs and mature trees and woodland slopes, all designated a “quiet zone”. A woodland walk winds through edge plantings between the glade-like upper lawn and the steep wooded slopes; it contains native rhododendrons and hollies, Carolina Allspice Mountain Laurel, viburnums, and Jetbead. Wild shrub roses flank the main walk. At the farthest northern tip of the upper series of lawns enclosed by woodland are three Dawn Redwood trees, which lose their needles but regain them every spring, an emblem of eternal renewal. The trees can be expected to reach a height of 18 ft within 100 years, and eventually they will be visible from great distances in the park.
The memorial is often covered with flowers, candles in glasses, and other belongings left behind by Lennon fans. On Lennon’s birthday (October 9) and on the anniversary of his death (December 8), people gather to sing songs and pay tribute, staying late into what is often a cold night.

Impromptu memorial gatherings for other musicians, including Jerry Garcia and George Harrison, have occurred at the memorial. Many times, particularly in the summer and on the anniversaries of birthdays of the other members of The Beatles, gatherings take place at the site. In the days following the September 11 attacks, candlelight vigils were held at the Imagine Circle to remember those killed. On the thirtieth anniversary of John Lennon’s death, vigils were also held here for him.

One of its best-known visitors is Gary dos Santos, a fan of The Beatles who decorates the memorial in circles of different flowers and objects, often in the shape of a peace sign.[2]



1. http://www.centralpark.com/guide/attractions/strawberry-fields.html
2. Chiaramonte, Perry (2008-04-14). “Strawberry Jam”. New York Post. Retrieved 2009-09-16.


ACTOR – Yuval David

Yuval David is an athlete-actor, creatively pursuing his artistic career as an actor of film, television, theatre, radio, and new media. His beginnings in theatre led him to Shakespeare at a young age. Growing up in Washington, D.C., Yuval frequently performed at The Shakespeare Theatre, Washington Shakespeare Company, The and the Folger Theatre. His Shakespeare and classical theatre adventures continued and he also performed in productions with Shakespeare & Company, The Shakespeare Globe Centre, Bridgeport Shakespeare, and Instant Shakespeare. After playing Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and Ferdinand in The Tempest, Yuval also began focusing on contemporary theatre, with numerous productions at The Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Source Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, Classica Theatre, Stanislavsky Theatre Studio, among other theaters in New York City and regional theaters across the US. Now, Yuval is mostly seen on Television and Film. As a cast member of ABC’s hit show What Would You Do, Yuval plays a wide array of characters in this hidden camera show. Other television recurring roles include The Michael J Fox Show, Days of Our Lives, and The Corner. Film roles include: “Nephilim,” “The Fifth Estate,” “The Awakening of Spring,” “You,” and numerous independent films. Yuval’s voice can be heard in commercial campaigns and narration for documentaries. He regularly performs Improv Comedy and Sketch Comedy in New York City and Los Angeles. And, he continuously creates content, writing, directing, performing, and filming. To see more of this and more of Yuval, go to and follow at YuvalDavid.com, Facebook.com/YuvalDavid, Twitter.com/YuvalDavid, Instagram.com/YuvalDavid, Youtube.com/YuvalDavidActor, and Vimeo.com/YuvalDavid.



As an Actor, Singer, and Voice Artist, Judy has used her talents to entertain people on both land and sea. As a proud member of Actors Equity some memorable roles include Kaye in The Tafettas, Marian in Swingtime Canteen (National Tour), Martha in 1776, and Diana in Lend Me a Tenor. She originated a role in Silent Laughter with the comedy writers Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore. Her voice can be heard on American Airlines and in the video game Red Dead Redemption and she has sold various things on local commercials. She performed as a Lead singer on the Royal Caribbean Cruise line and worked as a promotional model for Mattel’s Barbie division for 5 Toy Shows. Needless to say since graduating NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts her career has taken her from Soap Opera’s to Broadway and beyond. After a brief hiatus she is happy to have had the opportunity to work on The Sonnet Project and can’t wait to see what the future has in store.


DIRECTOR – Jill Salvino

Jill Salvino is a seasoned director of multimedia commercial work as well as a formative screenwriter and filmmaker. Having directed over 500 commercials, she is credited with over 200 industry-related awards.

Jill has directed – and continues to direct – some of the most recognizable talent and well-known personal brands in the past two decades including Kevin Bacon, Kathy Griffin, Valerie Harper, Lauren Hutton, Patti Labelle, Wolfgang Puck, Suzanne Sommers, Diane Von Furstenberg, Raquel Welch, and Rita Wilson.

In addition to her commercial work, Jill has written two feature length screenplays; “In Vino Veritas” and “Layover.” Most recently, she directed and produced the short film “Taking it for Granted.”

Jill Salvino is a longstanding member of Promax, chair of the Telly Silver council and represented by management/legal as per IMDB page

See more at: IMDB | Vimeo | Krop | JillSalvino

ALT links:
See more work at: www.jillsalvino.com


CINEMATOGRAPHER- Christopher Vernale

Christopher Vernale is a Brooklyn-based cinematographer and artist with over ten years experience in film and video. Born in New York, and raised in the south and mid-west, he studied Media Art and graduated from the University of Oklahoma.

Originally interested in writing, photography and the visual arts have always been a large part of his goals in expression. Christopher’s work focuses on the psychology of the past, and the balance of our nurture vs. base human nature. His photographic style can be described as organic, balanced with a keen sense of storytelling that complements his work and brings about a high level of authenticity. Christopher Vernale is currently owner of EL RAVEN PRODUCTIONS, and has shot in all genres from reality to commercial, corporate to narrative (www.elraven.com)


COMPOSER – Patrisa Tomassini

Patrisa Tomassini is a member of the string quartet, Quartette Indigo, which performs genres ranging from spirituals to salsa.
Her Broadway and concert performances include The Phantom of the Opera, The Light in the Piazza, Love Musik, Andrea Bocelli, Bjork, and many more.
She is the winner of the Stresa International Violin Competition.


EDITOR- Kenneth Fabritius

Kenneth Fabritius is credited with camera & electrical department work for: Babygirl and Puzzle. He has been the editor for The Sonnet Project (short) & Love, Lies & Seeta and also has 2 credits in the editorial department for Taking it for Granted (short) and Love Me as I am. Kenneth lives in the Upper East Side of Manahattan and works as a freelancer for several NYC post houses creating b-roll and sizzle reels.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 75

So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
Or as sweet-season’d showers are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such strife
As ‘twixt a miser and his wealth is found.
Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure;
Now counting best to be with you alone,
Then better’d that the world may see my pleasure:
Sometime all full with feasting on your sight,
And by and by clean starved for a look;
Possessing or pursuing no delight
Save what is had, or must from you be took.
     Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
     Or gluttoning on all, or all away.



In Sonnet 75, the poet expresses pleasure in the presence of his beloved, but that his devotion makes him a miser, filled with anxiety and pleasure.

Billy calls the youth his nourishment, the thing that makes his life possible. However, likens his behavior toward the youth to the extreme behavior of a miser. Either he sees the youth all the time, dotes on his company, and enjoys showing him off, or else he is all too aware of his absence, feeling starved and joyless. Nothing seems to satisfy him, and between the two extremes of satiety and starvation he finds no middle way.

Will’s Wordplay

Some critics believe that “peace” in line 3 could be a misprint. The great critic Edmund Malone argued that “the context seems to require that we should rather read ‘price’ or ‘sake’. The conflicting passions described by the poet were not produced by a regard to the ease or quiet of his friend, but by the high value he set on his esteem” [1]. Another possibility is that “peace” is play on “piece” (as in “pieces of money”), in keeping with the theme of wealth beginning in line 4. However, because of the contrast between “peace” and “strife” in line 3, the general consensus is that Shakespeare intended “peace” and not “piece.”


“Life Underground”, 14th St. A/C/E Station, Manhattan

Who knows just what goes on down there? Life Underground (2001) is a permanent public artwork created by American sculptor Tom Otterness for the 14th Street – Eighth Avenue station (A C E L trains) of the New York City Subway. It was commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Arts for Transit program for $200,000 — one percent of the station’s reconstruction budget.[1] This program has commissioned more than 170 permanent works of art for public transportation facilities the MTA owns and operates.[2] This work is one of the most popular artworks in the subway system.

The installation is a series of whimsical miniature bronze sculptures depicting cartoon like characters showing people and animals in various situations, and additional abstract sculptures, which are dispersed throughout the station platforms and passageways. Otterness said the subject of the work is “the impossibility of understanding life in New York”[1] and describes the arrangement of the individual pieces as being “scattered in little surprises.”[3] Art critic Olympia Lambert wrote that “the lovable bronze characters installed there are joined together by a common theme of implied criminality mixed with an undercurrent of social anarchy”.[4] Many of the figures have moneybag heads, and Otterness credits 19th century political cartoonist Thomas Nast’s depiction of Boss Tweed and the corruption of Tammany Hall that was ongoing at the time of the subway’s initial construction as his inspiration for these.[5][6]
One of the larger pieces depicts a sewer alligator, as described by reporter Michael Rundle: “There is a bronze alligator on the Eighth Avenue and 14th Street subway platform, wearing a suit and tie. A 10-inch-high bronze man — also wearing a suit and tie — is struggling to escape his powerful jaws. Watching the scene, aside from throngs of L train riders, is another 10-inch figure. He stands beside his stricken friend, hands clasped behind his back, as if to say: ‘I told you not to get so close’.”[7] Otterness’ sculpture has been praised for its appeal to all ages.

The New York Times published a 2003 account describing the interaction of a 4-year old boy with the sewer alligator. After jumping on the alligator’s head and trying to wrestle the little man from his bronze jaws, the observer notes that the boy, “about to give up, he kicked the alligator, his foot connecting solidly with the bronze head. Surprise spread across his face as he ran away, crying, ‘Mom, it tried to bite me!’.”[8]

Otterness became so obsessed with this project, that he delivered more than four times the amount of artwork he was originally commissioned to produce! His wife finally made him end expansion of the collection by imploring him to stop “giving away our daughter’s whole inheritance”.[5] The complete series encompasses more than 100 individual pieces.[9] Some of the individual pieces were put on public display in 1996 on the southeast corner of Central Park at Fifth Avenue and then in Battery Park City in downtown Manhattan in 1997, to get public reaction prior to its installation originally scheduled for 1998. Approximately 25 of the pieces were finally installed at the end of 2000 with the balance installed in the following years. The entire project took 10 years from commissioning to the final completion of the installation.[10]

Partial List of Individual Sculptures

-an alligator coming out of a manhole cover, biting the behind of a person with a moneybag head
-a sleeping homeless person being watched over by a police officer
-a couple walking arm and arm
-workers sweeping up subway tokens
-a couple of fare beaters sneaking under a barrier and a cop ready to catch them on the other side
-a little man with a big money bag sitting quietly on a bench, perpetually waiting for a train
-workers carrying oversize versions of the tools used to build the subways
people sweeping up piles of pennies
-colossal feet cut off flat at the ankles
-a totem-like sculpture whose human features are formed into the shape of a telephone
-two figures holding a crosscut saw, going after an I-beam
-little people sitting atop bulging bags of money



1. Fisher, Ian (1996-05-11). “New York Writ Small;Sassy Sculpture Casts Whimsical Cityscape in Bronze”. New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
2. Dunlap, David W. (2007-01-24). “Admiring art while waiting for the next train”. International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2007-10-22
3. Fredman, Catherine (January 2005). “Underground Treasures: New York City’s Subway Art”. 360 e-zine.
4. Lambert, Olympia (2007-10-23). “Tom Otterness at Marlborough Gallery”. ArtCal Zine
5. Rosenstock, Bonnie (2007-10-17). “Artist figures it’s all about engaging the public”. The Villager. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
6. Cueto, Cathleen, II (2005-06-07). “The Art Underground”. Tracts. Not For Tourists. Retrieved 2007-10-27.
7. Rundle, Michael (2007-10-22). “For public artist, ‘life is good’ : Tom Otterness can be seen at new gallery show, or in the subway system”. Metro New York. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
8. Passoni, Tara (2003-05-12). “Metropolitan Diary”. In Rogers, Joe. The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-10-27.
9. Johnston, Lauren (2007-10-04). “Otterness: Private studio of the very public artist”. AM New York. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
10. “The AI Interview: Tom Otterness” (pdf). ARTINFO. 2006-09-27. Retrieved 2007-10-24


ACTOR – Susan Berkely

As voice of AT&T and Citibank and founder of www.greatvoice.com, Susan Berkley is one of the most listened to voices in America. Her voice has been featured on hundreds of non-broadcast productions and on national comercials for Land Rover and Dunkin’Donuts. She has also been a promo voice for Lifetime, The Travel Channel and CNBC.

A former radio personality, Susan was a cast member of the Howard Stern Show, his beleagured traffic reporter whom he affectionately called “Susan Bezerkowitz”

Other voice talent call Susan “the most respected voice over teacher alive”… and the list of well-known talent who freely reference Susan and The Great Voice Company as their primary mentor for voice over training is just staggering.

Susan is the author of Speak to Influence: How to Unlock The Hidden Power of Your Voice and a behind-the-scenes presentation skills coach on Donald Trump’s Apprentice (Season 4). A frequent media guest, she has been featured in The New York Times, Business Week and The LA Times, and on TV: To Tell The Truth, CNBC and ABC News.

In the 1980’s Susan was briefly married to Brazilian rock guitarist Sergio Dias (Os Mutantes) and learned Portuguese, which she speaks fluently.

She is honored by this opportunity to interpret the beautiful Sonnet 75.


DIRECTOR – Mikal Evans

Mikal Evans, a native of Moore, South Carolina, graduated with a major in acting and directing from Southern Methodist University before moving to Washington, DC, where she worked at the H Street playhouse and Firebelly productions. Since moving to NYC, she has since been in numerous films, including Jay Roach’s Emmy award winning Game Change with Julianne Moore. Other credits include Kisses, Chloe (Hampton’s International Film Festival) and How We Got Away with It (Bare Bones, MaGa Fest, Soho Int Film Fest, Sonoma Film Fest). You can also see Mikal in the upcoming Hillary Brougher/Killer Films Innocence and Alexis Gambi’s The Fly Room. Her directing debut, the short film Diminished Returns, is anticipated for a Fall 2013 release. Mikal also has two albums released, a jailhouse…a kingdom and Build a Cannon, available on iTunes.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 76

Why is my verse so barren of new pride,
So far from variation or quick change?
Why with the time do I not glance aside
To new-found methods, and to compounds strange?
Why write I still all one, ever the same,
And keep invention in a noted weed,
That every word doth almost tell my name,
Showing their birth, and where they did proceed?
O! know sweet love I always write of you,
And you and love are still my argument;
So all my best is dressing old words new,
Spending again what is already spent:
     For as the sun is daily new and old,
     So is my love still telling what is told.



Sonnet 76 examines the issue of the poet’s obsession with the Youth as the repeated and sole theme of his poetry.

Shakespeare expresses frustration with his poetry; that it is repetitive and he can’t find inspiration. He ponders finding inspiration from other artists. He concludes justifying the endless, uninspired, repetition of his love poetry to the endless repetition to the rising and setting sun.

Will’s Wordplay

“Noted weed” is usually glossed to mean familiar clothing. The Norton Shakespeare annotates “and keep invention in a noted weed” thus: And keep literary creativity in such familiar clothing. This conforms with the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of Weed, sb2: 1: an article of apparel; a garment, and is consistent with the theme of mending, re-using, etc. (“all my best is dressing old words new”).[1]

Although no academics concur, it has been suggested that Shakespeare is referring to the influence of drugs in poetry creation.,[2] with the subject phrase “Noted weed” referring to the use of cannabis, which was common in England at the time.[3] In this interpretation, “Compounds strange” is taken to be a reference to strange chemicals (i.e. drugs), instead of a use of inverted construction, a common poetical device common to Shakespeare. One could argue the poet is thinking he could use drugs to be inspired. He then states he decides not to use such inspiration. (The poet does not “glance aside”. Also, he decides to keep the inspirational in the “noted weed” rather than use it.)[citation needed]

The colloquialism “weed” not used in reference to the drug cannabis in the USA until the 1920s.[4] However, the term could have been used as a reference to the commonplace plant, which was mass-produced for fiber.


Kettle of Fish

“The Kettle made its name as a hangout for aspiring bohemians not long after it opened on MacDougal Street above the famed Gaslight Café in 1950. Three moves and half a century later, the current cozy basement space, with its low ceilings, strings of lights, and a comfy-as-home collection of sofas and chairs still draws plenty of bookish types, but the location ensures a happy cross-section of straight football fans (the owner roots for the Packers), gay tourists (Kettle abuts Stonewall Inn), and students who could go either way—depending on how much Sixpoint ale they’ve downed. With most of the patrons wrapped up in lively intercourse, the jukebox tends to fall by the wayside, leaving the nearby cabaret to pick up the slack as show tunes bleed down from above. Surprisingly, even with the disproportionate representation of gray hair and writerly tweeds, the Ms. Pac-Man machine gets plenty of play.” — Mitchell Healey, New York Magazine [1]



1. http://nymag.com/listings/bar/kettle_of_fish/


ACTOR – Len Cariou

LEN CARIOU is a distinguished member of the Theatre Hall of Fame and a three-time Tony nominee, for Applause, A Little Night Music, and for his legendary performance as Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, (Tony award-winner, Best Actor). His other Broadway credits include Nightwatch, Cold Storage, Teddy & Alice, Dance a Little Closer, The Speed of Darkness, Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party, and Proof. Showing his range, he toured the U.S. as Cap’n Andy in Showboat, and as Nils Bohr in Copenhagen. He scored his most recent triumph in The Gate Theatre’s definitive, hit production of All My Sons, in Dublin, Ireland, reprising his role as Joe Keller, which he also won raves for at the Geffen Theatre in Los Angeles in 2007. In addition, he was recently lauded for his performance as Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon at the Vancouver Playhouse and Canadian Stage. In 2008 he directed a production of Glengarry Glen Ross (Manitoba Theatre Centre) which sold out it’s mid-winter run despite outside temperatures of 40 below zero.

His classical stage repertoire is far ranging, encompassing the title roles in Oedipus the King, Macbeth, Cyrano, Coriolanus, and two productions of King Lear, as well as Iago, Petruchio, Prospero and many others. Off-Broadway, he is proud of his work as Ernest Hemingway in Papa, William O. Douglas in Mountain, and Joseph Stalin in Master Class. Regionally, he has starred in a multitude of productions at theatres throughout North America, including The Kennedy Centre, The Mark Taper Forum, The Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Stratford Shakespeare Festivals in both Ontario and Connecticut, The Guthrie Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre and The Old Globe. He is a former Artistic Director of the Manitoba Theatre Centre, and former Associate Director of the Guthrie Theatre.

Several feature films include the popular The Four Seasons, Executive Decision, Thirteen Days, and About Schmidt with Jack Nicholson, as well as Secret Window with Johnny Depp, Flags of Our Fathers, and 1408.He was awarded a Genie, Canada’s Oscar, for Best Actor in the film One Man.

On television, Mr. Cariou currently stars as Henry Reagan (Tom Selleck’s father) on the hit CBS series Blue Bloods. He spent two seasons as powerhouse political appointee Judd Fitzgerald in the Showtime series Brotherhood with Dublin’s own Fionnula Flanagan. He has guest starred on CSI:Las Vegas, The Practice, West Wing, Law & Order, The Outer Limits, Swift Justice, and Murder She Wrote, to name only a few. Myriad TV movies include Surviving, Man in the Attic, Who Will Save Our Children, There Were Times Dear (PBS), Miracle on Route 880, Killer in the Mirror, Hallmark Hall of Fame’s The Summer of Ben Tyler, Nuremberg (TNT) and as Franklin Roosevelt in HBO’s Into the Storm.

Mr. Cariou is known for his voice-over work in commercials, books-on-tape and film, especially on The Jonestown Flood which won an Academy Award, and as Harry Bosch in Michael Connolly’s well-known novels.


DIRECTOR – Kyle Beechey

Kyle Beechey is a Canadian born New York based filmmaker. She recently received her MA in Media Studies from the New School. Her interests lie primarily in experimental film and personal documentary. Her additional current projects include, August, a short documentary of a cross country Canadian road trip and tactile experiments in 16mm found footage. This is her first venture into Shakespearian text and working with a professional actor. She is thrilled that the Sonnet Project has allowed her to collaborate with the revered Len Cariou. To this point, her work has been focused on locations outside the New York area, leaving her eager to showcase a quintessential city institution, Kettle of Fish.

For further examples of her work please visit, kylebeechey.com

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 77

Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear,
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste;
The vacant leaves thy mind’s imprint will bear,
And of this book, this learning mayst thou taste.
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory;
Thou by thy dial’s shady stealth mayst know
Time’s thievish progress to eternity.
Look what thy memory cannot contain,
Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find
Those children nursed, delivered from thy brain,
To take a new acquaintance of thy mind.
     These offices, so oft as thou wilt look,
     Shall profit thee and much enrich thy book.



In Sonnet 77, the poet encourages his beloved to preserve his thoughts in writing, as they watch themselves age.

Here, Shakespeare warns his lover that the mirror will show how their beauty is wearing away, the clock how their precious minutes are disappearing; the pages of this blank notebook will record their thoughts; and they may learn the following things from those thoughts: The wrinkles in the mirror will remind them of open graves. By the hands of your clock, they will learn how time keeps stealing away to eternity. By writing reminders on these blank pages, when they encounter those thoughts again, the children of your brain, they’ll be grown up, nourished by continued reflection. They’ll be like a new acquaintance. Doing these things often will fill the tome with memories


Will’s Wordplay

The poem has been taken as referring to the gift of a blank-book or book of tablets, perhaps to the beloved, although some have suggested a more distant friendship than that in the other sonnets. It is also hypothesized that the poem relates specifically to the Rival Poet: knowing that he has lost favor, Shakespeare makes a present of this blank book to the beloved, who will now have to fill it himself, since Shakespeare has fallen silent.

The gift of a mirror and dial places the poem in the memento mori tradition, a reflection on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits that was popular through the Renaissance and well into the Victorian period.

Scholar’s Corner
Sonnet 77 is the mid-point in the sequence of 154 sonnets. The fact that it is about a mirror may be relevant to its placing. Edmund Spenser mentions mirrors at the mid-point of his sequence, Amoretti, Sonnet 45 of 89: “Leaue lady in your glasse of christall clene, / Your goodly selfe for euermore to vew”.[1]



1. Larsen, Kenneth J. “Structure” in Essays on Shakespeare’s Sonnets.


James Gordon Bennett Memorial, Herald Square, Manhattan

WHO is that up there?

“The green eyes pierce the night, arresting pedestrians who notice the mute blinking orbs above the bustle of Herald Square in Manhattan. But for the most part, the glowing specters go unnoticed by many….

It comes from the eyes of two stern-looking bronze owls perched atop a tall granite monument in the northern part of the park in Herald Square. They are among New York City’s more obscure architectural oddities. Lighting up every night from dusk until dawn, they can be seen blocks away, their blinks lasting approximately two seconds. But they are not modern additions.

The owls have glowed nightly, barring periodic electrical disruptions, since the monument was completed in 1940, and they were lighting up elsewhere even earlier than that.

If they appear mysterious to people now — recent hypotheses from passers-by included National Security Agency surveillance, Halloween decoration and pigeon deterrent — then some midcentury New Yorkers were probably downright frightened by them.

The eyes are made from thick, green-tinted glass. Green LEDs were installed behind them in a 2007 restoration. Before then, incandescent bulbs sat in the owls’ skulls and projected as green through the glass, Don Bussolini, a capital projects director for the 34th Street Partnership, said.

How these green-eyed owls first came to be is stranger than most would imagine.

The two owls were once part of a flock of 22 that roosted along the roofline of the old New York Herald newspaper building, for which the square was named. The owls lit up on the hour with the ringing of a clock bell that was part of the building.”
–Alex Vadkul, The New York Times, 2013 [1]

“The building was designed by Stanford White (of the leading firm McKim, Mead & White, architects of this Museum) on commission from the newspaper’s flamboyant publisher, James Gordon Bennett, Jr.

Bennett also conceived the array of bronze roof sculptures, installed in 1895. The central figure group, commissioned in Paris from the French sculptor Antonin Jean Paul Carles (1851–1919), featured the Roman war goddess Minerva presiding over two hammer-wielding blacksmiths, who flank a large bell. The stately owls that edged the rest of the roofline were electrified so that their glass eyes glowed and blinked in time with the hammered toning of the hours. Bennett had a penchant for owls—the official emblem of the Herald—and collected both live and sculpted ones. Neither the designer nor the foundry responsible for these owls has yet been identified.

In 1939 (by which time the demolition of the Herald Building was nearly complete) Minerva, the bell-ringer group, and two of the four winged owls were installed in Herald Square as the James Gordon Bennett Memorial.” [2]


The Memorial’s Inscription




1. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/02/nyregion/with-a-birds-eye-view-of-herald-square-seeing-all-but-noticed-by-few.html?_r=0
2. http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/126975/Standing_Owl_from_New_York_Herald_Building_NYC
3. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/herald-square/monuments/1042


ACTOR – Marni Penning Coleman

Marni Penning was introduced to Shakespeare at age 8, and has performed in 53 productions of 24 of Shakespeare’s plays in her professional career. She is a co-founder of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, for whom she performed over 35 roles, including Juliet, Kate, Rosalind, Beatrice, and Hamlet, and toured the US and UK for three years with what is now the American Shakespeare Center. In addition to her award-winning Shakespearean roles, she is a two-time Helen Hayes Award nominee, and a playwright, teacher, VoiceOver artist, children’s book illustrator, and professional Sarah Palin impersonator who lives with her husband, son, and dog in the Washington, DC area.
More info at http://www.marnipenning.com.


DIRECTOR – James Monohan

A graduate of the University of Southern California’s Cinema-Television program, James Monohan directs a variety of projects for both stage and screen while also freelancing as a cinematographer and video editor. His television editing has contributed to several hit shows and his online video directing has resulted in multiple “viral videos.” Recently, he co-created and directed his first TV pilot for a major cable network. In his spare time, he produces and co-hosts The Narrative Breakdown , a podcast about story craft, and continues to maintain an iOS brainstorming app for writers called The Storyometer . Currently, James is a Key Person at Aarmada Entertainment and will soon begin a position as Senior Media Producer at TheaterMania. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and ginger cat.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 79

Whilst I alone did call upon thy aid,
My verse alone had all thy gentle grace;
But now my gracious numbers are decayed,
And my sick Muse doth give an other place.
I grant, sweet love, thy lovely argument
Deserves the travail of a worthier pen;
Yet what of thee thy poet doth invent
He robs thee of, and pays it thee again.
He lends thee virtue, and he stole that word
From thy behaviour; beauty doth he give,
And found it in thy cheek: he can afford
No praise to thee, but what in thee doth live.
     Then thank him not for that which he doth say,
     Since what he owes thee, thou thyself dost pay.



In Sonnet 79, the poet belittles the work of a rival to their shared patron.

When Billy was the only writer who looked to you for inspiration, only HIS poetry received his beloved’s good graces, and the benefits that come with. But now, he is forced to make room for a rival poet. He concedes that such a lovely subject as his beloved deserves a better writer. But this guy? He’s only stealing ideas from his lovers back pocket and giving it right back, presented as new. He learned to call them “virtuous”, but he only learned that word from watching that virtue performed. He only found out about beauty from looking on their face. Its not praise, its stating the obvious! Billy begs his beloved not to thank this rival for what he says, since he’s only being paid to say it.


Will’s Wordplay

Let’s talk about the Rival Poet, shall we? This guy may be fictional or real, and could be more than one guy! The sonnets most commonly identified as the Rival Poet group are sonnets 78–86. Several theories about these characters exist, and scholarly debate continues to put forward both conflicting and compelling arguments. The speaker of the poem, Our Dear Willy, sees the Rival Poet as a competitor for fame, wealth and patronage. Among others, George Chapman, Christopher Marlowe, Samuel Daniel, Michael Drayton, Barnabe Barnes, Gervase Markham, and Richard Barnfield have been proposed as identities for the Rival Poet.


Zuccotti Park, Manhattan

Zuccotti Park, formerly called Liberty Plaza Park, is a 33,000-square-foot (3,100 m2) publicly accessible park in Lower Manhattan, New York City. It is a privately owned public space (POPS) controlled by Brookfield Properties

The site was the location of the first coffeehouse in colonial New York City, The King’s Arms which opened under the ownership of Lieutenant John Hutchins in 1696. It stood on the west side of Broadway between Crown (now Liberty) Street and Little Prince (now Cedar) Street. On November 5, 1773, summoned by the Sons of Liberty, a huge crowd assembled outside the coffee house to denounce the Tea Act, and agents of the East India Trading company who were handling cargoes of dutied tea. It was perhaps the first public demonstration in opposition to Tea Act in the American colonies.[1]

The park, formerly called Liberty Plaza Park, was created in 1968 by Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel in return for a height bonus for an adjacent building at the time of its construction. The U.S. Steel Building, which replaced the demolished Singer Building, is now known as One Liberty Plaza.[2] The park was one of the few open spaces with tables and seats in the Financial District. Located one block from the World Trade Center, it was covered with debris, and subsequently used as a staging area for the recovery efforts after the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. As part of the Lower Manhattan rebuilding efforts, the park was regraded, trees were planted, and the tables and seating restored.[3]

On June 1, 2006, the park reopened after an $8 million renovation designed by Cooper, Robertson & Partners. It was renamed Zuccotti Park in honor of John E. Zuccotti, former City Planning Commission chairman and first deputy mayor under Abe Beame and now the chairman of Brookfield Properties,[4] which used private money to renovate the park. Currently, the park has a wide variety of trees, granite sidewalks, tables and seats, as well as lights built into the ground, which illuminate the area. With its proximity to Ground Zero, Zuccotti Park is a popular tourist destination. The World Trade Center cross, which was previously housed at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, was featured in a ceremony held in Zuccotti Park before it was moved to the 9/11 Memorial.[5]

On September 17, 2011, the “Occupy Wall Street” protest began using Zuccotti Park as a campground and staging area for their actions. Some of the protesters displayed a placard welcoming visitors to “Liberty Park”, an informal return to a version of the park’s original name. The organizers had originally planned to occupy One Chase Manhattan Plaza, but the plaza was closed.[6]

Because Zuccotti Park is not a publicly owned space, it is not subject to ordinary public park curfew. New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said on September 28, 2011, that the NYPD could not bar protesters from Zuccotti Park since it is a public plaza that is required to stay open 24 hours a day. “In building this plaza, there was an agreement it be open 24 hours a day,” Kelly said. “The owners have put out regulations [about what’s allowed in park]. The owners will have to come in and direct people not to do certain things.” A spokesperson for Brookfield Properties, the owner of the park, expressed concern: “Zuccotti Park is intended for the use and enjoyment of the general public for passive recreation. We are extremely concerned with the conditions that have been created by those currently occupying the park and are actively working with the City of New York to address these conditions and restore the park to its intended purpose.”[7]

On October 6, 2011, it was reported that Brookfield Office Properties, which owns Zuccotti Park, had issued a statement which said, “Sanitation is a growing concern … Normally the park is cleaned and inspected every weeknight… because the protesters refuse to cooperate … the park has not been cleaned since Friday, September 16th and as a result, sanitary conditions have reached unacceptable levels.” To protect and clean the park, protesters volunteered to sweep the areas of the plaza and posted signs urging each other to avoid damaging the flower beds. Starting at roughly 1 am local time on November 15, NYPD began clearing Zuccotti Park. After a court order was released allowing them to return, police refused to allow them back in. Later that day, the New York Supreme Court that issued the injunction ruled against allowing protesters to camp or sleep in Zuccotti Park. At midnight on December 31, 2011 about 500 protestors clashed with police when they attempted to re-occupy the park. Sixty-eight people were arrested within several hours.[8]

Steel barriers restricting access to the park were removed on January 10, 2012. On January 24, Occupy Wall Street protesters dropped their lawsuit against the city and Brookfield for the imposition of rules which prohibited their tents, generators, and other installations from the park. The rules restricting these items had been upheld in court and enforced in the park.[9]



1. Burrows, Edwin G. and Wallace, Mike. Gotham: A History of New York. p. 108
2. Roberts, Sam (October 5, 2011). “A Public Servant Whose Name Is Now on Protesters’ Lips”. The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
3. “Liberty Plaza Construction to Begin this Spring”. Battery Park City Broadsheet. Jan 21, 2004. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
4. “Liberty Plaza Construction to Begin this Spring”. Battery Park City Broadsheet. Jan 21, 2004. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
5. “WTC Cross’ is Installed in 9/11 Memorial Museum”. July 23, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2011.
6. Pepitone, Juliane (September 16, 2011). “Thousands of protesters to ‘Occupy Wall Street’ on Saturday”. CNN. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
7. Fractenberg, Ben (September 28, 2011). “Zuccotti Park Can’t Be Closed to Wall Street Protesters, NYPD Says”. DNA Info. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
8. “OWS Clash With Police At Zuccotti Park”. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
9. Moynihan, Colin (January 24, 2012). “Occupy Wall Street Drops Suit on Zuccotti Park”. New York Times. Retrieved January 25, 2012.


ACTOR – Phil Mutz

Philip is a writer and actor in New York City. Recent acting credits include Comedy of Errors, Henry V, Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Cymbeline(Shakespeare Theatre of NJ), Kidnapping Laura Linney (Midtown International Theatre Festival), Gay Camp (FringeNYC, Duplex Cabaret Theatre, Crown & Anchor), King John (NY Shakespeare Exchange), and Romeo and Juliet(Columbia Stages). His writing credits include The Real Life (Identity Theater Co), Gay Camp (The Duplex, FringeNYC, the PIT), Kidnapping Laura Linney(MITF), and SuperBen (Think Theater Project). Philip holds a B.F.A. in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has trained in sketch writing and improv with the Upright Citizens Brigade.


DIRECTOR – Sam Rappold

Sam Rappold is a 27 year old filmmaker and native New Yorker. Born in 1987 in Manhattan,
Sam was raised in the borough of Queens. Both Sam’s parents were former filmmakers themselves (his father a cinematographer and editor and mother a television producer) and they cultivated a love of entertainment and the movies in Sam from a very young age. His first experiences as an entertainer came in his teenage years when he joined the stand-up comedy troop: the Kids ‘n Comedy, where he became the troop’s headliner and was hailed as “…a frickin’ genius” by the Village Voice. It was also as a teen that Sam first became a lover of the works of William Shakespeare. At the tender age of thirteen, he committed to memory Antony’s eulogy speech from Julius Caesar for a school project. As a participant in BAM’s Young Critics Program, Sam had the opportunity to attend and review world-class productions of Shakespeare’s plays the likes of Propeller Company.
As a student at Adelphi University, Sam threw himself into studying every aspect of filmmaking, from writing, to editing to acting. During a student internship, he PA’ed on the first ever courtroom drama film about the subject of gay marriage: An Affirmative Act. He also explored his love of Shakespeare through his newly found skill as a filmmaker when he created a documentary about a fellow student’s efforts to mount a production of Hamlet. The university’s faculty named Sam’s final undergraduate production; entitled Ice, Best Student Film of the Year in 2010. It was also during the
production of Ice that Sam first met his future wife Danielle Saunders (whom he married in October 2014).
After graduating university, Sam worked as a freelance filmmaker on projects ranging from
feature films to political adds to music videos. He also continued to pursue his own projects, and was named New York’s Filmmaker of the Year in 2011 by RAW Natural Born Artists for his short: Price Check. Sam accepted a full time job as an in-house shooter and editor at TeleTime Video Productions in 2012, a job that would see him travel frequently and conduct shoots in locations across the United States as well as in Israel. Sam left TeleTime in 2014 to pursue other opportunities and is currently in pre-production on a new documentary feature.
Sam continues to relish every opportunity to produce new and fascinating movies. He is thrilled to once again have the opportunity to explore the works of Shakespeare through video as a participant in the New York Shakespeare Exchange’s Sonnet Project.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 80

intrepid 2 Intrepid 1

O! how I faint when I of you do write,
Knowing a better spirit doth use your name,
And in the praise thereof spends all his might,
To make me tongue-tied speaking of your fame.
But since your worth, wide as the ocean is,
The humble as the proudest sail doth bear,
My saucy bark, inferior far to his,
On your broad main doth wilfully appear.
Your shallowest help will hold me up afloat,
Whilst he upon your soundless deep doth ride;
Or, being wracked, I am a worthless boat,
He of tall building, and of goodly pride:
Then if he thrive and I be cast away,
The worst was this, my love was my decay.

Sonnet 80 pits the poet’s love against the writings of his higher-favored rival.

Billy is discouraged writing about his subject, since another, better poet also praises the youth’s grandeur. But, he reasons, the youth produces so much to praise that he can surely support 2 poets, one lesser than the other. The rival’s pride and success comes from receiving the lion’s share of the subject’s praise, while Billy clings to the barest kind word. Should he perish, all that could be said is that his love led him there.

Will’s Wordplay
Naughty nautical metaphors ahoy! Will paints himself as a foolish little boat, bobbing in the shallows while the rival is a big galleon in the open sea, his tall sails allowing him to reach much deeper waters, and Will feeling inferior for his… lesser endowments. Get the picture?

USS Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Manhattan
USS Intrepid, also known as The Fighting “I”, is one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. She is the fourth US Navy ship to bear the name. Commissioned in August 1943, Intrepid participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, most notably the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Decommissioned shortly after the end of the war, she was modernized and recommissioned in the early 1950s as an attack carrier (CVA), and then eventually became an antisubmarine carrier (CVS). In her second career, she served mainly in the Atlantic, but also participated in the Vietnam War. Her notable achievements include being the recovery ship for a Mercury and a Gemini space mission. Because of her prominent role in battle, she was nicknamed “the Fighting I”, while her often ill-luck and the time spent in dry dock for repairs earned her the nickname “the Dry I”.

Decommissioned in 1974, in 1982 Intrepid became the foundation of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.

Construction & Commissioning
Intrepid was launched on 26 April 1943 by Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Virginia, the fifth Essex-class aircraft carrier to be launched. She was sponsored by the wife of Vice Admiral John H. Hoover. On 16 August 1943, she was commissioned with Captain Thomas L. Sprague in command before heading to the Caribbean for shakedown and training. Intrepid‘s motto upon setting sail was “In Mare In Caelo”, which means “On the sea, in the sky”, or “In the sea in Heaven”.

Intrepid has one of the most distinguished service records of any Navy ship, seeing active service in the Pacific Theater including the Marshall Islands, Truk, Leyte Gulf, and Okinawa. At war’s end, she was in Enewetak and soon supported occupation forces providing air support and supply services before heading back to California.

In 1976, Intrepid was moored at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia and hosted exhibits as part of the United States Bicentennial celebrations.

Plans originally called for Intrepid to be scrapped after decommissioning, but a campaign led by real estate developer Zachary Fisher and the Intrepid Museum Foundation saved the carrier, and established it as a museum ship. In August 1982, the ship opened in New York City as the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum. Four years later, Intrepid was officially designated as a National Historic Landmark. [1]

Over the years, Intrepid has hosted many special events including wrestling events, press conferences, parties and the FBI operations center after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.

On 12 December 2011, ownership of the Space Shuttle Enterprise was officially transferred to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.[2] In preparation for the anticipated relocation, engineers evaluated the vehicle in early 2010 and determined that it was safe to fly on the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft once again. At approximately 9:40 am Eastern Daylight Time on 27 April 2012 Enterprise took off from Dulles International Airport en route to a fly-by over the Hudson River, New York’s JFK International Airport, the Statue of Liberty, the George Washington and Verrazano-Narrows Bridges, and several other landmarks in the city; in an approximately 45-minute “final tour”. At 11:23 am Eastern Daylight Time Enterprise touched down at JFK International Airport.

The mobile Mate-Demate Device and cranes were transported from Dulles to the ramp at JFK and the shuttle was removed from the SCA overnight on 12 May 2012, placed on a specially designed flat bed trailer and returned to Hangar 12. On 3 June a Weeks Marine barge took Enterprise to Jersey City. The Shuttle sustained cosmetic damage to a wingtip when a gust of wind blew the barge towards a piling.[3] It was hoisted 6 June onto the Intrepid Museum in Manhattan.[19]

The Enterprise went on public display on 19 July 2012, at the Intrepid Museum’s new Space Shuttle Pavilion.[20]

Sonnet Project
The USS Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum was the featured location for Sonnet 80 performed by Michael Menta, directed by Noemi Charlotte Thieves. The video was released on July 30, 2013.

1. “INTREPID, USS (Aircraft Carrier)”. National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service.
2.“NASA Transfers Enterprise Title to Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City”. NASA.gov. 11 December 2011.
3. Ludka, Alexandra (5 June 2012). “Space Shuttle Enterprise Damaged On Way to New Home”. ABC News.

ACTOR – Michael Menta
Michael Menta is twenty-four. He spent his childhood in an impoverished section of San Salvador with his maternal grandparents before an illness forced his relocation to the United States. He was then raised by his “aunts” in Arizona, New Hampshire, Florida, and New Jersey during which time he became indoctrinated in New Age beliefs. A later apostasy of metaphysics led to his dismissal from the philosophy department at New York University. He was similarly dismissed by his short-lived theater group, The Soviet Space Dogs, for an act of vicious dramaturgy. He is a sporadic actor and lecturer and is working on two children’s books with Noemi Thieves: Bad Rat and Cardigan the Hairless Bear. He now lives in Astoria with his pet lobster, Godot.

DIRECTOR – Noemi Charlotte Thieves
Noemi Charlotte Thieves is a filmmaker/photographer/illustrator/writer whose work tackles the value of contemporary mythos within modern storytelling. Using live theater, film, and trick editing, his work aspires to meld the advances made in literature, photography, sound and performance, using cinema to create a novel phenomenological experience. He garnered his BFA from The Cooper Union School Of Art, where his senior thesis Glengarry Glen Ross Live! received piece of the year. He was awarded the TAM memorial prize given to the best multimedia artist, as well as the Mielcarek prize for outstanding work in photography. He is currently working on a full-length graphic novel, a documentary about the history of education, and his first feature film, “GHETTO.”


Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

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.



1. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/east-river-park/history


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 facebook.com/nikhilkamkolkar

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 82

I grant thou wert not married to my Muse,
And therefore mayst without attaint o’erlook
The dedicated words which writers use
Of their fair subject, blessing every book.
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue,
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise;
And therefore art enforced to seek anew
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days.
And do so, love; yet when they have devised,
What strained touches rhetoric can lend,
Thou truly fair, wert truly sympathized
In true plain words, by thy true-telling friend;
     And their gross painting might be better used
     Where cheeks need blood; in thee it is abused.



Sonnet 82 critiques the words of other poets as overblown and false.

Since the youth is not married to the Muse that Will invokes, the youth can honorably respond to other poets’ muses without anyone considering it an infidelity. The youth is as knowledgeable as he is beautiful, and is smart enough to see that Will’s work alone is not enough to praise him. Of course he must to look for some newer, fresher writer who uses hipper more modern styles. But Will warns that the youth shouldn’t be too attracted to flashy and unrealistic rhetoric. Will prefers a simple truthfulness, one that more accurately represents and celebrates the youth’s true beauty. Other poets don’t realize that inflated rhetoric exists only to enhance a sickly and less inspiring figure.


Will’s Wordplay

Rhetoric is the big buzzword for this sonnet. It is the art (or science) of making speeches, and was a major component of education in ancient times that still held a lofty place in learning during the Renaissance. Nevertheless, it tended to attract some scorn, considered the art that enabled dullards to sound clever and allowed the unscrupulous to attain power. In the words of the Greek,s it made the lesser truth seem the greater, and was especially prone to abuse in the courts.


The Strand Bookstore, Manhattan

All 18 Miles of Books! The Strand Bookstore is an independent bookstore located at 828 Broadway, at the corner of East 12th Street in the East Village, two blocks south of Union Square.



The Strand was opened by Benjamin Bass in 1927 on nearby Fourth Avenue, in what was known as “Book Row”, which was established as early as 1890, and which had at the time 48 bookstores.[1] Bass’s son Fred took over the business in 1956 and soon moved the store to the present location at the corner of East 12th Street and Broadway. Fred’s daughter Nancy is co-owner of the store, and is also married to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. The store occupies three and a half floors, using half a floor for offices and one additional floor as warehouse space. As of December 2011, the store had 2.5 million books.

The Strand is a family-owned business with more than 240 employees. Many Lower East Side artists have worked at the store, including Patti Smith – who claimed not to have liked the experience because it “wasn’t very friendly”[2] – and Tom Verlaine, who was fond of the discount book carts sitting outside the store.

The Strand has had a unionized workforce for over 35 years.[3] On April 5, 2012, unionized workers at the store rejected a new contract. Further talks were planned between the two parties.[4] On June 15, 2012, workers ratified a new contract with the store. [5]


In Popular Culture

-The Strand has been featured in films such as Julie & Julia and Remember Me, starring Robert Pattinson, who played a Strand employee.
-The band Steely Dan “name-checks” the Strand in their song “What A Shame About Me” from the album Two Against Nature.
-Joyce Carol Oates’ short story, “Three Girls”, takes place at the Strand.
-The Strand was referenced on “Gilmore girls” in Season 4, Episode 1, when Rory and Lorelai discuss a daytrip to NYC, before Rory starts college.
-The Strand was a backdrop for part of the story Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn.
-In “Six Degrees Of Seperation” the Kittredge’s go to the Strand book store to find a biography on Sidney Poiter. The scene was shot in the location the picture on the left shows.



1. “Strand History” on the Strand Bookstore website
2. “Patti Smith Discusses Her Influences” New York Magazine (November 27, 2005)
3. “At the Strand Bookstore, a Retail Labor Struggle in the Age of Amazon and Occupy” WNET, March 16, 2012
4. Samuelson, Tracey. “Strand Bookstore Workers Reject Contract” WNYC blog (April 5, 2012)
5. Krauthamer, Diane. “In New York Bookstore Contract Fight, Occupy Helped Workers Draw Energy, Media Spotlight ” Truthout (July 18, 2012)


ACTOR – Brian Cheng

NY Theatre: The Awesome 80’s Prom (Off Broadway), You for Me for You (Ma-Yi), Island: or, To Be or Not to Be and Pericles (New York Shakespeare Exchange), Valhalla (Project Rushmore),Around The World in 80 Days (Gotham Radio Theatre), B*tch (The Theatre Project and Theatre for the New City), The School For Husbands (New York Classical Theatre), The Goonies: The Musical (RASH! Theatre Co.). Tours: Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey), Max and Ruby(TheatreworksUSA). Film/TV:Backwards, Let’s Make A Movie, The All For Nots (HDNet), Seeking. Training: Stella Adler, BFA Acting, New York University.


DIRECTOR – Alex Megaro

When Alex was 8 years old, his father showed him Alien on Valentine’s Day so he could see a movie “with red in it.” Now he’s a filmmaker. He works on a freelance basis as a director, editor, writer, and producer. He recently directed the award-winning short A Pious Man, as well as produced and edited the feature film Driftwood.



DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY – Filippo Burbano Fantastichini

Filippo works as a cinematographer in New York City, having previously worked for many years in Ecuador and Italy. He was recently the DP on the short film A Pious Man, the feature documentary Yakuaya, as well as multiple commercials and music videos.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 83

I never saw that you did painting need,
And therefore to your fair no painting set;
I found, or thought I found, you did exceed
The barren tender of a poet’s debt:
And therefore have I slept in your report,
That you yourself, being extant, well might show
How far a modern quill doth come too short,
Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow.
This silence for my sin you did impute,
Which shall be most my glory being dumb;
For I impair not beauty being mute,
When others would give life, and bring a tomb.
     There lives more life in one of your fair eyes
     Than both your poets can in praise devise.



Sonnet 83 tells its subject they are in no need of painting, either of their face or in art, as everything, including words, pales in comparison to their beauty.

Will’s beloved does not need to be described nor require any makeup, but naturally exceeds what can be written about him. So Will has given up attempting to express the youth’s worth, because the reality would show only the weakness of his poetic skill. The young man has objected to Will’s silence, which he says cannot do any harm to the boy’s beauty. Will concludes that the reality of the youth’s beauty is much greater than either he or any other poet could express.


Will’s Wordplay

“Painting” has dual meaning. It references use of cosmetics, unnecessary here as the beloved is flawless; and since he is so perfect, Shakespeare decided not to try and “paint” him with words.


Cortlandt Alley, Chinatown, Manhattan

“Cortlandt Alley is unusual among Manhattan alleyways in that it runs for three blocks. You can occasionally find some that run two blocks — like Staple and Collister Streets on the west side of Tribeca — but three is a surfeit. The alley goes all the way back to 1817, when local landowners John Jay, Peter Jay Munro, and Gurdon S. Mumford laid out the narrow lane through properties between Broadway and what would be Elm Street (which is now a part of Lafayette) and White and Canal Streets. If this 1830 map accurately reflects the reality back then, the alley might well have run along the stream leading into Collect Pond, which was soon to be placed in a canal today’s Canal Street runs over. In any case, the original Cortlandt Alley presented a rural aspect much different from the one seen today.

The section between Franklin and White was laid out in the 1820s and lies 25 feet farther west than the original section. It was named for a Dutch nabob, Jacobus Van Cortlandt, one of the original European landowners in these parts; the alley, Cortlandt Street, Jacobus Place in Marble Hill, and all the Van Cortlandts this and that in the Bronx, including the mansion and the park, all spring from that family. The mercantile structures we find lining it go back to after the Civil War, when Lower Manhattan’s trade really picked up.” [1]


In Pop Culture

The band Vampire Weekend filmed its music video, Cousins in the alley. The whole video occurs solely within the alley with neon tape covering the walls, a large painted neon target at the end of the street, and the band moving throughout the street.



1. http://forgotten-ny.com/2012/10/cortlandt-alley-tribeca/


ACTOR – Max Casella

MAX CASELLA will soon begin filming his series regular role of Julie Silver on HBO’s forthcoming untitled ROCK N ROLL drama series, executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter.
Max will next be starring in the dark comedy APPLESAUCE, premiering next month at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.
Casella was most recently seen on the big screen in WILD CARD opposite Sofia Vergara and Jason Statham, Woody Allen’s BLUE JASMINE, Coen Brothers’ INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, Andrew Dominik’s KILLING THEM SOFTLY, Spike Lee’s OLDBOY, John Turturro’s FADING GIGOLO and in Killer Films’ THE LAST OF ROBIN HOOD, playing legendary film director Stanley Kubrick.
On television Max played Benny Fazio for five seasons of HBO’s “The Sopranos” and the character of Leo D’Alessio in “Boardwalk Empire.”
On stage he played Bottom in Julie Taymor’s critically acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Theater For A New Audience.
The production was filmed for theatrical release by Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto.
Max recently appeared on Broadway in “Relatively Speaking,” a collection of three one-act comedies directed by John Turturro, in which he appeared in Ethan Coen’s “Talking Cure” and Woody Allen’s “Honeymoon Hotel.”
Max has often collaborated with writer/director/actor John Turturro: in 2008 he played Clov to Turturro’s Hamm in a critically acclaimed production of Samuel
Beckett’s “Endgame” at BAM as well as co-adapting Italo Calvino’s “Fiabe Italiane” with Turturro, which toured Italy in 2010. He also played multiple roles in Turturro’s music documentary PASSIONE.
He made his Broadway debut as Timon in the original cast of the Tony Award-winning musical “The Lion King,” for which he received a Theatre World award for Outstanding Broadway Debut and a Drama Desk nomination.
Max Casella first became widely known to audiences with his portrayal of Vinnie Delpino on the hit series “Doogie Howser, M.D.


DIRECTOR – Seth Wiley

Seth Wiley is an American director known for his work in commercials and episodic television. He has worked with David Mamet and Shawn Ryan on their TV Show “The Unit” and his short film “The Good Things” won the Grand Prix at the Deauville International Film Festival. He lives in Los Angeles, where he often looks after other people’s pets.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 85

My tongue-tied Muse in manners holds her still,
While comments of your praise richly compiled,
Reserve thy character with golden quill,
And precious phrase by all the Muses filed.
I think good thoughts, whilst others write good words,
And like unlettered clerk still cry ‘Amen’
To every hymn that able spirit affords,
In polished form of well-refined pen.
Hearing you praised, I say ”tis so, ’tis true,’
And to the most of praise add something more;
But that is in my thought, whose love to you,
Though words come hindmost, holds his rank before.
     Then others, for the breath of words respect,
     Me for my dumb thoughts, speaking in effect.



In Sonnet 85, the poet’s inarticulacy compares with the golden words of other poets: his are good and sincere, but others are more impressive.

Shakespeare’s mute poetry politely remains silent, while commentaries praising his beloved pile up, capturing their essence in golden words from the muses themselves. He thinks good thoughts about his subject, but sees other people write good words, and like an illiterate clerk continually cries “amen” in agreement. Hearing their clever praise, he says, “That’s right, that’s true,” and adds his two cents to their $5 words. But these additions are in his thoughts, where he knows he loves most, though he speaks least. Shakespeare asks that his beloved respect others for the words of praise they offer, but also respect his silence, since is thoughts express themselves only in actions.


Will’s Wordplay

Parish clerks in Elizabethan England told the church congregation when to respond and when to say “amen” during services. Saying “amen” to every poem of praise leaves Will sounding like a bit of a broken record. But time has shown he’s no dummy!


125th St. Trestle, Manhattan

125th Street is a two-way street that runs east-west in the borough of Manhattan, from First Avenue on the east to Marginal Street, a service road for the Henry Hudson Parkway along the Hudson River in the west. It is often considered to be the “Main Street” of Harlem, and is co-named Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.


Tectonic Train Tracks

A rift in the earth’s crust runs along underneath this street and is known as the 125th Street Fault. The fault line creates a fault valley deep enough to require the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line to become a trestle bridge between 122nd and 135th Streets. The street in the 18th century was called The Hollow Way.


ACTOR – Steve Maurice Jones

Maurice was thrilled to have been a part of this amazing Shakespearean adventure. Many thanks to Ross, Carey, director Peter Gagnon, and everyone involved in bringing the Sonnet Project to life!
Regional: Denver Center for the Performing Arts: Ruined, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Taming of the Shrew, A Christmas Carol. Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey: The Learned Ladies. Folger Theatre: Julius Caesar. National Theatre Conservatory: Richard III, Charley’s Aunt, Fahrenheit 451, Topdog/Underdog, The Good Woman of Setzuan, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Our Town. Cabaret Theatre: Glengarry Glen Ross, Six Degrees of Separation, Line, Suzan Lori Parks’ 365 Days/365 Plays. Livingston Theatre Company: Ragtime, Once On This Island. Broadway: Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet. Television: 30 Rock, Conviction. Film: Winter’s Tale, And So It Goes.


DIRECTOR – Peter Gagnon

Currently the Creative Director of the Film/ Video team at Hook & Loop NYC. Peter Gagnon has been directing for over 10 years.
From early 2010 to Nov 2012, Peter Gagnon was the staff Visual Effects and Live Action Director for Perception. He has directed over 15 different spots, commercials, promos and insert pieces and was also privileged to work on the feature films The Avengers & Iron Man 3 in addition to a Pro-Max Award nominated commercials for the Speed Channel and 3 Bronze Telly Awards for Hiscox “Tailored to You.”
Before Perception Peter was the VFX Supervisor and VFX Lead with Sesame Workshop on the television show The Electric Company from 2008-2010, the show started airing on PBS January 19th 2009. He was nominated for an Emmy for Season One and another Emmy for Season Two. The Electric Company is now one of the most highly nominated children’s shows of all time.
Peter was with Black Watch Productions for 7 years and served as the staff editor, producer, director and VFX artist. Peter went to Columbia College in Chicago and studied Film Directing, Writing and Cinematography



Timur Civan is New York City born and raised. From his background in the fine arts, becoming a Director of Photography was a natural progression. After much experimentation with moving images in his artwork, he developed the desire paint an image with light to tell a story. His techniques in cinematography are at the forefront of creative imaging, bolstered by his exploration in optics, new and classic, innovative lighting styles and a deep understanding of the latest in industry technologies. Through apprenticeship in the camera department, he has honed his skill set in traditional set techniques and combined with his contemporary art sensibilities, has allowed him to provide a wide range of looks. From high end commercials to engaging narrative and documentaries, the story always comes first, and is always the primary motivation to his approach to lighting and camera work

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 86

Was it the proud full sail of his great verse,
Bound for the prize of all too precious you,
That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse,
Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew?
Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write
Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?
No, neither he, nor his compeers by night
Giving him aid, my verse astonished.
He, nor that affable familiar ghost
Which nightly gulls him with intelligence,
As victors of my silence cannot boast;
I was not sick of any fear from thence:
     But when your countenance filled up his line,
     Then lacked I matter; that enfeebled mine.



In Sonnet 86, the poet pines for a beloved lost to a rival, a loss that has cost him his muse.

Billy wonders if it was it his rival’s ambitious poetry, which was written to win his lover away from him, that stopped his ability to think? Did it cause all of his ideas to die upon their birth? Was it the rival’s heaven-sent ability -writing! – which was blessed by the gods, that stopped Billy in his tracks? Neither he nor his companions who helped him were able to stop our guy’s poetic ability. Neither he nor the Muse which aids him each night can claim to have silenced our man. For Billy Shakes does not shake in fear! However, when his lover gifted their beautiful selves to that rival… he was lost and destroyed.


Will’s Wordplay

Sonnet 86 is well known as the final sonnet of The Rival Poet arc. Consisting of Sonnets 78-86, and is generally thought to be written around the years of 1598–1600, based on vocabulary evidence and similarities found with the plays that he also wrote during this time period.

There is no exact answer as to who this rival poet is since nearly every well-known poet contemporary with Shakespeare has, at some time, been suggested as the “rival poet”. Among the poets considered to be the rival poet, George Chapman and Christopher Marlowe, colleagues and literary competitors to Shakespeare, are generally considered to be two of the most likely contenders.

Many of these potential identifications have been made using alleged clues found in Sonnet 86! The second and third quatrains in particular have garnered much attention in this regard. The description of a poet “by spirits taught to write” has led several critics, to name George Chapman as the likeliest candidate. This is due to his supposed spiritual inspiration by the ghost of Homer. Weird, right? Another connection is the line “Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?” to Christopher Marlowe’s play Tamburlaine, saying that the reactions described in both are similar to each other. Who is The Rival Poet? The World… may never know…

In a different reading, Shakespearean scholar Eric Sams has interpreted this reference to spiritual communion as an allusion to Barnabe Barnes, a notorious English occultist and poet,[13] while others contend that the significance of the spirit is simply an allusion to poetic genius and that it contains no reference to an actual personage.


St. Mark’s Church, Manhattan

St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery is located at 131 East 10th Street, at the intersection of Stuyvesant Street and Second Avenue in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan. The property has been the site of continuous Christian worship for more than three and a half centuries; it is New York’s oldest site of continuous religious practice, and the church is the second-oldest church building in Manhattan.[1]



In 1651, Petrus Stuyvesant, Governor of New Amsterdam, purchased land for a bowery or farm from the Dutch West India Company and by 1660 built a family chapel at the present day site of St. Marks Church. Stuyvesant died in 1672 and was interred in a vault under the chapel.

Stuyvesant’s great-grandson, Petrus, sold the chapel property to the Episcopal Church for $1 in 1793, stipulating that a new chapel be erected to serve Bowery Village, the community which had coalesced around the Stuyvesant family chapel. In 1795 the cornerstone of the present day St. Mark’s Church was laid, and the fieldstone Georgian style church, built by the architect and mason John McComb Jr., was completed and consecrated on May 9, 1799.[4] Alexander Hamilton provided legal aid in incorporating St. Mark’s Church as the first Episcopal parish independent of Trinity Church in the United States.

Many details from the Church’s many renovations and redesigns remain today. In 1828, the church steeple, the design of which is attributed to Martin Euclid Thompson and Ithiel Town, in Greek Revival style, was erected. The current cast- and wrought iron fence was added in 1838.

At the start of the 20th century, leading architect Ernest Flagg designed the rectory, but, overall, while the 19th century saw St Mark’s Church grow through its many construction projects the 20th century was marked by community service and cultural expansion. Rector William Guthrie was known to incorporate Native American, Hindu, Buddhist, and Bahá’í ceremonies and guest speakers into services – things that made news across the country as well as troubled his leadership.

Today, the rectory houses the Neighborhood Preservation Center, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and the Historic Districts Council, as well as other preservation and community organizations. The Preservation Youth Project expanded to a full-time work training program and under the supervision of artisan teachers undertook the mission of the preserving St Mark’s landmark exterior.

On July 27, 1978, a fire nearly destroyed the church. The Citizens to Save St Mark’s was founded to raise funds for its reconstruction and the Preservation Youth Project undertook the reconstruction supervised by architect Harold Edelman and craftspeople provided by preservation contractor I. Maas & Sons. The Landmark Fund emerged from the Citizens to Save St Mark’s and continues to exist to help maintain and preserve St. Mark’s Church for future generations. The restoration was completed in 1986, with new stained-glass windows designed by Edelman.


The Arts

St Mark’s has supported an active artistic community since the 1800s. In 1919 poet Kahlil Gibran was appointed a member of the St. Mark’s Arts Committee, and the next year, the two prominent Indian statues, “Aspiration” and “Inspiration” by sculptor Solon Borglum, which flank the church entry, were unveiled. Gibran also presented readings of his famous written works,[8] some of which became annual affairs for a while,] as well as an exhibition of his drawings. Isadora Duncan danced in the church in 1922, and Martha Graham in 1930. In 1926, poet William Carlos Williams lectured at the St. Mark’s Sunday Symposium, which over the years featured such artists as Amy Lowell, Edward Steichen, Houdini, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Ruth St. Denis and Carl Sandburg.

Theatre Genesis was founded by director Ralph Cook in 1964 and, in the same year, Sam Shepard had his first two plays, Cowboys and Rock Garden produced at the church. In 1969, St. Mark’s innovated a fusion of liturgy and experimental rock music, the Electric Liturgy given by the Mind Garage, which was the first work of its kind to be nationally televised.

St. Mark’s hosts modern artistic endeavors, including the Poetry Project, and Danspace Project, which stage events throughout the year. A November 1971 Poetry Project reading by Patti Smith, accompanied by Lenny Kaye on guitar, launched their rock and roll careers and marked the founding of the Patti Smith Group.

In addition, Richard Foreman’s avant-garde Ontological-Hysteric Theater[20] was also housed there in its own space from 1992 until 2010.



1. New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S. (text); Postal, Matthew A. (text) (2009), Postal, Matthew A., ed., Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1, p.67


ACTOR – Harrison Scott

Harrison Scott trained at ITW Amsterdam and Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU. Since graduating, he’s performed at the NYC Fringe, Foodplay Productions Nat’l Tour, and is currently in Dave Malloy’s new musical, Beardo , and a production of Assassins at 440 Studios as the Balladeer. He just wrapped “ The Invisible Son ,” which should be making its rounds in film festivals by the end of the year. Web: “ TBH: An Original…,” and “ Live ‘n’ Learn.” Harrison has a passion for Shakespeare, and studied at RADA for a semester while at NYU. He is thankful to be a part of such a diverse project!


DIRECTOR – John Robert Hammerer

John Robert Hammerer is a writer, producer, editor and director who is thrilled to join The Sonnet Project. His most recent film, The Frog and the Racecar, was nominated for Best Concept at the 2016 Brightside Tavern Film Festival and also screened at NewFilmmakers New York. He has also worked as a Dailies Operator at Deluxe New York for shows such as Elementary, Girls and the upcoming Friends From College. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he is currently developing his next projects.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 87

Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing,
And like enough thou know’st thy estimate,
The charter of thy worth gives thee releasing;
My bonds in thee are all determinate.
For how do I hold thee but by thy granting?
And for that riches where is my deserving?
The cause of this fair gift in me is wanting,
And so my patent back again is swerving.
Thy self thou gavest, thy own worth then not knowing,
Or me to whom thou gav’st it else mistaking;
So thy great gift, upon misprision growing,
Comes home again, on better judgement making.
     Thus have I had thee, as a dream doth flatter,
     In sleep a king, but waking no such matter.



Sonnet 87 sees the poet giving up on love at the hands of a rival.

Shakespeare bids his beloved farewell, saying that they are probably too good for him anyway… and they know it. They’re right to go, and he has no means of making them stay but those they choose to give him. How does he deserve such a treasure? He doesn’t, his right to possess is revoked and power goes back to his beloved. He wonders if when first they were together, perhaps his beloved did not know their own worth, or gave in to him by accident, mistaking him for someone more worthy. So the great gift, based on a false estimate, goes back to his beloved now that they are able to make a better judgment. The time they shared was, to Shakespeare, like a flattering dream: while he was “asleep”, he was a king, but upon waking, found that was not the case.


Will’s Wordplay

This sonnet reads as if it were the culmination of the rival poets’ sequence which has ended in the final rejection of the poet by the youth in favor of the rival. It links closely to Sonnet 90 which has the same theme of dealing with rejection. The opening word ‘Farewell!’ is almost a sufficient summary of the whole poem.


Scholar’s Corner

Critics commonly agree that Shakespeare uses legal imagery as a metaphor for the relationship between the speaker and the Fair Youth to whom this poem’s sequence belongs. Helen Vendler and Stephen Booth are of the same opinion that the legal terms of the sonnet frame the relationship between the speaker and the young man as a contract now void because of the beloved’s realization of his greater worth. The relationship is expressed in the language of legal financial transaction: estimate, charter, bonds, determinate, riches, and patent, into the sonnet—also dear and worth in the financial sense. [1]

Michael Andrews acknowledges the metaphorical use of legal and financial imagery like Vendler and Booth. However he proposes further that the legal and financial imagery, along with a “cooly ironic” tone, disguises the speaker’s true feelings which only fully appear in the couplet. [2] In this interpretation the legal and financial imagery of the three quatrains are more self-protective than sincere.



1. Vendler, Helen. The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Cambridge and London: Belknap-Harvard University Press, 1997. 383. OCLC # 36806589
2. Andrews, Michael Cameron. “Sincerity and Subterfuge in Three Shakespearean Sonnet Groups.” Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 3. Folger Shakespeare Library (1982): 321. Web. 10 October 2009.


Irish Hunger Memorial, Manhattan

“The Memorial represents a rural Irish landscape with an abandoned stone cottage, stone walls, fallow potato fields and the flora on the north Connacht wetlands. It is both a metaphor for the Great Irish Famine and a reminder that hunger today is often the result of lack of access to land.

The 96’ x 170’ Memorial, designed by artist Brian Tolle, contains stones from each of Ireland’s 32 counties, and is elevated on a limestone plinth. Along the base are bands of texts separated by layers of imported Kilkenny limestone. The text, which combines the history of the Great Famine with contemporary reports on world hunger, is cast as shadow onto illuminated frosted glass panels.

Open from approximately 8am to 9pm between May 1st and October 31st, and from 8am to 6:45PM from November through April.” [1]



1. http://bpcparks.org/whats-here/parks/irish-hunger-memorial/


ACTOR – Timothy Carter

Bio Coming Soon


DIRECTOR – Bram Lewis

Bio Coming Soon

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 88

When thou shalt be disposed to set me light,
And place my merit in the eye of scorn,
Upon thy side, against myself I’ll fight,
And prove thee virtuous, though thou art forsworn.
With mine own weakness being best acquainted,
Upon thy part I can set down a story
Of faults concealed, wherein I am attainted;
That thou in losing me shalt win much glory:
And I by this will be a gainer too;
For bending all my loving thoughts on thee,
The injuries that to myself I do,
Doing thee vantage, double-vantage me.
     Such is my love, to thee I so belong,
     That for thy right, myself will bear all wrong.



In Sonnet 88, the poet undertakes to defend the beloved when, in time, they themselves will be cast aside and denigrated as an object unworthy of love.

Billy tells his beloved that when they criticize him, he will agree, and support their opinion as virtue, even though it is a betrayal. He does this because he knows his own faults, and is so convincing when he describes them, that his lover will be vindicated. By this note, he can consider himself a winner, because his love for this person is such that any gain to them is a gain twofold or him. He cares so much that to help this person whom he loves, he will harm himself.


Will’s Wordplay

The key to a full understanding this sonnet is found in the words “gainer” and “vantage”. The speaker envisages an inevitable (i.e. “When”), vigorous and adversarial incident between the sonnet’s “I” and the addressee, “thou”. This conflict is established by the words “scorn”, “side”, “fight”, “losing”, “win”, “gainer”, “vantage” and “double-vantage”.


Moses Statue, Court House, Grand Concourse

The Bronx County Courthouse, also known as the Mario Merola Building, is a historic courthouse building located in the Bronx in New York City. It was designed in 1931 and built between 1931 and 1934. It is a nine story limestone building on a rusticated granite base in the Art Deco style. It has four identical sides, an interior court, and a frieze designed by noted sculptor Charles Keck. The sculptures on the 161st Street side are by noted sculptor George Holburn Snowden. Two sculptural groups on the Walton Avenue side are by noted sculptor Joseph Kiselewski. The Bronx Museum of the Arts was once located on the main floor.


ACTOR – Joe Bowen

Joseph Bowen is a New York City-based actor. His New York credits include work with Project Shaw (The Devil’s Disciple), Astoria Performing Arts Center (Merrily We Roll Along), and the Duke Theater on 42nd Street (All for Joe). Chicago credits include the Ravinia Festival (Sunday in the Park with George), Royal George Theatre (Leaving Iowa), and 10 years as a company member of ShawChicago. He has worked at regional theaters such as PlayMakers Repertory Company (Richard II, Cyrano de Bergerac), New Harmony Theatre (The Crucible, All’s Well that Ends Well, She Stoops to Conquer and others), Mill Mountain Theater (Great Expectations), Manchester NH’s Palace Theatre (The Boys Next Door) and Meadow Brook Theater (A Christmas Carol). Film: Carnal, Gless, Freudian Slip, Ten and The Age of Fiction.
Website: http://josephbowen.biz


FEATURING – Joyce Fideor

A multi-faceted actress for stage, television and film, Joyce received an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, and has studied under such notable thespians as Robert Lewis, Alvin Epstein, and Lee Bruer.

Joyce’s Broadway debut was as Lady Macduff in Nicol Williamson’s direction of Macbeth. Regional theatre credits include, Blanche in Streetcar (dir. Steven Hollis), Nora in A Doll’s House (dir. Steve Stettler), and Lady Anne in Richard III (dir. John Dillon).

She has workshopped scripts by Wendy Wasserstein and Christopher Durang, among others, and has been in several world premieres, including Sam Shepard’s Suicide in B-Flat at the Yale Repertory Theatre.

In addition to acting, Joyce has formal training in movement, voice, singing, stage combat, and mime. She has appeared on stage at The Public Theater, Circle in the Square, Yale Rep, and Dallas New Arts Theatre, to name a few.

Currently, Joyce is an actress for The Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Workshop, where she continues to appear in new works by New York’s finest up and coming playwrights.


DIRECTOR – Stephanie Gardner

Stephanie Gardner is an Emmaus, PA and NYC based writer/director for film and theatre. Past clients include Ellie Wiesel, Yale University, Urban Stages, and Miller Symphony Hall. Her most recent film, “If I Had A Piano (I’d Play You The Blues)” has won Best of Show at the Greater Lehigh Valley Filmmakers Festival, and an Award of Merit: Special Mention through the Accolade Global Film Competition. Additionally, “If I Had A Piano” is an Official Selection of New York No Limits 2015 Film Summit, NewFilmmakers NY, and the European Film Festival.

Stephanie has written and directed over 14 short films, including Sonnet 151 for the New York Shakespeare Exchange The Sonnet Project. Her film “And If I Stay,” played NewFilmmakers NY at the historic Anthology Film Archives, and was selected by the International Festival of Cinematic Arts LA. “Love Yourself” by Tha Gecko Brothers, a music video she directed which speaks out against domestic violence, played at this year’s Harlem International Film Festival.

Stephanie received an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Asia where she participated in masterclasses and screenwriting workshops under the tutelage of Oliver Stone (“Platoon“), Todd Solondz (“Happiness“), Richard Wesley (“Uptown Saturday Night“), and Sabrina Dhawan (“Monsoon Wedding“).

To learn more about Stephanie as a writer and director or to view samples of her work, please visit www.thestephaniegardner.com



Shivani Khattar began to develop her foundation as a visual storyteller in theatre; winning several accolades in India for her work as a theatre actor and director. She received training under some of the greatest theatre legends in India including the late Shri Habib Tanvir. She then moved into film and video working as a freelance cinematographer and editor for documentaries, TV pilots and radio news features. She worked as an Assistant Producer at Spot Films, New Delhi an independent TV/ News Features Agency and worked for about a year in Northeast-India at the height of its militant insurgency; on a media project for DFID and Internews Europe to promote human rights awareness on issues involving the People living with HIV/AIDS in the region. She got her Masters of Arts degree in Filmmaking from NYU’s Tisch School of Arts Asia where she received the NYU Graduate production award for her thesis film ‘Noor’ as well as the Paulette Godard Scholarship two years in a row. During her time at NYU she shot over ten short films, narrative and documentaries that have been screened at international film festivals including Palm Springs International Film Festival, South by Southwest, Salt Lake City International Film Festival and Clermont Ferrand. She is one of the founders of ‘Films for People’, a film company involved in the production of socially relevant films in South-East Asia. In addition she is also involved in shooting an independent documentary feature about the sex industry of Cambodia titled ‘Night Mothers’ in addition to developing a feature script that was shortlisted for the Cannes Residence du Festival in 2012.

Apr 21 2013 · 1 comment · ·

Play Sonnet 89

Say that thou didst forsake me for some fault,
And I will comment upon that offence:
Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt,
Against thy reasons making no defence.
Thou canst not, love, disgrace me half so ill,
To set a form upon desired change,
As I’ll myself disgrace; knowing thy will,
I will acquaintance strangle, and look strange;
Be absent from thy walks; and in my tongue
Thy sweet beloved name no more shall dwell,
Lest I, too much profane, should do it wrong,
And haply of our old acquaintance tell.
     For thee, against my self I’ll vow debate,
     For I must ne’er love him whom thou dost hate.



In Sonnet 89, the poet takes a scorched-earth approach to a breakup, for his beloved’s sake.

Willy picks up where the previous sonnet left off, telling the youth that should he tell people he picked up and left because of some fault of Will’s, our boy will play along. If rumor has it he’s lame, and he will start limping immediately, without a defense. If it helps Willy’s lover finding a reason to justify leaving, it will be no disgrace half as bad as the one he will do to himself, once the lover prescribes it. Act like a stranger? Sure. Avoid places where they might bump into each other? Definitely. And he won’t mention their sweet name anymore in case it would be soiled by their former acquaintance. For his lover’s sake, Will vows to be his own enemy, because he must not love someone his lover hates.


Will’s Wordplay

This is part of a string of sonnets in which the speaker toys with masochism and self-harm for the benefit of his lover. Getting kinky on us, Billy? This one, of course, is much more emotional than physical.


Manhattan Bridge Arch, DUMBO, Brooklyn

The Manhattan Bridge was the last of the three suspension bridges built across the lower East River, following the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges. It has four vehicle lanes on the upper level, split between two roadways. The lower level has three lanes, four subway tracks, a walkway and a bikeway. The upper level, originally used for streetcars, has two lanes in each direction, and the lower level is one-way and has three lanes in peak direction. The bridge once carried New York State Route 27 and later was planned to carry Interstate 478.

The original pedestrian walkway on the south side of the bridge was reopened after forty years in June 2001.[1] It was also used by bicycles until late summer 2004, when a dedicated bicycle path was opened on the north side of the bridge, again in 2007 while the bike lane was used for truck access during repairs to the lower motor roadway, and for a third time in 2011, when ongoing construction on the north side of the bridge necessitated narrow shelters, narrowing the path to make it unsafe for cycling.
To celebrate the bridge’s centennial anniversary, a series of events and exhibits were organized by the New York City Bridge Centennial Commission in October 2009. These included a ceremonial parade across the Manhattan Bridge on the morning of October 4 and a fireworks display in the evening.[2] In 2009, the bridge was also designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.[3]


Arch and Colonnade

In 1910, a year after the bridge opened, the architectural firm Carrère and Hastings drew up preliminary plans for an elaborate grand entry to the bridge on the Manhattan side, as part of the “City Beautiful” movement. Construction began that year, and plans were finalized in 1912. The arch and colonnade were completed in 1915. The decoration includes pylons which were sculpted by Carl A. Heber and a frieze called “Buffalo Hunt” by Charles Rumsey.[4]

The arch and colonnade were designated a New York City landmark on November 25, 1975. After many years of neglect, and attempts by traffic engineers to remove the structure, the arch and colonnade were repaired and restored in 2000.



1. Newman, Andy (June 26, 2001). “Cyclists and Walkers Regain a Bridge”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
2. “Manhattan Bridge Centennial Celebration Events and Exhibits”. NYC Bridge Centennial Commission. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
3. “Manhattan Bridge”. ASCE Metropolitan Section. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
4. New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Postal, Matthew A. (ed. and text); Dolkart, Andrew S. (text). (2009) Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.) New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1, pp. 45-46


ACTOR – Carman Lacivita

Carman Lacivita is currently starring as Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, produced by The New Book Press Inc. available in Ibooks on Itunes. You will also find his portrayal of Malcolm in Macbeth and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for The New Book Press Inc. He served as the Fight Director on all three projects, marking his 3rd collaboration with Director Jessica Bauman. Recently, Carman Guest Starred on CBS’ Golden Boy and on the NBC hit children’s show, The Chica Show. Other credits include The Understudy with Amphibian Stage Productions, The Witch of Edmonton, Lorenzaccio, The Tempest, all with Red Bull Theater, George is Dead (w/Marlo Thomas) written and directed by Elaine May at The George St. Playhouse. He played Valvert in Cyrano de Bergerac on Broadway opposite Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner directed by David Leveaux. Off Broadway; Henry 6th in Rose Rage; Henry the 6th Pts. 1, 2, 3 (Bayfield Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Shakespeare in NYC, Jeff Award, Drama League Nomination), dir. by Edward Hall. Carman has played at The Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab, The Public Theater, The Pearl, Theater for a New Audience, Primary Stages, The Mint, The Drama League, and Ars Nova. International and Regional productions include Bermuda Arts Festival, Arizona Theater Company, George St. Playhouse, Chicago Shakespeare, Long Wharf, Contemporary American Theater Festival, Crossroads, Stage West, Ft. Worth, Dallas, and Kentucky Shakespeare Festivals. Other TV and Film credits include work on Advent (short), Golden Boy (CBS), Royal Pains (USA), The Chica Show (NBC) Modern Love (pilot), Marino’s (pilot), and Cyrano de Bergerac (PBS Great Performances). Carman has an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and a BFA from Texas Christian University and is a founding member and Artistic Associate of Amphibian Stage Productions, where he has performed in numerous productions. In addition to performing, Carman is a Teaching Artist with The Broadway Experience and is an Acting Coach, Fight Director & Tennis Pro.


DIRECTOR – Jessica Bauman

As a theater director, Jessica Bauman’s work on Shakespeare has been seen in a National Shakespeare Company national tour, and in the NYC area at Juilliard, the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey and Walkerspace. She is the founder and Artistic Director of New Feet Productions, for which she directed Into the Hazard (Henry 5), her own critically acclaimed six-actor adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry V. Her work on new plays has been seen in NYC at New Georges, HERE, Soho Rep and many others, and regionally at the Huntington Theatre, Amphibian Stage Productions, The Spoleto Festival and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas.

She has been collaborating with e-book publisher The New Book Press to create WordPlay Shakespeare, a revolutionary new way of reading Shakespeare, blending video and text in electronic books for the iPad. For that project, she directed video versions of the complete texts of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet (all available on iTunes). Other video projects include satirical student-written Alcohol Education videos for a web-based program for incoming freshman and informational videos about sexual misconduct grievance procedures, both at Yale University.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 90

Columbus Circle 2 Columbus Circle 1

Then hate me when thou wilt; if ever, now;
Now, while the world is bent my deeds to cross,
Join with the spite of fortune, make me bow,
And do not drop in for an after-loss:
Ah! do not, when my heart hath ‘scaped this sorrow,
Come in the rearward of a conquered woe;
Give not a windy night a rainy morrow,
To linger out a purposed overthrow.
If thou wilt leave me, do not leave me last,
When other petty griefs have done their spite,
But in the onset come: so shall I taste
At first the very worst of fortune’s might;
     And other strains of woe, which now seem woe,
     Compared with loss of thee, will not seem so.

In Sonnet 90, the poet begs for a swift, if poorly timed, end to his relationship.

Will bids his love to hate him if he so wishes, but but bids him do it now, now while everything else is going wrong. It will merely add to his misfortune, the straw that breaks the camel’s back. To do so later would be cruel, for Will would think he’d avoided the sorrow of loss only to be blindsided by another grief. To prolong such defeat would be turning a windy squall into an all-consuming rainstorm. But if the youth leaves him early, getting the worst pain out of the way,then other hurtful things won’t seem so bad.

Will’s Wordplay
The imagery of a war is used throughout to convey Bill’s feelings on losing his love while under siege by “the spite of fortune.” He pleads with the youth to “attack” him with the bad news of separation now, rather than waiting until he had “conquered woe” only to surprise attack him from behind with a new sorrow.

Columbus Circle, Manhattan
Columbus Circle, named for Christopher Columbus, is located at the intersection of Eighth Avenue, Broadway, Central Park South (West 59th Street), and Central Park West, at the southwest corner of Central Park. It is the point from which all official distances from New York City are measured.

Completed in 1905 and renovated a century later, the circle was designed by William P. Eno – a businessman who pioneered many early innovations in road safety and traffic control – as part of Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision for Central Park, which included a “Grand Circle” at the Merchants’ Gate, its most important Eighth Avenue entrance.

The monument at the center of Columbus Circle, created by Italian sculptor Gaetano Russo,was erected as part of New York’s 1892 commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the Americas. The monument consists of a marble statue of Columbus atop a 70-foot granite rostral column decorated with bronze reliefs representing Columbus’ ships: the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa María. Its pedestal features an angel holding a globe.

The Merchant’s Gate
“The Maine Monument stands at the entrance to the Park at Merchants’ Gate, named by the Commissioners of Central Park in 1862 to honor commerce and business professions for their important contribution to New York City.

The monument commemorates the 260 American sailors who perished when the battleship Maine exploded in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, then under Spanish rule. It is still unclear what caused the explosion on February 15, 1898, but Spain declared war on the United States by April 1898. The treaty, which ended the war in December 1898, freed Cuba from Spanish dominion, ceded Puerto Rico and Guam and surrendered the Philippines to the United States.

Four days after the Maine went down, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst’s New York Morning Journal called for a public collection for a monument to honor the sailors. Over the course of several years, the newspaper received large monetary gifts as well as thousands of dollars in pennies collected from schoolchildren.

The gilded bronze figures atop the pylon represent Columbia Triumphant leading a seashell chariot of three hippocampi — part horse, part sea-creature and are said to be cast from metal recovered from the guns of the Maine itself. The figures reflect America’s new position as a dominant world force just as the imposing Beaux-Arts structure symbolizes America’s bold and grandiose domination of territories.

In 1995, the Central Park Conservancy regilded the figure. Conservancy sculptors carved new pieces for missing part of the monument, and the stone was cleaned, repainted, and pigeon-proofed. In 1997, the Conservancy restored Merchant’s Gate and its surrounding landscape, transforming it into an inviting public plaza.”

Sonnet Project
Columbus Circle was the featured location for Sonnet 90, performed by Kamelle Mills, directed by Molly Murphy. The video was released on June 30, 2013.

1. http://www.centralparknyc.org/visit/things-to-see/south-end/maine-monument.html

ACTOR – Kamelle Mills
Kamelle Mills received his BFA in Theatre with an emphasis in Playwriting at Southern Methodist University. There he starred in roles such as Joseph Gasana in THE OVERWHELMING, Stone in THE TWO ORPHANS, Franny in BALM IN GILEAD and George in SPRING AWAKENING. His first full length play, WHERE PRIDE RIDES, was workshopped in the festival New Visions, New Voices as a part of the SMU’s 2009 Meadows Theatre production season. Kamelle is also an avid Solo Performer; his two original shows, THE LADY, THE HEART, AND THE FLIGHT and THE BABLE OF THE BLACK were both workshopped and performed at The Meadows Fine Arts College. Regionally he has been seen in productions such as RAGTIME and LOST IN THE STARS and in New York City he has starred in THE IMAGNARY LIFE OF MILLO ST. JEAN, IMMORTAL: THE GILGAMESH VARIATIONS, and INFERNO. His solo work has also been featured in New York at Performance Space 122 and Dixon Place Theatre including the productions KNEAD and TO BLOOM.

DIRECTOR – Molly Murphy
Molly Murphy is a Harlem based stage and film director via Texas via Indonesia. Films include Hello Photon, 114th & Lenox, and Weltschmerz NY Stage Directing: Morbid Poetry (The Incubator Arts Project), Not I (APT. 3E), To Bloom (Dixon Place Hot Festival), The Stronger (APT. 3E), Okay,Cupid! (Snapdragon Theatre Works) Assistant Director: Old Hats (Signature Theatre), The Mountaintop (Philadelphia Theatre Company), A Civil War Christmas (New York Theatre Workshop), Hurt Village (Signature Theatre), The Book of Grace (ZACH Theatre), The Misanthrope (Dallas Theater Center) among others. Molly was granted residency at The Incubator Arts Project for which she will be creating and directing a new theater piece in July 2013.

She has worked at venues that include, The Apollo Theater, Arena Stage, The Dallas Theater Center and The Invisible Dog among many others. She is the creator and curator APT. 3E a monthly performance salon in her living room. To date- salons performances have included new plays, Beckett, Strindberg, drag performance, Long form improv, new music, and mask performance by various artists in the community. Molly has served as an assistant to John Guare, Suzan-Lori Parks, Tina Landau, Patricia McGregor and Stan Wojewodski Jr. She is a recipient of the Garland Wright Award for Achievement in Directing. BFA, Southern Methodist University

CINEMATOGRAPHER – David Jordan Chlapecka
David is currently employed by Deutsch Inc. as an Art Director. He works on clients ranging from Microsoft to Lunesta. He received his master’s degree in Performance Studies from New York University’s Tisch School in May 2012 and earned bachelor’s degrees in Advertising Creative Emphasis and Anthropology from Southern Methodist University in 2011. Through his “creative” side and his passion for anthropology, Jordan was able to be apart of unique research and artistic projects during his graduate and undergraduate studies. Jordan has competed in various advertising competitions competitions but is also a avid performance artist and video maker. His work can be viewed at www.jordanchlapecka.com.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 91

Some glory in their birth, some in their skill,
Some in their wealth, some in their body’s force,
Some in their garments though new-fangled ill;
Some in their hawks and hounds, some in their horse;
And every humour hath his adjunct pleasure,
Wherein it finds a joy above the rest:
But these particulars are not my measure,
All these I better in one general best.
Thy love is better than high birth to me,
Richer than wealth, prouder than garments’ cost,
Of more delight than hawks and horses be;
And having thee, of all men’s pride I boast:
     Wretched in this alone, that thou mayst take
     All this away, and me most wretched make.



Sonnet 91 describes the pride you can take in one who loves you, and the gamble you make on loving them.

Bill lists a series of things that bring people happiness: their noble ancestry, their abilities, wealth or strength, fancy hunting animals. But Bill takes no joy in any of these things because he has his beloved.And as long as he does, he is prouder than anyone else. But this blessing is a curse: that if he loses his lover, he will become the most wretched person on earth.

Will’s Wordplay

The animals mentioned in line 4 may be a reference to Psalm 20:
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God”


Literary Walk, Central Park

“The Mall, a quadruple row of American elms, is Central Park’s most important horticultural feature, and one of the largest and last remaining stands of American Elm trees in North America.

The elms form a cathedral-like canopy above the Park’s widest pedestrian pathway. and are one of the Parks most photographed features. The quarter-mile pedestrian path is the only intentional straight line inside the Park’s walls. It was meant to address people gregarious needs Originally called the Promenade, the Mall was the place to stroll, wearing one’s Sunday best.

The southern end of the Mall is known as Literary Walk. The statue of Christopher Columbus is the odd man out, since 4 of the 5 tributes here depict prominent writers. Nearby are Scottish poet Robert Burns and his compatriot, Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott. A little farther north is Fitz-Greene Halleck, the first statue of an American to be placed in the Park. Ten years after his death, he was still so beloved that over 30,000 adoring fans came to the unveiling of his statue by President Rutherford B. Hayes and his entire cabinet. Today hardly anyone knows his poetry or his name, but everyone remembers their visit to the Mall.” [1]



1. http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/attractions/mall-literary-walk.html


ACTOR – Tim Ruddy

Tim is very proud to be involved in The Sonnet Project
He recently directed the hit Off Broadway show For Love by Laoisa Sexton at the Irish Rep where he also won the Best Director award (1st Irish Theatre Fest. 2010) for his work on the hit show After Luke/When I was God. Other directing credits include Sweet by Alicia Frank (Hudson Guild NY), Bottom of the Lake by Conor McDermottroe (BCA, Boston), The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh(Actors Studio NY) Never in my Lifetime by Shirley Gee (Access Theatre NY), Rooftop by Tammy McNeill (Hudson Guild NY), One for the Road by Harold Pinter (Studio Theatre, London) and Voices from the Liffey By Stephen Brennan (Tour, CA).
His own play The International premiered at The Cell Theatre NY as part of 1st Irish Theatre festival 2013 winning best play. Starring Carey Van Driest who won best actress. He also directed The Cure by Conal Creedon for that festival at Ryans Daughters theatre upstairs starring Mick Mellamphy who won best actor.
As an actor Tim has performed many times Off-Broadway at the Irish Repertory theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Irish Arts Center and recently appeared in Chekovs The Seagull an adaptation by Tom Kilroy at the Culture Project, NY directed by Max Stafford Clarke.
In his native Ireland he has performed a number of times at the Abbey Theatre as well as others and spent many years on Irelands top TV show, Glenroe.
His Film credits include the soon to be released 79 Parts, Gods and Generals, Gettysburg, WC, Heat, Wishful Thinkers among others.
Tim is a proud member of the Actors Center Workshop(ACW).


DIRECTOR – Alex Litke

Alex Litke was born in Port Washington, NY. He he is simply a filmmaker/ videographer who aspires to apply himself to more projects.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 92

But do thy worst to steal thyself away,
For term of life thou art assured mine;
And life no longer than thy love will stay,
For it depends upon that love of thine.
Then need I not to fear the worst of wrongs,
When in the least of them my life hath end.
I see a better state to me belongs
Than that which on thy humour doth depend:
Thou canst not vex me with inconstant mind,
Since that my life on thy revolt doth lie.
O what a happy title do I find,
Happy to have thy love, happy to die!
     But what’s so blessed-fair that fears no blot?
     Thou mayst be false, and yet I know it not.



In Sonnet 92, the poet claims not to care if his lover is untrue, as discovering this will kill him, ridding him of care.

Will goads his lover to go ahead and leave him, just to hurt him. He claims he will have her as long as he is alive, because his life depends on receiving her love. All the terrible things she might do to hurt him are meaningless; any hurt will kill him. He knows this is a better state than if he were dependent on affections: one false move of a wandering eye and it’ll all be over for him! What a happy position to be in: thrilled to have love, but also happy to die! But what situation is so perfectly blessed that it breeds no worries? Her unfaithfulness while Billy remains in the dark.


Will’s Wordplay

This, like many of the sonnets, is closely connected to the previously numbered poem, in the two last lines of which the poet speaks of his having only one cause of wretchedness, that he may lose his friend. In this sonnet, he seems to be over it.


Morningside Park, Manhattan

“A narrow strip that stretches 13 blocks through the neighborhoods of Harlem and Morningside Heights, Morningside Park blends dramatic landscaping with the pleasures of a community park. Built on a steep incline, multiple playgrounds nestle at the bottom of its cliff-like hillside, and visitors pause along its heights to take in a unique view. Winding paths bordered with flowers and trees lead to a cascading waterfall, across from which local teams play on its baseball fields. Parents bring their children to play in its playgrounds and learn in its after-school program, and on Saturdays local farmers sell their goods in an outdoor market.

With its convenient location in the heart of Northern Manhattan, only a few blocks from Columbia University, Riverside Park, St. Nicholas Park, the Apollo Theater, and the northern tip of Central Park, Morningside Park’s grounds make an ideal starting point for wanderings, bike rides, and walking tours.” [1]



“Morningside Park takes its name from the eastern side—where the sun rises in the morning—of the rugged cliff of Manhattan schist which separates Morningside Heights on the west from the Harlem Plain to the east. The area was formerly known as Muscoota to the Indians of the Harlem Plain, Vredendal (Peaceful Dale) to 17th century Dutch settlers, and Vandewater Heights after the Dutch landowner who acquired property here in 1738. On September 16, 1776, during the Revolutionary War Battle of Harlem Heights, colonial forces retreated on a road through the area. Three blockhouse fortifications were built here and put to use during the War of 1812.

In 1867 Andrew Haswell Green, Commissioner and Comptroller of Central Park, recommended that a park be located in Morningside Heights. He argued that it would be “very expensive” and “very inconvenient” to extend the Manhattan street grid over the area’s severe topography. The City of New York was granted jurisdiction over this property in 1870. Construction of Morningside Park was delayed, however, because the Board of Commissioners for Public Parks rejected the design proposals submitted by Parks Engineer-in-Chief M.A. Kellogg in 1871, and by landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux (co-designers of Central and Prospect Parks) in 1873.

Architect Jacob Wrey Mould was hired to rework Olmsted and Vaux’s plans in 1880. He designed the promenade and buttressed masonry wall that encloses the park along Morningside Drive. The 30 foot-wide walkway was constructed as a series of esplanades, linked by steps, with semi-octagonal bays providing visitors with places to rest and to enjoy the view. Although a construction contract was awarded in 1883, Mould died in 1886 before the work was completed.

Fourteen years after their original proposal was rejected, landscape architects Olmsted and Vaux were hired in 1887 to continue improvements to Morningside Park. They enhanced the park’s natural elements by planting vegetation tolerant of the dry, rocky environment. Two paths—one broad, one meandering—traversed the lower portion of the park. Retained as a consultant, Vaux saw the work to completion in 1895, the year he drowned in Gravesend Bay. Parks Superintendent Samuel Parsons Jr. wrote of Vaux’s work, “. . .perhaps Morningside Park was the most consummate piece of art that he had ever created.”

The park’s design continued to evolve in the 20th century. Monuments installed in and around the park included Lafayette and Washington (1900) by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, the Carl Schurz Memorial (1913) by Karl Bitter and Henry Bacon, and the Seligman (Bear and Faun) Fountain (1914) by Edgar Walter. Between the 1930s and the 1950s playgrounds, basketball courts, and softball diamonds were constructed in the east and south parts of Morningside Park.

In 1968 student and community protests halted construction of a large gymnasium in the park intended for the use of Columbia University and the public. The excavated foundation crater was converted into an ornamental pond and waterfall in 1989-90 as part of a $5 million capital reconstruction of the park from 110th to 114th Streets. The project also included installing new play equipment, creating a picnic area, planting new trees, and rebuilding the ballfields.” [2]



1. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/morningside-park
2. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/morningside-park/history


ACTOR – Jeff Hathcoat

Jeff Hathcoat was born and raised in Atlanta, Ga, graduated from Boston University’s School of Theatre, and has been living and working in NYC since 2011. He is proud to be working with NYSX once again, as they were part of his first ever performance in New York City! He is currently working on a production of Othello for Allentown Shakespeare in the Park as Roderigo. Jeff is also a proud member of the Mercury Glass Theatre Company with which he has done three Shakespeare productions: Merry Wives of Windsor (Nym), Romeo & Juliet (Sampson), Measure for Measure (Pompey). He will be playing Lightborn in their production of Edward II by Marlowe in the Fall.


DIRECTOR – Brandon Herman

Brandon Herman is a filmmaker and photographer based in NYC. Having graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in FIlm and Television Production, he has gone on to work in the industry for almost 20 years. Brandon has made short films, music videos, web series, and documentaries. He is also working hard to launch a website for and about geeky women, called FangirlTV.com.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 93

So shall I live, supposing thou art true,
Like a deceived husband; so love’s face
May still seem love to me, though altered new;
Thy looks with me, thy heart in other place:
For there can live no hatred in thine eye,
Therefore in that I cannot know thy change.
In many’s looks, the false heart’s history
Is writ in moods, and frowns, and wrinkles strange.
But heaven in thy creation did decree
That in thy face sweet love should ever dwell;
Whate’er thy thoughts, or thy heart’s workings be,
Thy looks should nothing thence, but sweetness tell.
     How like Eve’s apple doth thy beauty grow,
     If thy sweet virtue answer not thy show!



Sonnet 93 has the poet satisfied with outward appearance, even when it conceals a lack of love.

Continuing a train of thought from the previous sonnet, Billy claims he will live like a deceived husband, assuming his lover’s faithfulness. On the outside it will look like love, even though you its a lie—his lover’s looks will stay the same, but their heart will be somewhere else. Many people express their unfaithfulness in their faces—in moody looks and frowns and strange wrinkles. But in the heavenly creation of the youth, it decided that his face would always express sweet love, whatever his thoughts or desires. In fact, it is much like Eve’s apple, which looked more sweet and virtuous than it was beneath the skin.


Will’s Wordplay

This sonnet, continuing from the previous one, directly addresses a question which was always of great interest to our boy Bill: ‘How can a person be other than they seem to be to the outward senses? What permits hypocrisy to be such a determining factor in human relationships?’ In the plays this drama is played out through the fictitious characters of a Macbeth, or an Iago, or Antonio (the usurping brother of Prospero in The Tempest). Here the reality is closer to home. Beware that boy’s cheatin’ heart, Bill!


The High Line, Manhattan

“The High Line design is a collaboration between James Corner Field Operations (Project Lead), Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Piet Oudolf.


The Structure

Converting each section of the High Line from an out-of-use railroad trestle to a public landscape entailed not only years of planning, community input, and work by some of the city’s most inventive designers, but also more than two years of construction per section.


Planting Design

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that grew on the out-of-use elevated rail tracks during the 25 years after trains stopped running. The species of perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees were chosen for their hardiness, sustainability, and textural and color variation, with a focus on native species. Many of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are incorporated into the park’s landscape.” [1]



“The High Line’s landscape was created in partnership with Netherlands-based planting designer Piet Oudolf. For inspiration, Oudolf looked to the existing landscape that grew on the High Line after the trains stopped running. The plant selection favors native, drought-tolerant, and low-maintenance species, cutting down on the resources that go into the landscape.


Site-specific Landscape

Varied conditions of light, shade, exposure, wind, and soil depth on the High Line in its out-of-use state led to an incredibly complex variety of growing conditions, or “microclimates.” The original, self-seeded landscape reflected this variation – where the High Line was narrow and sheltered by adjacent buildings, water was retained, soil was deeper, and vegetation was thicker, including several groves of tall shrubs and trees. Where the High Line was exposed to winds off the Hudson, the landscape was dominated by tough, drought-resistant grasses and wildflowers.

The current park landscape reflects the original microclimates of the High Line. By basing the planting design on naturally created plant communities, we create a well-adapted, site-specific landscape, cutting down on water and other resources needed to maintain it.


Local Sourcing

Whenever possible, we source materials from within a 100-mile radius. Almost half of the High Line’s plants are native species, and many were produced by local growers. Locally grown plants are better adapted to grow successfully in our climate, reducing the amount of plant failure and replacement costs. The High Line’s ecosystem provides food and shelter for a variety of wildlife species, including native pollinators.” [2]


Featured Artwork

Brazilian-born artist Eduardo Kobra painted a stunning mural on 25th Street at 10th Avenue in Chelsea. It takes its inspiration from Alfred Eisenstaedt’s iconic photo of a sailor kissing a nurse on VJ Day in Times Square. While the photo’s circumstances have been critiqued in recent years, specifically the issue of the nurse’s consent, the image has come to symbolize the triumph of love over war, emphasized in this mural by Kobra’s technicolor palette.



1. http://www.thehighline.org/about
2. http://www.thehighline.org/about/sustainable-practices


ACTOR – Nicole Golden

Nicole is an actor and voice artist living in NYC. She most recently portrayed St. Catherine in Woodshed Collective’s immersive theatre hit Empire Travel Agency. Other theatre credits include: Pericles (New York Shakespeare Exchange), 2.5 Minute Ride (Altered Stages), Cloud Nine (Bank Street), The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told (Theatre at St. Clements), Enchanted April (Public Theatre, Maine), Young, Sexy & Talented (Fringe NYC), Why We Have a Body (Blue Heron Arts Center), All in the Timing (Mill Mountain Theatre, VA), Turandot (Alliance Theatre Company/Ku Na’uka Theatre Company, Japan), Hamlet and Accelerando (Actors Express, Atlanta), A Cheever Evening (Horizon Theatre Company, Atlanta), The Country Wife, The Comedy of Errors and The Bourgeois Gentleman (Georgia Shakespeare Festival). Her work as a producer includes the original short-play series Cherry Picking (The Wild Project), now in its 15th year, as well as Paula Vogel’s And Baby Makes Seven (Ohio Theatre) . National commercials and voice-overs. Nicole received her BFA in Acting from Florida State University, studies improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade, and is a graduate of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s summer residency, the School at Steppenwolf.


DIRECTOR – Dexter Buell

Dexter Buell is a New York-based artist and teacher, with an MFA (1989) in sculpture from the Yale School of Art. Over the course of his 25-year career he has worked in three-dimensional form, time-based performance, photography and video and film. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and most recently, a SURDNA Foundation Fellowship to study and write in Berlin.

Buell grew up in Portland, Oregon in the 1970’s. With family ties on both coasts, he made numerous cross-country drives as an adolescent and later on his own. As a result, the landscape of the American West came to figure prominently in is work. He returns repeatedly to a preoccupation with nature and landscape, and the experience of the human will and desire within it. His early performance work challenged natural laws in an attempt to locate the limits of the physical self, pushing the boundaries of exhaustion through repetition and endurance: breathing, jumping, running in place, activities that verify the existence of the individual within larger schemata of nature.

His cinematic work emerged in the 1990’s as documents of these efforts. Actions were recorded on film and video and presented as artifacts of past events. These attendant production skills, along with the bread and butter of surviving as a contractor and mold-maker in New York City, provided the necessary qualifications for a second career as a teaching artist in the New York City Schools. Certified in 2004, he is now the chair of the Film and Media Studio and the Technical Director at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, where he teaches film production, studio art and technical theater.

The last decade has been a creative dormancy, a gathering of insight into narrative structure, screenwriting, and other performance and theatrical forms. This hiatus notwithstanding, he has completed two projects, Big Now, and The Lake (both 2012), that explore memory and loss through parallel editing and multi-track audio and visual projection. Big Now presents as a 6-channel audio work, with speakers surrounding a horizontal projection surface. Each speaker describes a different version of the death of a family friend in Berlin in 1989, during the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Google Images and iPhone Apps provide source imagery that become a mechanism of a personal geography and recollection in a layered and often incoherent babble of voice and image.

This investigation of personal loss continues in The Lake. This short experimental film is a testimonial of sorts, a record of parallel actions undertaken along side his wife during the break up of their marriage. It follows them through separate corners of Prospect Park, Brooklyn, in the early hours of the day, as they negotiate brambles, traffic, water, cold and glare to put their stories to rest. The two of them never meet on screen. Buells’ approach to Sonnet 93, takes up where the The Lake leaves off, and explores the gulf between the heart and face of intimacy.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 94

They that have power to hurt, and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow;
They rightly do inherit heaven’s graces,
And husband nature’s riches from expense;
They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Others, but stewards of their excellence.
The summer’s flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself, it only live and die,
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
     For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
     Lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds.



Sonnet 94 chides those who are beautiful but are controlled by and used for their beauty; it makes them common.

Bill muses on whom will rightly inherit heaven’s blessings and keep nature’s treasures from being wasted– it is those whose beauty gives them the power to hurt others, but do no hurt; those whose looks arouse but won’t have sex; those who tempt others but are themselves cold and difficult to tempt. People with self-control truly own their beauty; the rest merely exist for others’ use. The summer flower seems sweet to us in summer, though the flower itself may feel that it’s only living and dying. But if that flower is infected by a parasite, the weeds will be better. That which is sweet can turn sour by acting wrongly. Lilies that rot smell worse than weeds.


Will’s Wordplay

“husband” here is more a reference to maintaining land than marriage. To husband is to perform agricultural work and fits

The Latin optima corrupta pessima translates as ‘the best things, when corrupted, become the worst’. Plus another proverb which runs ‘What is sweet in the mouth is oft sour in the maw’. The latter is obviously closer to the sweet/sour contrast which Billy enjoys.


Wall Street, Manhattan

Hear the opening bell? Wall Street is in the financial district of New York City,[1] which is named after and centered on the eight-block or 0.7 miles long street running from Broadway to South Street on the East River in Lower Manhattan. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, the American financial sector (even if financial firms are not physically located there), or signifying New York-based financial interests. It is the home of the New York Stock Exchange, the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies. Several other major exchanges have or had headquarters in the Wall Street area, including NASDAQ, the New York Mercantile Exchange, the New York Board of Trade, and the former American Stock Exchange.


Early Years

There are varying accounts about how the Dutch-named “de Waal Straat” [2] got its name. A generally accepted version is that the name of the street was derived from an earthen wall on the northern boundary of the New Amsterdam settlement, perhaps to protect against English colonial encroachment or incursions by native Americans. A conflicting explanation is that Wall Street was named after Walloons—possibly a Dutch abbreviation for Walloon being Waal [3] Among the first settlers that embarked on the ship “Nieu Nederlandt” in 1624 were 30 Walloon families.

In the 1640s, basic picket and plank fences denoted plots and residences in the colony. Later, on behalf of the Dutch West India Company, Peter Stuyvesant, using both African slaves and white colonists, collaborated with the city government in the construction of a more substantial fortification, a strengthened 12-foot wall.[4] In 1685 surveyors laid out Wall Street along the lines of the original stockade. The wall started at Pearl Street, which was the shoreline at that time, crossing the Indian path Broadway and ending at the other shoreline (today’s Trinity Place), where it took a turn south and ran along the shore until it ended at the old fort. In these early days, local merchants and traders would gather at disparate spots to buy and sell shares and bonds, and over time divided themselves into two classes—auctioneers and dealers. [5] Wall Street was also the marketplace where owners could hire out their slaves by the day or week. (The rampart was removed in 1699) On December 13, 1711, the New York City Common Council made Wall Street the city’s first official slave market for the sale and rental of enslaved Africans and Indians.

In the late 18th century, there was a buttonwood tree at the foot of Wall Street under which traders and speculators would gather to trade securities.The benefit was being in close proximity to each other. [6] In 1792, traders formalized their association with the Buttonwood Agreement which was the origin of the New York Stock Exchange. The idea of the agreement was to make the market more “structured” and “without the manipulative auctions”, with a commission structure. [5] Persons signing the agreement agreed to charge each other a standard commission rate; persons not signing could still participate but would be charged a higher commission for dealing.

In 1789, Wall Street was the scene of the United States’ first presidential inauguration when George Washington took the oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall on April 30, 1789. This was also the location of the passing of the Bill Of Rights. In the cemetery of Trinity Church, Alexander Hamilton, who was the first Treasury secretary and “architect of the early United States financial system,” is buried.


19th Century

In the first few decades, both residences and businesses occupied the area, but increasingly business predominated. “There are old stories of people’s houses being surrounded by the clamor of business and trade and the owners complaining that they can’t get anything done,” according to a historian named Burrows.[7] The opening of the Erie Canal in the early 19th century meant a huge boom in business for New York City, since it was the only major eastern seaport which had direct access by inland waterways to ports on the Great Lakes. Wall Street became the “money capital of America”.

In the 1840s and 1850s, most residents moved north to midtown because of the increased business use at the lower tip of the island. The Civil War had the effect of causing the northern economy to boom, bringing greater prosperity to cities like New York which “came into its own as the nation’s banking center” connecting “Old World capital and New World ambition”, according to one account. [8] J. P. Morgan created giant trusts; John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil moved to New York. Between 1860 and 1920, the economy changed from “agricultural to industrial to financial” and New York maintained its leadership position despite these changes, according to historian Thomas Kessner.

In 1884, Charles H. Dow began tracking stocks, initially begHe added up prices, and divided by the number of stocks to get his Dow Jones average. Dow’s numbers were a “convenient benchmark” for analyzing the market and became an accepted way to look at the entire stock market. In 1889, the original stock report, Customers’ Afternoon Letter, became The Wall Street Journal. [9] After October 7, 1896, it began publishing Dow’s expanded list of stocks. A century later, there were 30 stocks in the average.


20th Century

The address of 23 Wall Street where the headquarters of J. P. Morgan & Company, known as The Corner, was “the precise center, geographical as well as metaphorical, of financial America and even of the financial world.’ [8]

Wall Street has had changing relationships with government authorities. In 1913, for example, when authorities proposed a $4 tax on stock transfers, stock clerks protested. At other times, city and state officials have taken steps through tax incentives to encourage financial firms to continue to do business in the city.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the corporate culture of New York was a primary center for the construction of skyscrapers, and was rivaled only by Chicago on the American continent. As a result of the construction, looking at New York City from the east, one can see two distinct clumps of tall buildings—the financial district on the left, and the taller midtown district on the right.

On September 16, 1920, close to the corner of Wall and Broad Street, the busiest corner of the financial district and across the offices of the Morgan Bank, a powerful bomb exploded. It killed 38 and seriously injured 143 people. [10] The perpetrators were never identified or apprehended. The explosion did, however, help fuel the Red Scare that was underway at the time. The area was subjected to numerous threats; one bomb threat in 1921 led to detectives sealing off the area to “prevent a repetition of the Wall Street bomb explosion.”[11]



In October 1929 celebrated Yale economist Irving Fisher reassured worried investors that their “money was safe” on Wall Street. [12] A few days later, stock values plummeted. The stock market crash of 1929 ushered in the Great Depression in which a quarter of working people were unemployed, with soup kitchens, mass foreclosures of farms, and falling prices.During the New Deal years as well as the 1940s, there was much less focus on Wall Street and finance. The government clamped down on the practice of buying equities based only on credit, but these policies began to ease. From 1946-1947, stocks could not be purchased “on margin”, meaning that an investor had to pay 100% of a stock’s cost without taking on any loans. But this margin requirement was reduced four times before 1960, each time stimulating a mini-rally and boosting volume, and when the Federal Reserve reduced the margin requirements from 90% to 70%. [13] These changes made it somewhat easier for investors to buy stocks on credit.

Construction of the World Trade Center began in 1966 but had trouble attracting tenants when completed. Nonetheless, some substantial firms purchased space there. Its impressive height helped make it a visual landmark for drivers and pedestrians. In some respects, the nexus of the financial district moved from the street of Wall Street to the Trade Center complex. Real estate growth during the latter part of the 1990s was significant, with deals and new projects happening in the financial district and elsewhere in Manhattan; one firm invested more than $24 billion in various projects, many in the Wall Street area. In 1998, the NYSE and the city struck a $900 million deal which kept the NYSE from moving across the river to Jersey City; the deal was described as the “largest in city history to prevent a corporation from leaving town”.[14] A competitor to the NYSE, NASDAQ, moved its headquarters from Washington to New York.



1. Profile of Manhattan Community Board 1,
2. The street on the map of Nieuw-Amsterdam
3. “Walloons and Wallets”. the loc.gov. 2009-03
4. Timeline: A selected Wall Street chronology PBS Online.
5. Charles R. Geisst (1997). “Wall Street: a history : from its beginnings to the fall of Enron”. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-511512-0.
6. Noelle Knox and Martha T. Moor (October 24, 2001). “‘Wall Street’ migrates to Midtown”. USA Today.
7. Aaron Donovan (September 9, 2001). “If You’re Thinking of Living In/The Financial District; In Wall Street’s Canyons, Cliff Dwellers”. The New York Times: Real Estate.
8. Daniel Gross (October 14, 2007). “The Capital of Capital No More?”. The New York Times: Magazine.
9. DOW JONES HISTORY – THE LATE 1800s 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
10. Beverly Gage, The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in its First Age of Terror. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009; pp. 160-161.
11. “DETECTIVES GUARD WALL ST. AGAINST NEW BOMB OUTRAGE; Entire Financial District Patrolled Following AnonymousWarning to a Broker”. The New York Times. December 19, 1921.
12. Larry Elliott (reviewer) Steve Fraser (author) (book:) Wall Street: A cultural History (by Fraser) (May 21, 2005). “Going for brokers: Steve Fraser charts the highs and the lows of the world’s financial capital in Wall Stree”. The Guardian.
13.”STOCK MARKET MARGINS: The Federal Reserve v. Wall Street”. Time Magazine. August 8, 1960.
14. Charles V. Bagli (December 23, 1998). “City and State Agree to $900 Million Deal to Keep New York Stock Exchange”. The New York Times.


ACTOR – Lily Dorment

Lily Dorment is a London-born, Brookyn-based actor and voiceover artist.


DIRECTOR – Sina Heiss

Sina Heiss is a theater director and performer from Austria. Her theatre work is highly physical, rhythmical, visually striking and challenges the minds of the viewers. She develops her work with an multidisciplinary, international team of artists and she likes to experiment, improvise and to cross boundaries (of any kind). Sina has worked with artists like Ivo van Hove (Toneelgroep Amsterdam), Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar (Big Dance Theatre, NYC), 600 Highwayman (NYC) and Theatre en Flammes (Lausanne, CH).
She has produced full length theatre pieces, performances and short films in Austria and the USA and toured her original work as a director and performer through Europe. In 2014, she founded the artistic collective Lonesome George with Gabrielle Sinclair and Martyna Grydlik.
Sina holds a Master degree in theatre directing from Columbia University, New York. She has studied with teachers like Anne Bogart, Robert Woodruff, Tina Landau, Brian Kulick, Norman Taylor and Keith Johnstone.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 95

How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame
Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose,
Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name!
O! in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose.
That tongue that tells the story of thy days,
Making lascivious comments on thy sport,
Cannot dispraise, but in a kind of praise;
Naming thy name blesses an ill report.
O! what a mansion have those vices got
Which for their habitation chose out thee,
Where beauty’s veil doth cover every blot
And all things turns to fair that eyes can see!
     Take heed, dear heart, of this large privilege;
     The hardest knife ill-used doth lose his edge.



In Sonnet 95, the poet warns his beloved that concealing bad actions beneath a beautiful exterior can only work for so long.

Will accuses his lover of defending the flaw ruining their reputation, like a garden pest. Its easy to cover up your sins with such a sweet exterior! He who makes accusations of wild lust somehow manages to make it sound like praise: any association with Will’s lover makes even bad things look good. He likens these vices to bad people living in a beautiful house. External beauty veils evils in a coating of goodness. But Will warns that such beauty is a great privilege not to be abused it, lest it stop working, like a knife dulled by misuse.


Will’s Wordplay

A “canker” is not just a sore in your mouth– this time it refers to a common garden worm or maggot. The canker that likes roses is particularly damaging, not revealing itself until the bud opens, when the flower is already rotted. Where’s the insecticide?


Gold Coast Townhouse, 18 West 11th Street

“At first, navigating Greenwich Village may prove a little difficult, particularly at the spot where West Fourth Street crosses West Tenth Street. The neighborhood was developed before the city’s grid plan, a little trivia that makes the area all the more charming. The heart of Greenwich Village is Washington Square Park. The north side of the park is lined with landmark townhouses. Lower Fifth Avenue, marked by the iconic arch, is known as ‘The Gold Coast,’ home to prewar co-ops with grand lobbies, high ceilings, and doormen clad in the finest attire.” [1]


About This Town House

“Perfectly perched on the most desirable of all Central Greenwich Village Gold Coast blocks, this remarkable 22ft wide townhouse nestled amongst a row of seven elegant, brick, Greek Revival townhouses, is delivered with full, detailed Landmarks-approved plans to create a spectacular contemporary showpiece with around 6,500sf of living space over six floors including an elevator that services every floor…

The plans modify the existing structure completely, including superb living spaces that lead out onto the picturesque south-facing 30ft deep garden that contains one of the most beautiful specimens of a Japanese Katsura tree anywhere in Manhattan as well as exposure to some of the most iconic townhouses in Greenwich Village. The rear glass faade houses a double-height ceiling living space and incorporates sleek metal fins for privacy. The cellar is designed to have 13 foot tall ceilings, ensuring that the volume on all floors is impressive. The glass enclosed rooftop penthouse boasts surprisingly captivating views and can accommodate a rooftop lawn. A generator on the roof is on standby in the event of a power outage.

Originally built by Henry Brevoort Jr. in 1845 as one of four row houses, this home was completely rebuilt in 1978 in a modernist style with a distinctive exterior and large picture windows while retaining certain historical elements. The current structure is remarkably solid and is focused around the concept of an open central staircase (that is flooded with light from a central skylight) from which the rooms unfold and flow on multiple levels.” [2]



1. http://www.mironproperties.com/Greenwich-Village
2. http://realestate.nytimes.com/sales/detail/12436-B1A3699AFCD22C5A3DA49B2B217BE6E73619DEEA/18-W-11th-St-NEW-YORK-NY-10011


ACTOR – Susan Heyward

Bio coming soon


DIRECTOR – Lizzie Ford-Madrid

Lizzie Ford-Madrid is a photographer and filmmaker, who loves to tell stories. She graduated from Loyola University New Orleans with a B.A. in Photojournalism and has had work featured in City Limits, InvadeNola, and Timeout New York.
While she loves working as a photographer, she hopes to continue pursuing narrative filmmaking, Sonnet 95 will be her third short film.
She can be found on Vimeo and Instagram at (@usepenandpaper)

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 97

How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December’s bareness everywhere!
And yet this time removed was summer’s time;
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widow’d wombs after their lords’ decease:
Yet this abundant issue seemed to me
But hope of orphans, and unfathered fruit;
For summer and his pleasures wait on thee,
And, thou away, the very birds are mute:
     Or, if they sing, ’tis with so dull a cheer,
     That leaves look pale, dreading the winter’s near.



Billy’s separation from his love has plunged him into winter, since their love makes the year pleasurable. He’s felt cold, dark days, and the world seems as bare as trees in December. This is even more of a surprise because the time of year they’ve spent apart was actually summer, then fall, the most plentiful time of the year, and the fruit of a spring– like a widow giving birth after her husband has died. And these abundant fruits of nature seemed like hopeless orphans to him, because summer’s pleasures all depend on being with his beloved, and alone, even the birds are silent. Or if they sing, it is with a note that makes the leaves grow pale with fear, dreading winter’s approach.


Will’s Wordplay

Willy personifies the spring as a dead father because the season, like his lover, is gone while the crops planted during its duration remain.


Scholar’s Corner

In his book On the Literary Genetics of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, T. W. Baldwin notes a resemblance between this poem’s trope for the seasons and the “childing autumn” of A Midsummer Night’s Dream 2.1.112; he traces the figure to Ovid.


Francis Lewis Park, Queens

“American merchant, patriot, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Born in Llandaff, Wales, Lewis became an orphan at a young age. He completed a merchant apprenticeship in London and then traveled to America in 1738. The entrepreneur established a successful trading company in both New York City and Philadelphia, and grew rich by supplying goods to British troops during the French and Indian War (1755-1763). In 1745, Lewis married Elizabeth Annesley, the sister of a business partner. Having accumulated great wealth, Lewis retired from trade in 1765 and moved to Whitestone, New York.

Lewis’s political career began in 1774, when he served as a New York delegate to the Provincial Convention. The convention elected Lewis to the Continental Congress, where he served from 1775 to 1779. On July 4, 1776, Lewis signed the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed the colonies forever absolved from allegiance to the British crown. In the fall of 1776, the British destroyed Lewis’s Whitestone property and abducted his wife Elizabeth. After her release, Annesly died prematurely in 1779, perhaps due in part to the harsh conditions of her captivity. During the course of the Revolutionary War (1776-1781), Lewis served on two powerful committees: the Secret Committee, which imported munitions, and the Marine Committee, which administered naval affairs. Defeated for re-election to the Continental Congress in 1779, Lewis nevertheless was appointed to the Board of Admiralty, which replaced the Marine Committee. In the years before his death, Francis Lewis served as a vestryman for Trinity Church in New York City.

The Whitestone community that Lewis made his home has a long and rich history. Dutch farmers founded Whitestone in 1645, naming the area for a large white boulder that broke the tides along the shore. The Dutch purchased the land from the Matinecock Native Americans at the price of one ax per fifty acres. In 1735, the discovery of clay deposits stimulated the widespread growth of pottery manufacturing. During DeWitt Clinton’s tenure as New York State Governor (1817-23, 1825-8), the community referred to itself as Clintonville. The discovery of a hot spring on 14 Street and Old Whitestone Avenue during the mid-19th century brought the area renown as a sanctuary for anemic patients. During this period, New Yorkers referred to the town as Iron Springs.

Francis Lewis Park is bounded by Third Avenue, 147 Street, the East River, and Parsons Boulevard. In 1937, Parks acquired the property from the private estate of Edwin H. Brown. The park consists of 9.231 acres above water and 7.631 acres below water. The Bronx-Whitestone Bridge (1939) designed by Othmar H. Ammann crosses over the western side of the property. The park consists of winding paths that lead to two scenic overlooks equipped with benches and game tables. Both overlooks feature spectacular views of the bridge and the East River, while the lower overlook provides beach access.

In 1992, Francis Lewis Park received a $466,000 renovation. The project reconstructed the shoreline, overlook, and embankment areas of the park in order to correct a severe erosion problem, prevent future degradation, and improve views of the river. Additionally, the flagpole on the upper overlook received a decorative granite base. In 1999, through the efforts of former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, the park received the addition of a bocce court.” [1]



1. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/francis-lewis-park/history


ACTOR – Robert Manning Jr.

Robert is a graduate of the University of Washington’s Professional Acting Training Program, MFA. Television: Southland, The Unit, Criminal Minds. Film: Frogtown, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Theatre – Broadway: Magic/Bird. Regional: Sterling in Two Trains Running, Cassio in Othello, Banquo in Macbeth. 2008 NAACP Theatre Award Nomination: Defiance – Pasadena Playhouse. 2010 NAACP Theatre Award Nomination: Battle Hymn – Ford Theatre. 2012 NAACP Theatre Award Win: Blues for an Alabama Sky – Pasadena Playhouse. Robert recently completed the original production of How I Learned to Become a Superhero.
For more information and full credits, please visit robertmanningjr.com.


DIRECTOR – James Elliott

James Elliott: BA – Williams College, MFA – University of Texas at Austin.
Director, Teacher, Producer. Directing credits include Three Graces Theatre Co (His latest production, Dissonance, was just published by Applause in Best Short Plays of 2011-12), ABC-TV Diversity Showcase, off-off-Broadway, and regional theatres and colleges around the country. Instructor and Resident Director at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Also teaches at Cooper Union, NY Film Academy and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Was Producing Director for the NY Theater Co. Urban Empire where he helped premiere Evolution by Jonathan Marc Sherman. Founder of Cricket Pictures and co-producer of two films. Screenwriter and director of the award-nominated short film Helen at Risk with Didi Conn. He is the co-creator of the Podcast series The State of Shakespeare.

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 99


The forward violet thus did I chide:
Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells,
If not from my love’s breath? The purple pride
Which on thy soft cheek for complexion dwells
In my love’s veins thou hast too grossly dy’d.
The lily I condemned for thy hand,
And buds of marjoram had stol’n thy hair;
The roses fearfully on thorns did stand,
One blushing shame, another white despair;
A third, nor red nor white, had stol’n of both,
And to his robbery had annexed thy breath;
But, for his theft, in pride of all his growth
A vengeful canker eat him up to death.
     More flowers I noted, yet I none could see,
     But sweet, or colour it had stol’n from thee.



Sonnet 99 accuses nature of thieving the beloved’s beauty.

Will criticized the violet, telling it that it had stolen its sweet smell from the youth’s breath, and its purple color from my his veins. He told the lily it had stolen its whiteness from the youth’s hands, and then told marjoram it had stolen his rusty hair; a third flower which was neither color had stolen from both! The red and white roses postured shame and despair at Will’s accusations. In fact, all flowers had stolen something from Will’s beloved youth.


Will’s Wordplay

This sonnet has 15 lines, and is the only poem in the sequence which has more than fourteen (126 has 12). Sonnet structure was not fixed during the period, and Sidney Lee adduces many examples of fifteen line sonnets. An extra line is particularly common in linked sonnets, and this sonnet is linked to 98; Malone ended 98 with a colon to demonstrate the connection. However, other scholars have remarked on the clumsiness of the first line and suggested that the quarto text represents an unrevised draft that found its way into print. [1]


Scholar’s Corner

The sonnet has attracted some attention as one of those that appears to provide clues about the historical identity of Shakespeare’s subject (on the traditional assumption that the poems are in some sense autobiographical). In 1904, C. C. Stopes noted the existence of a portrait of Southampton at Welbeck Abbey in which his hair curls in a manner similar to young marjoram. This analysis has been disputed by scholars who assert that smell, rather than appearance, is the primary referent of Shakespeare’s line. Because of the extravagant praise of the beloved’s body, some Victorian scholars were reluctant to believe that the poem was addressed to a man; current consensus, however, groups it with the other poems written to the young man. [2]


Alice Austen House

A vibrant cultural center, the Alice Austen House keeps the daring spirit of the early American photographer alive by showcasing her life, work, and home. Clear Comfort, the Austen family home, is one of the oldest homes in New York City, but was later renovated into a charming Victorian Gothic Cottage that became Alice’s studio. Come explore late 19th century period rooms, changing exhibitions of Austen’s work and contemporary photography, and the lovely waterfront grounds with panoramic views of the New York Harbor and Lower Manhattan. The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm and closed in January and February.


Alice Austen

Alice Austen (1866 – 1952) was one of America’s earliest and most prolific female photographers, and over the course of her life she captured about 8,000 images. Though she is best known for her documentary work, Austen was an artist with a strong aesthetic sensibility. Furthermore, she was a landscape designer, a master tennis player, and the first woman on Staten Island to own a car. She never married, and instead spent 50 years with Gertrude Tate. A rebel who broke away from the ties of her Victorian environment, Alice Austen created her own independent life.


Austen’s Work

Alice Austen was one of the first women photographers in this country to work outside the confines of a studio. She is best known as a documentary photographer – a style of photography unusual until the 20th century. With a natural instinct for photojournalism some 40 years before that word was coined, she saw the world with a clear eye and photographed the people and places in it, as they actually appeared. But she was also an artist, with a strong aesthetic sensibility and a determined eye. She knew what she wanted to capture, and she knew how to capture it.


Clear Comfort

Clear Comfort (a.k.a. the Alice Austen House) dates back to a circa 1700 one-room Dutch farmhouse. In 1844 John Haggerty Austen, Alice Austen’s grandfather, purchased the home and made many of the renovations that gave the home its Victorian Gothic character. Alice Austen herself moved there as a young girl in the late 1860s with her mother, Alice Cornell Austen, after the two were abandoned by Alice’s father. In 1917, Gertrude Tate moved in, and the two lived together until financial problems forced them to move in 1945. When they left, the house fell into disrepair until a group of concerned citizens saved it from demolition in the 1960s. The house successfully gained status as a historic landmark, was restored in the mid-1980s, and opened as a public museum devoted to the pioneering American photographer in 1985.



1. http://aliceausten.org/her-life/
2. http://aliceausten.org/her-home/


ACTOR – Peter Straus

Peter Daniel Straus has acted and performed around the world, including the lead role in the feature The Ride of Tom and Valkerie, numerous independent short films, featured TV spots on The Late Show with David Letterman and the award winning television mini-series The Half Brother (Halvbroren) for NRK (Norway). He’s been a featured comedian and fire juggler at the Metropolitan Opera, acted in plays at regional theaters like the Denver Center Theatre Company, was featured as the White Rabbit in Alice i Eventyrland at the National Theatre of Norway, and recently played Feste the Fool in Mile Square Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. He’s toured nationally with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, performs adult comedy “boy-lesque” around New York in venues like The Box, and loves using humor’s healing power as a comedy “doctor” with the Big Apple Circus’ Clown Care program. Wearing another hat, Peter directs and consults for theatre productions and variety performers. He is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the British American Drama Academy. www.peterdanielstraus.com


DIRECTOR – Stephanie Sellars

Stephanie Sellars is a New York-based filmmaker, writer, and performer. She has written, produced, directed, and acted in many short films, which have won awards and played festivals including Big Apple Film Festival, Coney Island Film Festival, Outfest, Frameline San Francisco, Newport Beach Film Festival, DC Shorts, Costa Rica Intl. Film Festival, Woods Hole Film Festival, New Filmmakers, and Cinekink. Her first film, Twenty Minutes of Immortality, was licensed by IFC and aired on the channel for three years. Stephanie studied film at La Femis in Paris and Columbia University School of the Arts where she received a MFA in 2013. Her feature screenplay Lust Life was a quarter-finalist in Austin (2011) and BlueCat (2012) Screenplay Competitions. From 2006-2007 she wrote a weekly sex / relationship column of the same name for New York Press. Stephanie has also been published in Moviemaker, Go Magazine, and recently completed her first novel Crazy Without Consequence. As a singer and variety performer, Stephanie has performed in cabarets, theatres and many other places in New York and abroad. For several years, she produced and performed in Catbaret, a fundraiser for Anjellicle Cats Rescue, one of New York’s largest animal rescue organizations. She lives in New York with her husband Peter Daniel Straus and three cats. www.stephaniesellars.com

Apr 21 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 100

Where art thou Muse that thou forget’st so long,
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
Spend’st thou thy fury on some worthless song,
Darkening thy power to lend base subjects light?
Return forgetful Muse, and straight redeem,
In gentle numbers time so idly spent;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem
And gives thy pen both skill and argument.
Rise, resty Muse, my love’s sweet face survey,
If Time have any wrinkle graven there;
If any, be a satire to decay,
And make Time’s spoils despised every where.
     Give my love fame faster than Time wastes life,
     So thou prevent’st his scythe and crooked knife.



Sonnet 100 addresses inspiration, and ponders on immortality in words.

Billy asks the unseen Muse why it has been so absent lately, despite writers’ ability to give it all its power. He wonders if its squandered its gifts on an unworthy poem. He begs it to return and inspire him with words about his beloved, the Muse’s equally powerful audience and subject. Billy says his beloved’s face is lineless, but if he is wrong, the poem should be a satire of aging, and begs the Muse to immortalize its subject before time can tear down the beauty there.

Will’s Wordplay

“Base subjects” often refer to vulgar themes or generally unworthy topics. But since the word base was often used to mean ‘base born, of humble social status’, there is inevitably a suggestion that the beloved is of high birth, and worthy of a poet’s dedication, instead of which the speaker has debased himself and given his attentions to creatures not worthy to be noticed.


Egyptian Columns at entrance of Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) is the public library system of the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. It is the fifth largest public library system in the United States. Like the two other public library systems in New York City, it is an independent nonprofit organization that is funded by the New York City and State governments, the federal government, and private donors. In Fiscal Year 2009, Brooklyn Public Library had the highest program attendance of any public library system in the United States. The library currently promotes itself as Bklyn Public Library.

The Central Library of the Brooklyn Public Library, located at Flatbush Avenue and Eastern Parkway on Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, New York City, contains over a million cataloged books, magazines, and multimedia materials. Each year, over one million people visit the library.[1]The facility, landmarked in 1997, boasts the state-of-the art S. Stevan Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture, a 189-seat auditorium that opened in 2007 and hosts lectures, readings, musical performances, and other events for people of all ages. The library’s plaza, renovated during the construction of the Dweck Center, hosts concerts throughout the summer and has become a favorite outdoor destination for free wireless internet access.

The Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons opened in January, 2013.[2] The space offers an integrated venue for individual work, public classes, private events, and meetings.[2]

The Central Library’s local history division, The Brooklyn Collection, holds over a million individual items including photographs, maps, manuscripts, Brooklyn Dodgers memorabilia and other ephemeral items.


Ground was broken for a Brooklyn central library on Prospect Park Plaza (Grand Army Plaza) in 1912. The design of the original architect Raymond Almirall called for a domed, four-story Beaux Arts building, similar in style to the nearby Brooklyn Museum. Escalating costs and political in-fighting helped slow construction throughout the decade. World War I and the Great Depression ensured that Almirall’s building, whose Flatbush Avenue wing had been completed by 1929, would never be built.

In the 1930s, the architects Githens and Keally were commissioned to redesign the building, eliminating all the expensive ornamentation and the entire fourth floor. After much public and critical praise for the comparatively inexpensive Art Deco structure, construction recommenced in 1938. Almirall’s building on Flatbush Avenue was largely demolished except for the frame. (Some of the original facade that faces in toward the library’s parking lot is still visible.) Completed by late 1940, the Central Library opened to the public on February 1, 1941. It is regarded today as one of America’s greatest Art Deco buildings.

The second floor of the Central Library opened in 1955, nearly doubling the amount of space available to the public. Occupying over 350,000 square feet and employing 300 full-time staff members, the building serves as the administrative headquarters for the Brooklyn Public Library system. Prior to 1941 the Library’s administrative offices were located in the Williamsburg Savings Bank on Flatbush Avenue.[3]

The Central Library was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.



1. http://www.bklynlibrary.org/locations/central
2. http://www.libraryasincubatorproject.org/?p=8612
3. Kathleen A. Howe (June 2001). “National Register of Historic Places Registration:Brooklyn Public Library-Central Building”. New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2011-02-20.


ACTOR – Robert Verlaque

Robert has been a professional actor, director, teacher and writer for over 30 years with extensive directing credits in New York, Toronto, and regional theatre. New York directing credits include Labyrinth Theatre Co., Playwrights Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Acorn Theatre Co., Circle Rep East, The Shooting Gallery, and The Actors Studio, among others. In 2012, Robert directed the premiere of John Patrick Shanley’s “Jealous” at the Labyrinth Theatre Co. Notable New York productions include Shaw’s You Never Can Tell, Wycherley’s The Country Wife, Dancing at Llughnasa, The Trojan Women, Phaedra (The Public Theatre/Potters Field Co.), The Art of Dining, Magic Time, The Shadow Box, Rivers and Ravines, Feydeau’s A Cat Among the Pigeons, and A Flea in Her Ear. He assisted Pam Berlin on Elm Circle for Playwrights Horizons, and the late Gerry Guttierez on Terra Nova. Currently, he is directing “Wrights Wrongs”, an original webisode comedy series in New York City. Robert will directing his short screenplay A Thousand Kisses Deep scheduled to begin shooting in Toronto for Roxborough Films in Fall 2013.
Robert is a produced playwright and screenwriter, with plays produced in NY, San Diego and Toronto. His full-length play ‘Icarus Sings’ was workshopped in NY last season for a Toronto production in the 2013-2014 season.
Robert has extensive film, television and theatre credits and national commercials. During 2013, Robert played a Leading role opposite Joseph Fiennes and Ed Asner in Disney’s upcoming 2014 release “The Games Maker”. He had Guest Staring roles on “Saving Hope”, NBC, and on Season 4 of “Boardwalk Empire”. Robert also directed several new plays written by John Patrick Shanley, Robert Askins, and Don Nigro fro NyLonFusion Co, NY. He is the founding member of the Articulate Theatre Co, NY and the author of the original play “Icarus Sings” in pre-production in Vancouver, Canada following it’s recent workshop in Toronto. Last year included a recurring role on top rated “Suits”, and guest starring on “Warehouse 13″, in a new series “Cracked”, and a lead role in the pilot “Port Hope”. Among the many talents he has been fortunate to work with are Christopher Plummer, Mike Nichols, William H. Macy, William Hurt, Harvey Keitel, Cybill Shepard, Mary Louise Parker, Christopher Walken, Stanley Tucci, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, among others.
He is an instructor and director at the Terry Schreiber Studio, and previously was on the faculty of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Ensemble Studio Theatre Institute in New York, as well as Equity Showcase Theatre in Toronto. In demand as a teacher and private coach, he teaches in Toronto, Los Angeles and New York.


PRODUCER – Articulate Theatre Company – Cat Parker, Artistic Director

Articulate Theatre Company is an ensemble driven company who thrive on being storytellers. Our simple mantra is ‘good stories, told well.’ Guided by the three definitions of ‘articulate,’ -clarity, structure and connectivity- we are committed to challenging and connecting audiences and artist with clearly structured work that is intelligent, thought-provoking and visually striking.



Eric is a veteran television/film director, art director, and production designer specializing in an integrated approach to the creative direction and technical execution of programming and entertainment of all kinds. In a career spanning over 30 years he has provided creative and technical leadership to the world’s most prestigious program producers, including the ABC, CBS, PBS, HBO and MSG television networks. He has been the director of, or a contributing director to, the widest possible variety of live television broadcasts – election nights, town hall meetings, political debates and conventions, prime-time news magazines, morning shows, Sunday roundtables, musical performances, parades, evening and late night news, and more special events than he dares try to remember. His work as a director, art director, and production/scenic designer has been recognized with 11 Emmy awards, the Dupont Columbia Award, the Peabody Award, a Christopher Award, the Cine Golden Eagle, and over 25 Broadcast Designers Association awards.



Andre Yoder Harris is a Photographer and Director of Photography/camera operator based in New York City. He was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, and received his higher education from the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University. A film and photography major, he has a particular passion for documentary filmmaking and portraiture.

In the early 1990s, he traveled the world, working primarily as an Assistant Camera operator for production companies/feature productions ranging from National Geographic and HBO to independent documentaries and Hollywood films and behind-the-scenes documentary productions. In addition, he AC’d dozens of music videos and later shot and DP’d others.

After his wife sustained a serious injury in 2002, Andre chose to limit out-of-town travel, shifting his professional focus to network news and special events/music close to home, working primarily for ABCNews. In recent years, Andre has also incorporated his longstanding love of fast/beautiful cars and auto racing into his photographic work, developing a sub-specialty in motorsports photography and what he describes as “automotive portraiture.”


SCORE – Richard Einhorn

Richard Einhorn’s unique music has been described as “hauntingly beautiful,” “sensational,” and “overwhelming in its emotional power.” He has become one of a small handful of living composers who not only reaches a large worldwide audience but whose music receives widespread critical praise for its integrity, emotional depth, and craft.

In February 2009, Einhorn premiered The Origin, an opera/oratorio based on the work and life of Charles Darwin. Performed to packed houses and standing ovations, the Syracuse Post-Standard wrote, “Einhorn has created an imaginative work layered with profound insight…”

Einhorn’s “opera with silent film,” Voices of Light, has been hailed in reviews as “a great masterpiece of contemporary music” and “a work of meticulous genius.” After selling out its New York City premiere engagements at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival, Voices of Light has had over 100 performances throughout the US and the world including sold-out performances at Avery Fisher Hall; the Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap with the National Symphony; the Cabrillo Festival with Marin Alsop; and during two extremely successful national tours featuring the medieval vocal group Anonymous 4. The Sony Classical CD of Voices of Light was a Billboard classical bestseller, earning Einhorn the distinction of being one of only a few composers to have made “the charts.” Voices of Light has attracted national media attention including articles in the Wall Street Journal, segments on All Things Considered and Performance Today, and an extended profile on CBS television network’s magazine show, CBS Sunday Morning. Recent performances of Voices of Light have taken place at Sydney Opera House in Australia, at Esplanade in Singapore, and in Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa.

Einhorn has written opera, orchestral and chamber music, song cycles, film music, and dance scores. Among his many projects is the wildly popular Red Angels for New York City Ballet set to Einhorn’s music with choreography by Ulysses Dove, which had its television premiere on “Live From Lincoln Center” (PBS) in May of 2002. His film credits include the Academy Award-winning documentary short, Educating Peter (HBO) and Arthur Penn’s thriller Dead of Winter (MGM), starring Mary Steenbugen; and Fire-Eater directed by Pirjo Honkasalo, for which Einhorn won the Jussi (Finnish Academy Award) for Best Musical Score.

Born in 1952, Richard Einhorn graduated summa cum laude in music from Columbia University. Before turning his attention exclusively to composition, Einhorn worked as a record producer for such artists as Meredith Monk and The New York Philharmonic. His production of the Bach Cello Suites with Yo-Yo Ma won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Performance.

Recent works include The Spires, The City, The Field, a 9/11 memorial premiered by the Albany Symphony. A Carnival of Miracles, a piece written for Anonymous 4, premiered to a sold-out crowd at New Sounds Live and broadcasted live over WNYC-FM. My Many Colored Days is an orchestral commission from the Minnesota Orchestra. He lives in New York City with his wife Amy Singer and their daughter Miranda.



STORY – Jim Biederman

Jim Biederman is founder and President of JimCo – a full service production company specializing in scripted as well as non-scripted comedy programs. He has Executive Produced television shows for NBC, CBS, TBS, IFC, MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, Fuse, Logo, CBC, BBC America, among others.



For over 30 years, George has been designing award-winning scenery for television, theatre and film. During his 10-year run as senior production designer for ABC News, his award winning works included Good Morning America (co-designed with Stuart Wurtzel) and Nightline. Other ABC credits include World News Tonight, PrimeTime Live, This Week, 20/20 and numerous specials. Recent design work includes MTV’s Rapfix and VMA All Access; Intelligence Squared Debates for the Rosenkrantz Foundation; Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies; Vine Talk with Stanley Tucci for PBS and the game shows Who Wants To Be a Millionaire and Power of 10. Corporate projects include design work for Goldman Sachs, Yahoo, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Council on Foreign Relations and the White House Press Briefing Room. Film work includes production design for several independent films and second unit art direction for the action-comedy feature film The Other Guys starring Will Ferrell. He has designed over 200 Off-Broadway theatre productions. New York work includes The Strike by Rod Sterling, Divine Right, Carreno, and Nightshade by Howard Koch. He is also proud of his work for the Vietnam Veterans Ensemble Theatre Company and Theatre by the Blind. His most recent theatre work includes his award-winning design for Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Sister Cities, Twelfth Night and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.




Sebastian Montoya feels incredibly lucky to join the Articulate Theatre family, and is thrilled to be in the company of such a talented group of people. Some favorite past credits include John in Balm in Gilead (T. Schreiber Studio), Brian in Joking Apart (T. Schreiber Studio) and Dan Shapiro in Sexual Perversity in Chicago (SOL Theatre). Sebastian has studied at Terry Schreiber Studio and is currently trying to learn to be funny at Upright Citizens Brigade.



Esteban Benito is an Actor/Writer born and raised in Yonkers, New York. He has studied at T. Schreiber Studio and has been in numerous plays including their award winning production of Balm In Gilead by Lanford Wilson. He was last seen on the stage in the workshop production of Contigo by Paola Munos at the Signature Theatre. For Television, he was recently seen in a recurring role on the long time running soap opera One Life to Live as Diego Padilla.

Apr 18 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 101


O truant Muse what shall be thy amends
For thy neglect of truth in beauty dyed?
Both truth and beauty on my love depends;
So dost thou too, and therein dignified.
Make answer Muse: wilt thou not haply say,
‘Truth needs no colour, with his colour fixed;
Beauty no pencil, beauty’s truth to lay;
But best is best, if never intermixed’?
Because he needs no praise, wilt thou be dumb?
Excuse not silence so, for’t lies in thee
To make him much outlive a gilded tomb
And to be praised of ages yet to be.
     Then do thy office, Muse; I teach thee how
     To make him seem, long hence, as he shows now.



Sonnet 101 sees the poet continue the chastisement of the Muse begun in an earlier sonnet.

Billy asks the Muse how she will make up.for her absence and neglect of praise for the fair youth. Truth, beauty, and indeed the Muse herself depend on him. The invisible Muse is imagined to answer by saying that truth and beauty need no additions or explanations. Billy thinks such silence is inexcusable, and denies the young man an immortality in art. He commands her to do her job, and offers to teach her how to immortalize the youth’s beauty, exactly as it is today.

Will’s Wordplay

The idea behind lines 6-7 seems to spring as much from the use of cosmetics (and Willy’s dislike of it, noted in several other sonnets) as from the art of painting. A fair face needs no cosmetics, it already has its own color and appearance. In the same way truth needs no additional coloring, since it has its own.

Gilt decoration was frequently used on tombstones in churches and on effigies of the wealthy dead. Bill suggests, as he does elsewhere, that a more fitting monument would be his own poetry which will immortalize the youth. Seems like its working, Bill!


Confucious Plaza, China Town, Manhattan

“Built in 1976, this brown brick tower complex in Chinatown was the first major public-funded housing project built for Chinese use. The 44-story arc contains 762 apartments, the Yung Wing Public School, P.S. 124 (K-8), shops, community space and a day-care center. One of the most frequently visited landmarks in Chinatown is the 15-foot bronze statue of Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, in front of the complex. Sculpted by Liu Shih, the statue was presented by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association as a token of appreciation, and to commemorate the U.S. bicentennial. At its base, a Confucian proverb is inscribed aside an American Flag, praising a just government with remarkable leaders of wisdom and ability.” — Lindsay Damast, New York Magazine


Confucious Statue

Patrons of all nationalities and ethnicities can be found meditating in front of the statue, oblivious to the hectic city bustle surrounding them. The inscription is Confuscious’ “The Chapter of Great Harmony” in English and Chinese.



1. http://nymag.com/listings/attraction/confucius_plaza/


ACTOR – Jennifer Lim

A native of Hong Kong, Jennifer Lim now resides and works out of NYC. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from Bristol University in the U.K., she attended the Yale School of Drama for her MFA in Acting. She is a “half & half” (half Chinese half Korean) who speaks Cantonese and Mandarin fluently… and, when the need arises, enough Korean to warm a plate of japchae.

To broaden her international exposure and qualify for a US Artist Green card, which she has now received, Jennifer has taken many opportunities to work abroad over the last few years.

In London, she played the lead role, to rave reviews, in In-Sook Chappell’s Verity Bargate Award winning This Isn’t Romance, directed by Soho Theatre’s former Artistic Director Lisa Goldman. In Shanghai and at the Grotowski Theatre Festival in Wroclaw, she received high praise for her portrayal of Ophelia (performed in Mandarin) in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, adapted and directed by the much-lauded Richard Schechner.

She also toured extensively in Europe with Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven as a member of the Young Jean Lee Theater Co., performing at numerous theatres and festivals, including the Vienna Fesitval, the Hannover Theaterformen Festival (Germany), Zurich Theaterspektakel Festival, the Hebbel Theater (Berlin), the Kaaitheater (Brussels), the International Arts Festival of Castilla y Leon (Salamanca, Spain), Theatre Garonne (Toulouse), and in Norway – the Teaterhuset Avant Garden (Trondheim), the Black Box Teater (Oslo) and the Teater Garasjen (Bergen).

Back in the United States, Jennifer made her Broadway debut starring in David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, for which she earned: a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut, the IASNY Trophy for Excellence, and a Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Play. She was also named “Most Exciting Broadway Newcomer” in New York Magazine’s 2011 Culture Awards. Jennifer has also worked in many professional and prominent downtown NYC and regional theaters. In addition, she has helped develop new works at the Lark Play Development Center, New Georges, Pan Asian Rep, East Coast Artists, Mabou Mines, Reverie Productions, New Dramatists, Ensemble Studio Theater, Cherry Lane Theater, Second Generation and Ma-Yi Theater Co.

Television and film credits include appearances on Blue Bloods (CBS), Law & Order (NBC), Law & Order: SVU (NBC), Royal Pains (USA), Dirty Sexy Money (ABC), Guiding Light (CBS), As The World Turns (CBS), The Savages, 27 Dresses and various shorts.

Jennifer is a member of Actor’s Equity Association (AEA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).



DIRECTOR – Chris Carroll

“Rock stars, CEOs, and toddlers have a lot in common,” says Chris Carroll, who has shot many of each during his 25-year career. “They all have high needs and a short attention span.” Chris started fast, shooting celebrity editorial for the likes of SPIN, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and GQ while still in his twenties. He went on to work for numerous national magazines and advertising clients, and continues to hone his wryly observed style of portraiture. The shift to digital has meant that Chris has the darkroom of his dreams right there in the Mac on his desk. Since moving out of Tribeca September 1st, 2001, he and his family have lived in the charming village of Nyack, twenty miles up the Hudson from Manhattan. Chris has developed a keen eye for the hidden stories in suburbia, with revealing insights into such subjects as the babysitter’s rock band, the local volunteer fire department, and the high school football team. His portraits capture the dualities in his subjects, showing both their ready-for-prime-time faces, and the grace and pathos that lie hidden beneath.

Chris is married to the writer Liz Mechem Carroll; they have two daughters. In 2007, they cowrote Legends of Country, an affectionate paean to America’s great native art form: country music. In 2009, Hammond published Disasters at Sea, the second book co-written by the Carrolls. The couple continue to collaborate on literary, domestic, and film projects. Chris is currently Creative Director of Lightbox Nyack, a multimedia studio and school of digital arts.

Apr 18 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 103

Alack! what poverty my Muse brings forth,
That having such a scope to show her pride,
The argument all bare is of more worth
Than when it hath my added praise beside!
O! blame me not, if I no more can write!
Look in your glass, and there appears a face
That over-goes my blunt invention quite,
Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace.
Were it not sinful then, striving to mend,
To mar the subject that before was well?
For to no other pass my verses tend
Than of your graces and your gifts to tell;
     And more, much more, than in my verse can sit,
     Your own glass shows you when you look in it.



In Sonnet 103, the poet’s feeble lines cannot do justice to his beloved’s beauty, but merely mar it with their own inadequacy.

Billy laments being a poor poet, since even with so great a subject to write about, they are worth more by themselves than with hi praise added. It’s not his fault he can’t write anymore! In his lover’s mirror is reflected a face that quite overwhelms his limited poetic skills, resulting in clumsy lines, and his disgrace. It would be a sin, if in trying to improve his poetry, he sullied his subject, which was perfectly lovely without him? He focuses on their charms and wonderful qualities, which could be viewed better in a mirror than I can possibly be said in poetry.


Will’s Wordplay

“Glass” occurs ten times in the Sonnets. Apart from Sonnet 5, where it means the substance glass, “mirror” is its usual meaning. In 126 it probably also means “hourglass”.

The “more” that Billy sees may not be to his liking. The closing couplet is perhaps double edged in that the “more, much more” which the mirror shows is the encroachment of lines and wrinkles. Sonnet 104 pretends to deny this perception, saying it is unworthy of notice.


Algonquin Hotel, Manhattan

A legendary space haunted by the creators and patrons of the mid 20th century New York arts scene, and birthplace of a familiar magazine. The Algonquin Hotel is a historic hotel located at 59 West 44th Street in Manhattan. The hotel has been designated a New York City Historic Landmark.

The 181-room hotel, opened in 1902, was designed by architect Goldwin Starrett. It was originally conceived as a residential hotel but was quickly converted to a traditional lodging establishment. Its first owner-manager, Frank Case (who bought the hotel in 1927), established many of the hotel’s traditions. Perhaps its best-known tradition is hosting literary and theatrical notables, most prominently the members of the Algonquin Round Table


The Round Table

The Algonquin Round Table – a group of notorious literary figures (mostly critics) who made The Algonquin their daily meeting place – set forth to implement significant literary styles in the early 1900s.

In June 1919 a group of writers met in the Pergola Room for a party. The hotel became the site of the daily lunch meetings of a group of journalists, authors, publicists and actors who gathered to exchange bon mots over lunch in the main dining room [1]. The group met almost daily for the better part of ten years.

At the end of World War I, Vanity Fair writers and Algonquin regulars Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, and Robert E. Sherwood started meeting for lunch at The Algonquin. Alexander Woollcott, acerbic critic and war correspondent, received a warm welcome from literary friends in 1919. That same request prompted a daily exchange of ideas and opinions shared between highly esteemed literary figures. George S. Kaufman, Heywood Broun, and Edna Ferber were also a part of this August assembly; these individuals influenced writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. They founded The New Yorker magazine; all hotel guests receive free copies to this day.

Frank Case, owner of the hotel, ensured a daily luncheon for the talented group of young writers by treating them to free celery and popovers; more importantly, they were provided with their own table and waiter. Edna Ferber, Franklin P. Adams, George S. Kaufman, Heywood Broun, and Marc Connelly eventually joined the group, expanding its membership. All members were affiliated with the Algonquin Round Table, although they referred to themselves as the “Vicious Circle”.

Presently, The Round Table restaurant is one of the most favored dining spots in New York City. Visitors often request to dine at the actual “round table” where members originally met for decades. Artistic and creative minds alike still meet to this day to discuss thoughts and ideas just as the Vicious Circle once did.


The Algonquin Cat

There is always a cat at the Algonquin! The first feline resident was named Billy (I wonder after whom!) who prowled its halls beginning in 1923, and stayed for 15 years. Two days after Billy’s death, a stray cat wandered in, and Frank Case adopted him, initially naming him “Rusty.” Hotel lore says Shakespearean John Barrymore suggested the cat needed a more “dignified” name, so the cat was renamed “Hamlet.” Nowadays, whenever the hotel has a male cat, he’s named Hamlet; but if the hotel has a female cat, she’s named “Matilda. Currently, they host a leading lady named Matilda. Three Matildas, Billy, and 7 Hamlets have walked the inn’s boards. [2]

Visitors can spot Matilda on her personal chaise lounge in the lobby, behind the computer on the front desk, or lounging on a baggage cart. The doormen feed her and the general manager’s executive assistant answers Matilda’s e-mail. She has her own email address and can be found on Instagram, twitter and facebook. Matilda has fans from all over the world and receives mail from as far as Russia, Japan and Austrailia. Every summer Matilda hosts an annual fundraiser reception and cat fashion show that benefits the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.


The Blue Bar

in 1933, when prohibition ended Frank Case reopened the hotel bar. Persuasive as ever, John Barrymore suggested placing blue gels over the lights, “as one looks more attractive under such lighting”. The lighting and names stuck, the lights remain blue in the bar to this day. [3]


The John Barrymore Suite

All 25 suites in the hotel are named after legendary guests and patrons. The premier suite is named for the roguish and influential hotel visitor John Barrymore.

“Like its namesake, the John Barrymore Suites captures a flair for the dramatic, with a neutral beige color palette, modern Edwardian-styled furnishings and one of the most captivating street views among NYC luxurious hotels. Located on the second floor with a grand view of 44th Street for optimal people-watching, this loft-like bi-level suite features a sunken living area, separate bedroom and an oversized, luxurious bathroom.”[4]



1. Fitzpatrick, Kevin C. “History of the Round Table”. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved September 3, 2007.
2. http://www.algonquinhotel.com/story/algonquin-cat/
3. http://www.algonquinhotel.com/story/blue-bar/
4. http://www.algonquinhotel.com/hotel-rooms/john-barrymore/


ACTOR – Mac Brydon

Mac Brydon is a California expat residing in Greenwich Village with two four-legged Warhol ladies – Edie + Nico. Closing a show to many sold out houses at 59E59 Theaters these past three weeks of AUG 2015: Pimm’s Mission (playing lead role of Robert Pimm) by Christopher Stetson Boal and directed by Terrence O’Brien. Some past favs have been with the York Shakespeare Company, Resonance Ensemble, Boomerang Theatre Co, Metropolitan Playhouse, NY Stage + Film, Hudson Valley Shakespeare, TheatreVirginia, Oberon Theatre Ensemble and The San Diego Opera. Founder of The Lafayette Salon Series (est. 2009) that performs monthly at The Players Club in Gramercy. TV: Lipstick Jungle. Film: Stuck, Michelle Botticell, dir.; Mac’s First Time, Johnny O’Hara, dir.; The Family Fang, Jason Bateman, dir. Studied with acting coach, Harold Guskin for 10 years. Training: The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama + The Aleksander Zelwerowicz Theatre Academy.


FEATURING – Jane Cortney

Jane Cortney’s NYC theatre credits include On the Other Side of the River (New Worlds Theatre Project), The Woodsman (Oberon Theatre Ensemble), R.U.R. (Resonance Ensemble), Summer and Smoke (Boomerang Theatre Company). Regional credits include Little Women (Northern Stage), The Comfort of Darkness (Caldwell Theatre), Hay Fever (Hampton Theatre Company). Jane can be seen in the short film Stuck, recently featured at the NY Shorts Fest. Co-founder: The Lafayette Salon Series, a monthly reading series that meets at the Players Club. BA: Vassar College. MFA: Actors Studio Drama School/ New School for Drama. AEA/ SAG-AFTRA member.


DIRECTOR – Jonah Salander

Jonah Salander attended the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles in 2003. Salander is a film director and has directed three shorts, all film festival screened around the world from Boston, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Portland, and Stratford Upon Avon. He has also helmed a feature film, music video, and web series.

Salander, a 4th generation artist from both sides, grew up constantly engaged in conversations about art. As luck would have it, many close family friends were artist in different mediums, and have continued to be a great creative resource for me.

Upcoming projects include, a script about a young man’s bout with terminal thyroid cancer, chronicling the day he chooses to make the most of the time he has left.
As well, a follow up to “The Price You Pay” a 48-hour film that earned Salander a best director award at the 48 Hour Film Project – New Haven Connecticut.

Apr 18 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 104


To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I ey’d,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold,
Have from the forests shook three summers’ pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned,
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burned,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah! yet doth beauty like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived:
     For fear of which, hear this thou age unbred:
     Ere you were born was beauty’s summer dead.



Sonnet 104 deals with the destructive force of time as we grow older.

Willie simply states that to him, his friend can never be seen as old. They look to him as they did 3 years ago when they met. Three colorful autumns, cold winters, hot summers, and wonderful springs have cycled by. Four seasons, perfumed scents of three Aprils becoming three burning Junes, since he first saw all their youthful glory. Ah! but beauty still moves forward, like the hands of a clock, with no motion. Will knows their appearance, which seem unchanged, is subject to Time’s movement, and his eye subject to deception. He fears they mayl lose their looks, but has this to say to future beauties: before this beloved person came into existence, beauty was already dead.


Will’s Wordplay

We all know Billy and Iambic Pentameter are basically synonymous. But in this sonnet, the 13th line has a mid-line reversal (“hear this”):

× / × / / × × / × /
For fear of which, hear this thou age unbred:

This is a metrical variation that is more commonly encountered at the beginning of the line, and there is one definite (line 10) and several potential (lines 3, 4, 9, 11, and 14) examples of initial reversals in the sonnet.

The meter demands a two-syllable pronunciation for “dial” in line 9.


Fulton Ferry Landing

The Fulton Ferry Landing pier at the foot of Old Fulton Street is one of Brooklyn’s most historic sites, marking the location of the first ferry service between Brooklyn and Manhattan in 1642. It is now a part of Brooklyn Bridge Park, and home to Bargemusic concert hall and various concessions.

Ferry service to this dock ended in 1924.


ACTOR – Harry Barandes

Harry was born in New York City. He began his acting career as a child, initially ​doing voiceovers for radio and TV commercials​ throughout the early ’90s​, and eventually appearing onscreen. (You might remember him as the “skinny benchwarmer” in the classic “Milk, it does a body good” commercial.) He made his Broadway debut at the age of 11, when he stepped into the role of Winfield Joad in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of “The Grapes of Wrath.” He made his off-Broadway debut a few years later as Stewie in Donald Margulies’ “The Loman Family Picnic” at MTC. ​He was the voice of Peter Rabbit in the HBO animated special starring Carol Burnett, and played the younger Fisher Stevens in a flashback in the film “Only You“, starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. ​​​He went on to study theatre at Brown University, where he served on the first board of the student outdoor Shakespeare festival, “Shakespeare on the Green.” He spent two summers abroad studying Shakespeare in London, during which he was given the opportunity to perform the closet scene from Hamlet on the stage of the reconstructed Globe — a life peak. He continued his studies at NYU’s Graduate Acting program​, where his favorite roles included Lord Goring in “An Ideal Husband” and Firs in “The Cherry Orchard” (directed by Zelda Fichandler)​. After receiving his MFA, he ​landed the role of Catesby in The Public Theater’s production of “Richard III” starring Peter Dinklage. He has appeared in several NYSX endeavors, including numerous ShakesBEER Pub Crawls, “Island“, and, most recently, “HAMLET-10“. Other recent Shakespeare credits include the roles of Jaques and Touchstone in “As They Liked It“, a presentation of “As You Like It” in Original Pronunciation (OP). Harry is also a director and teacher, specializing in Shakespeare, Wilde, Chekhov, Ibsen, and Strindberg. He has been a guest director at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Strasburg Institute of Theatre & Film, and the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. He has taught at the Stella Adler Studio and the NYU Graduate Acting Program, in addition to private coaching sessions and acting workshops in Shakespeare and Chekhov. He currently lives in Park Slope with his collection of Shakespeare reference books and finger puppet of Anton Chekhov.


DIRECTOR – Melanie Coffey

Melanie Coffey is a senior in college studying film with a focus in writing and directing. Her recent work includes the writing and producing of the short film Ebb, directing the short film Interim, and writing and directing the short film Bubbles and Bathwater.

Apr 18 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 106

Coney 2 Coney 1

When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme,
In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights,
Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty’s best,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have expressed
Even such a beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
And for they looked but with divining eyes,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:
     For we, which now behold these present days,
     Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.

Sonnet 106 expresses the poet’s belief that all beauty praised in poetry before this day was presentient praise of the beloved.

Will remembers accounts of historic times, and descriptions of very beautiful people, and the beautiful poems inspired by them, in praise of ladies and knights now dead. When he sees the poems catalog their beauty he realizes that these ancient writers were trying to describe the same kind of beauty that the youth possesses now. So all the praises of these writers are actually prophecies; all of them prefigure the young man’s beauty. If the writers hadn’t been divinely inspired with this gift of prophecy, they wouldn’t have had the skill to describe his worth. Those who live now can see it firsthand but lack the poetic skill to describe it.
Will’s Wordplay
“wights” is a word referring to any groups of sentient beings (here men and women) that was archaic even in Shakespeare’s time. Throwback theme!

Coney Island, Brooklyn
Welcome to America’s Playground! Coney Island is a beach on the Atlantic Ocean in southwestern Brooklyn. The site was formerly an outer barrier island, but became partially connected to the mainland by landfill. It is well known as the site of amusement parks and a seaside resort. The attractions reached their peak during the first half of the 20th century, declining in popularity after World War II and years of neglect. In recent years, the area has seen a new renaissance of new amusements, upholding of tradition by the Coney Island USA museum and Freak Show, the opening of MCU Park, and the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team.
The Native American inhabitants of the region, the Lenape, called the island Narrioch—meaning “land without shadows”—because, as with other south shore Long Island beaches, its orientation means the beach remains in sunlight all day. [1]

Following European settlement, New York was originally a Dutch settlement. The Dutch name for the island — originally Conyne Eylandt, or Konijneneiland — precedes the similar English name and translates as “Rabbit Island”. [2] As on other Long Island barrier islands, Coney Island had many and diverse rabbits, and rabbit hunting prospered until resort development eliminated their habitat. The Dutch name is found on the New Netherland map of 1639 by Johannes Vingboon, which is before any known English records. [3] The word “coney” was popular in English at the time as an alternative for rabbit; a later adaptation, “bunny”, is now in common use

Due to Coney Island’s location—easily reached from Manhattan and other boroughs of New York City, yet distant enough to suggest a proper vacation—it began attracting holidaymakers in the 1830s and 1840s, when carriage roads and steamship services reduced travel time from a half-day journey to just two hours.

The original Coney Island Hotel was constructed in 1829, with The Brighton Hotel, Manhattan Beach Hotel, and Oriental Hotel opening soon after, with each trying to provide an increasing level of elegance. Coney Island became a major resort destination after the American Civil War, as excursion railroads and the Coney Island & Brooklyn Railroad streetcar line reached the area in the 1860s, and the Iron steamboat company arrived in 1881. The two Iron Piers served as docks for the steamboats until they were destroyed in the 1911 Dreamland fire. In 1915 the Sea Beach Line was upgraded to a subway line. This was followed by upgrades to the other former excursion roads, and the opening of the New West End Terminal in 1919, thus ushering in Coney Island’s busiest era. [4]

From 1885 to 1896, the Coney Island Elephant Hotel was the first sight to greet immigrants arriving in New York, who would see it before the Statue of Liberty became visible.

Nathan’s Famous original hot dog stand opened on Coney Island in 1916 and quickly became a landmark. An annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has been held there annually on July 4 since its opening.

After World War II, air conditioning in movie theaters and homes, along with the advent of automobiles which provided access to the less crowded Long Island state parks, lessened the attractions of Coney’s beaches. Luna Park closed in 1946 after a series of fires, and the New York street gang problems of the 1950s spilled into Coney Island. The presence of threatening youths did not impact the beach-goers, but discouraged visitors to the rides and concessions which were staples of the Coney Island economy. The local economy was dealt a severe blow by the 1964 closing of Steeplechase Park, the last of the major amusement parks.
Zoned For Fun!
Since the 1920s, all property north of the boardwalk and south of Surf Avenue was zoned for amusement and recreational use only, with some large lots of property north of Surf also zoned for amusements only.

In 1944, Luna Park was damaged by fire, and sold to a company who announced they were going to tear down what was left of Luna Park and build apartments. Robert Moses had the land rezoned for residential use with the proviso that the apartment complex include low-income housing.

In 1949, Moses moved the boardwalk back from the beach several yards, demolishing many structures, including the city’s municipal bath house. He would later demolish several blocks of amusements to clear land for both the New York Aquarium and the Abe Stark ice skating rink. Critics complained that Moses took three times more land than each structure needed, surrounding each with vacant lots that were of no use to the city.

In 1953, Moses had the entire island rezoned for residential use only and announced plans to demolish the amusements to make room for public housing. After many public complaints, the Estimate Board reinstated the area between West 22 Streets and The Cyclone as amusement only and threw in 100 feet of property north of Surf Ave. between these streets. It has since then been protected for amusement use only, which has led to many public land battles.
Amusement Parks
Between about 1880 and World War II, Coney Island was the largest amusement area in the United States, attracting several million visitors per year. At its height it contained three competing major amusement parks, Luna Park, Dreamland, and Steeplechase Park, as well as many independent amusements.

Charles I. D. Looff, a Danish woodcarver, built the first carousel at Coney Island in 1876. It was installed at Vandeveer’s bath-house complex at West 6th Street and Surf Avenue, which later became known as Balmer’s Pavilion. The carousel consisted of hand-carved horses and other animals standing two abreast, with a drummer and a flute player providing the music. A tent-top provided protection from the weather. The fare was five cents.

Astroland served as a major amusement park from 1962 to 2008, and was replaced by a new incarnation of Dreamland in 2009 and of Luna Park in 2010. The other parks and attractions include Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, 12th Street Amusements, and Kiddie Park, while the Eldorado Arcade has an indoor bumper car ride. The Zipper and Spider on 12th Street were closed permanently on September 4, 2007, and dismantling began after its owner lost his lease. [5]

On April 20, 2011, the first new roller coasters to be built at Coney Island in eighty years were opened as part of efforts to reverse the decline of the amusement area. [6]
The amusement area currently contains various rides, games such as skeeball and ball tossing, and a sideshow including games of shooting, throwing, and tossing skills.
The rides and other amusements at Coney Island are owned and managed by several different companies, and operate independently of each other. It is not possible to purchase season tickets to the attractions in the area. Three rides at Coney Island are protected as designated New York City landmarks and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. These three rides are:

Wonder Wheel – built in 1918 and opened in 1920, this steel Ferris wheel has both stationary cars and rocking cars that slide along a track. It holds 144 riders, stands 150 ft tall, and weighs over 200 tons. At night the Wonder Wheel’s steel frame is outlined and illuminated by neon tubes. [7] It is located at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park.

–The Cyclone roller coaster – built in 1927, it is one of the United States’s oldest wooden coasters still in operation. Popular with roller coaster aficionados, the Cyclone includes an 85 ft, sixty degree drop. It is owned by the City of New York, and was operated by Astroland, under a franchise agreement. It is now located in and operated by Luna Park.

–Parachute Jump – originally built as the Life Savers Parachute Jump at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, this was the first ride of its kind. Patrons were hoisted 190 ft in the air before being allowed to drop using guy-wired parachutes. Although the ride has been closed since 1968, it remains a Coney Island landmark, and is sometimes referred to as Brooklyn’s Eiffel Tower. Between 2002 and 2004, it was completely dismantled, cleaned, painted and restored, but remains inactive.

Coney Island maintains a broad sandy beach from West 37th Street at Sea Gate, through the central Coney Island area and Brighton Beach, to the beginning of the community of Manhattan Beach, a distance of approximately 2.5 mi. The beach is continuous, and is served for its entire length by the broad Riegelmann Boardwalk. A number of amusements are directly accessible from the land-side of the boardwalk, as is the aquarium, and a variety of food shops and arcades. The beach is groomed and replenished on a regular basis by the city. The position of the beach and lack of significant obstructions means virtually the entire beach is in sunlight all day. The beach is open to all without restriction, and there is no charge for use. The beach area is divided into “bays”, areas of beach delineated by rock jetties, which moderate erosion and the force of ocean waves.

The Coney Island Polar Bear Club consists of a group of people who swim at Coney Island throughout the winter months, most notably on New Year’s Day, when additional participants join them to swim in the frigid waters.[8]

Coney Island beach serves as the training grounds for the Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers (CIBBOWS), [9] a group dedicated to promoting open water swimming for individuals of all levels. CIBBOWS hosts several open water swim races each year, such as Grimaldo’s Mile and the New York Aquarium 5k, as well as regular weekend training swims.
1. http://www.professorsolomon.com/graphics/coneyisland.pdf
2. Library of Congress New Netherland website lists Conyne Eylandt as Dutch name for Coney Island.
3. “De Nieu Nederlandse Marcurius”, Volume 16, No. 1: February 2000. This is the newsletter of the New Netherland Project. Cites New Netherland map labeling “Conyne Eylandt” in 1639 Johannes Vingboon map
4. Matus, Paul. “The New BMT Coney Island Terminal”. The Third Rail Online.
5. Calder, Rich (September 5, 2007). “Ride Over for Coney Classics”. New York Post.
6. Coney Island gets first new roller coasters in 80 years
7. Deno’s Wonder Wheel
8. Coney Island Polar Bear Club official site
9. Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers (CIBBOWS)

ACTOR – Danny Rivera
Danny Rivera is an actor living and working in New York City. Danny first began acting in 2007 at Georgetown University, where he later graduated with honors and degrees in English and Theater in May of 2011. He moved back to his native New York in August of that year to pursue a career in acting, joining the Flea Theater as a Bat (a member of their resident acting company) a month later. Over the next twelve months, Danny bounced back and forth between the Flea, Columbia University, and the New York Shakespeare Exchange, among others, performing in readings, workshops, mainstage productions, and everything else he could get his hands on. In the fall of 2012, Danny had the opportunity to appear in the world premiere of A.R. Gurney’s Heresy (at the Flea), allowing him to join the Actors’ Equity Association. In his short time as an actor, Danny has had the opportunity to work with artists such as Jim Simpson, David Muse, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Ellen McLaughlin, Kathleen Chalfant, Theodore Bikel, Heather Raffo, Thomas Bradshaw, Moisés Kaufman, and Ian McKellen (when he says “worked with Ian McKellen,” he means Sir Ian once forgot a line from Hamlet and Danny helped him out–it’s a great story and you should have him tell it to you sometime, maybe if you buy him a beer). Danny is very excited to be a part of the Sonnet Project, and he hopes you enjoy the sound of him reciting Shakespeare as much as he does.

DIRECTOR – John Mirabella
Pace University Graduate.
Published writer, periodicals.
Production Assistent, lighting, screenwriter (in progress).
Comedy sketch writing.
In production on “Ape Man ” documentary- comedic impressionists and craft.
Blues musician.
49 yrs old. Late to the film game, lifelong passion that will not die.

Apr 18 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 107

Not mine own fears, nor the prophetic soul
Of the wide world dreaming on things to come,
Can yet the lease of my true love control,
Supposed as forfeit to a confined doom.
The mortal moon hath her eclipse endured,
And the sad augurs mock their own presage;
Incertainties now crown themselves assured,
And peace proclaims olives of endless age.
Now with the drops of this most balmy time,
My love looks fresh, and Death to me subscribes,
Since, spite of him, I’ll live in this poor rhyme,
While he insults o’er dull and speechless tribes:
     And thou in this shalt find thy monument,
     When tyrants’ crests and tombs of brass are spent.

Sonnet 107 continues the theme of others that the poem itself will survive human mortality, and both the poet and beloved will achieve immortality through it, this time against all odds and maladies.

Neither Bill’s own fears nor others’ speculations on his future can keep him from his all-but-imprisoned love. With the moon’s unexpected eclipse, those who predicted such things laugh at their mistakes! Now things are peaceful and wonderful, the youth healthy, and Death is made inferior– and Bill and the youth will live forever in this monument of words, and outlive even the brass monuments of others.

Will’s Wordplay

The line about the eclipse of the moon has sometimes been interpreted as reference to death of Queen Elizabeth I

Sonnet 107 can also be seen as referring to Doomsday. The sonneteer’s love cannot even be ended by the “confined doom.” The eclipse of the moon, then, like the “sad augurs,” refers to a sign that might presage the Last Judgment. While everything else (the “tombs of brass” for example)comes to an end, the “poor rhyme” will be the last thing to go. As in Sonnet 55, the power of the sonnet to give life to the young man — or, here, to serve as a monument to him — will only be overshadowed when that young man literally comes forth from the grave on Judgment Day.

FDR Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is a four-acre memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt that celebrates the Four Freedoms he articulated in his 1941 State of the Union address. It is located at the southernmost point of Roosevelt Island, in the East River between Manhattan Island and Queens. It was designed by the architect Louis Kahn.

President Roosevelt made his Four Freedoms speech to the United States Congress in 1941. The Four Freedoms speech has inspired and been incorporated in the Four Freedoms Monument in Florida, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C., and Norman Rockwell’s series of paintings called the Four Freedoms.

Roosevelt Island was named in honor of the former president in 1973, and the planners announced their intention to build a memorial to Roosevelt at the island’s southern tip. [1] Louis Kahn was asked to design the monument in 1972. Four Freedoms Park is one of Kahn’s last works. [2] He was carrying the finished designs with him when he died in 1974 in Pennsylvania Station in New York City. [3] After Kahn’s death, his designs were continued by Mitchell | Giurgola Architects, who kept to Kahn’s original intentions. [4] An exhibition at Cooper Union in 2005 brought additional attention and helped to advance the project. Ground breaking took place in 2010.

The park was opened with a dedication ceremony on October 17, 2012. Tom Brokaw served as master of ceremonies. Participants included President Bill Clinton, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and relatives of FDR. Cuomo said that “New York became the laboratory of progressive democracy, and F.D.R. was the scientist creating formulas for a broad range of national problems and social ills.” He praised vanden Heuvel as a “juggernaut of determination”. Clinton noted the memorial’s location: “As we look out on this bright new day, we are close to the U.N., which he, more than any other soul, created.” [5]

The four-acre park stands at the southernmost point of Roosevelt Island. Looking south, the visitor has a clear view of the United Nations building; to the north of the park is the Queensboro Bridge, which spans the East River. Approaching from the north, the visitor passes between a double row of trees that narrow as they approach the point, framing views of the New York skyline and the harbor. The memorial is a procession of elegant open-air spaces, culminating in a 3,600-square-foot plaza surrounded by 28 blocks of North Carolina granite, each weighing 36 tons. The courtyard contains a bust of Roosevelt, sculpted in 1933 by Jo Davidson. [4]

At the point, the monument itself is a simplified, roofless version of a Greek temple in granite. [2] Excerpts from Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech are carved on the walls of this room-like space, which is open to the sky above.

The memorial is constructed entirely in Mount Airy Granite sourced from the North Carolina Granite Corporation. Over 140,000 cubic feet of Mount Airy Granite was used in the memorial’s construction. In contrast with the hard granite forms, Kahn placed five copper-beech trees at the memorial’s entrance and 120 little-leaf lindens in allées leading up to the monument.

1. “Memorial Park Honoring Franklin D. Roosevelt,” William J. vanden Heuvel, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.
2. Iovine, Julie V. (January 9, 2005). “An Elegy for a Memorial, and for the Man Who Designed It”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-07-23.
3. Roberts, Sam (April 15, 2010). “For a Roosevelt Memorial, a Groundbreaking 36 Years in the Making”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-07-23
4. Mortice, Zach (August 14, 2009). “Its Quiet Optimism Maintained, Louis Kahn’s Roosevelt Island FDR Memorial Moves into Construction”. AIArchitect.
5. Foderaro, Lisa W. (October 17, 2012). “Dedicating Park to Roosevelt and His View of Freedom”. New York Times.

ACTOR – John Kinsherf
My first role in a play by Shakespeare was Touchstone in Boston College High School’s world renowned and critically acclaimed production of As You Like It.

Well…my Mom liked it.

There have been many more since. The reason I mention that particular one is that besides it being the experience that made me fall in love with Shakespeare in general, it was directed by a man who nursed that love and taught me a great deal about the humanity at the heart of Shakespeare’s works. I would like to dedicate my performance in this video, if it has any merit, to his memory.

His name was Kevin Kynock. He was a dear friend, teacher, and mentor to me. He was a tall man of Falstaffian girth with a huge spirit to match. He introduced me to London, musical theatre, Peter Brook’s writings, John Water’s movies, music, the Stratford and Shaw festivals in Canada and so much more. Aside from the wonder of art, he taught me about food and drink and how to embrace and enjoy the sensual world as well. In short, he showed me how to live. Truly, one of the most generous people I have ever met in every sense.

Thank you, Kevin.

You may have seen me at National Actor’s Theatre on Broadway, The Acting Company, Manhattan Theatre Ensemble, Pearl Theatre, Judith Shakespeare Company, The Brick, The Huntington Theatre, The New Repertory Theatre, The Nickerson, Mill Mountain Theatre, Wellesley College Theatre, etc…

DIRECTORS – Stiv Brown and Brenden Gallagher
Stiv Brown and Brenden Gallagher are Beer Money Films. We met on the back of a truck, while doing grunt work on independent features. We quickly realized that wasn’t where we wanted to be and we started Beermoney a few months later. Beermoney has produced the award winning web series Crisis PR (crisisprshow.com), the web pilot Common Sense Police, and numerous short films and commercials.

Apr 18 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 108

What’s in the brain that ink may character
Which hath not figured to thee my true spirit?
What’s new to speak, what now to register,
That may express my love, or thy dear merit?
Nothing, sweet boy; but yet, like prayers divine,
I must each day say o’er the very same;
Counting no old thing old, thou mine, I thine,
Even as when first I hallowed thy fair name.
So that eternal love in love’s fresh case,
Weighs not the dust and injury of age,
Nor gives to necessary wrinkles place,
But makes antiquity for aye his page;
     Finding the first conceit of love there bred,
     Where time and outward form would show it dead.



In Sonnet 108, the poet tells his beloved that he sees in his aging love the youthful inspiration of years past.

Billy wonders aloud what he could possibly write that he hasn’t already written to prove how constant and faithful his soul. What else is there to say, what new thing can he invent, to express either his love or his subject’s value? There’s nothing, and yet, just as with prayer, he must repeat again and again, day after day, and not consider the words boring or old. They belong to each other now just as much as when he first chose his beloved as a subject. Billy’s affections are everlasting, care not for the effects of age, nor acknowledge wrinkles. Instead, love always inspires the feelings of the young. When Bill looks at his love, he sees the source of his affections, even though the passage of time would suggest it should by now have died.


Will’s Wordplay

“Sweet boy” has multiple significance here. It is one of the direct indications of gender in the sonnets, as well as a term more likely to be applied to a young suitor than an aging companion. It shows that Billy truly does see the person he first loved, no matter what time has done to their outsides.


John T. Brush Stairway, Washington Heights, Manhattan

Named for the owner of the former New York Giants baseball team (a club now in operation as the San Francisco Giants), the John T. Brush Stairway is a memorial to both the man himself and the only remaining piece of the Polo Grounds stadium in northern Manhattan.

“For 50 years, the stairs carried fans of the five city sports teams to and from the Polo Grounds in Harlem, until they finally rusted away in the years following the stadium’s demolition, in 1964.

Brush was the owner of the Giants baseball team from 1890 until his death in 1912, the year before the team opened the staircase.

Now, 101 years after the New York baseball Giants built and donated them to the city, the stairs are open again to carry people 80 steps from Coogan’s Bluff on Edgecombe Ave. down to the Harlem River Driveway.” [1]



1. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/uptown/harlem-stairway-polo-grounds-back-isn-stadium-anymore-article-1.1893069


ACTOR – Billy Magnussen

Billy most recently starred in the highly successful, critically acclaimed play SEX WITH STRANGERS at Second Stage. He was nominated for the 2013 Tony Award for his role of Spike in the Tony Award winning play, VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE by Christopher Durang. He made his Broadway debut in THE RITZ at the Roundabout and made his Off Broadway debut in the play PAPER DOLLS.

Billy just finished filming the new Steven Spielberg thriller, BRIGDE OF SPIES with Tom Hanks. Other upcoming work includes the films THE BIG SHORT starring Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, and Ryan Gosling, directed by Adam McKay. He will also be seen in THE MEDDLER starring Rose Byrne, Lucy Punch, and J.K. Simmons, directed by Lorene Scafaria He was seen last Christmas in the feature film, INTO THE WOODS, starring as Rapunzel’s Prince, directed by Rob Marshall. His other feature film credits include starring roles in the feature films TWELVE, directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts and Curtis (50 Cent) Jackson, HAPPY TEARS, starring Demi Moore, Parker Posey and Rip Torn, directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein, and most recently DAMSELS IN DISTRESS, directed by Whit Stillman and starring Greta Gerwig.

Billy has also filmed starring roles in the features THE BRASS TEAPOT, with Juno Temple and Fox Searchlight’s THE EAST, with Alexander Skarsgard.

His Television credits include guest starring roles on THE LEFTOVERS, IN PLAIN SIGHT, LAW AND ORDER, LAW AND ORDER CI, THE UNUSUALS, NCIS LA, CSI, BOARDWALK EMPIRE, and a recurring role on the new series THE DIVIDE. He played the role of Alex on the short lived CW Series THE BEAUTFUL LIFE. He starred along with Betty White in the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie THE LOST VALENTINE on CBS. He is also known for playing the lovable but unpredictable Casey Hughes on the daytime drama, AS THE WORLD TURNS.


FEATURING – MacKenzie Mauzy

MacKenzie is best known as Rapunzel in the 2014 film Into the Woods, as well as for her work as Abigail Morgan in ABC’s Forever. MacKenzie has an extensive television background and got her start in theatre. She has performed on and off Broadway in Next to Normal, A Tale of Two Cities, and Giant at The Public Theatre. Love to Sonnet Project NYC!


FEATURING – Stu Richel

Stu has had principal roles in nineteen indie features, including DEATH IN LOVE (Sundance 2008, Jacqueline Bisset’s husband,) STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING (Sundance 2007, Jill Eikenberry’s husband) and RED COCKROACHES. He has had principal roles in twenty, independent shorts.
TV: 30 ROCK (Alec Baldwin’s boss,) MICHAEL AND MICHAEL HAVE ISSUES, AS THE WORLD TURNS, ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Stu has also had principal roles in a number of TV pilots, including one in which he played former, NYS Governor Al Smith. TOP OF THE WORLD.
Stu has had roles in a handful of online projects. In his latest, he has been cast as a business executive in COLD FEET, a web series.
Regional theatre: PROOF (Redhouse, Syracuse), TWILIGHT OF THE GOLDS (Shadowland, Ellenville), HOLIDAY (San Jose Rep), STATE OF THE UNION (J City Theatre, Jersey City) and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (San Jose Stage.)
NYC theatre: THE DETOUR (Metropolitan Playhouse), BAG FULLA MONEY (Clurman), MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR (Lion), AUTOEROTICISM IN DETROIT (Blue Heron), THE LOWER DEPTHS (Resonance Ensemble), THE PHILANDERER (Oberon Theater Company), SLAUGHTER CITY (WOW Café), GRIEF (Brooklyn Lyceum), BARRIER ISLAND (Center Stage) and AMERICAN SOLDIERS (Theater For The New City), among others.
VIETNAM…THROUGH MY LENS, is a series of memories, reflections and photographs, prompted by Stu’s service as an Army photographer in Vietnam in 1969. The show premiered in NYC in November 2014. Reviews, blogs and audience response were enthusiastic. Stu plans to tour the show nationwide. www.vietnamthroughmylens.com. You can see a sizzle reel for the show, at

Next up for Stu on stage! He has been cast in a new, Off Broadway play, MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA. The play will run at the Castillo Theatre (E. 42nd Street), from 28 May 15 through 28 June 15. Woodie King (New Federal Theatre), Producer. Amiri Baraka, playwright.
In earlier lives…corporate attorney…college teacher…prison performer and teacher.
Member of AEA, SAG/AFTRA.


DIRECTOR – Mark Karafin

MARK KARAFIN is thrilled to join The Sonnet Project.
Directing: Exit 27 (Medicine Show Theatre), Certifiable (FringeNYC), Bottles On The Water (Drama Book Shop Theatre), Erotomania (M.I.T.F.), Keep On Truckin’ – It’s War (M.I.T.F.), Insecurity, Best Music and Lyrics Award (M.I.T.F.), Cell 6 (Manhattan Repertory Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Theatre Row), The Only Miracle & Nothing But Gold (Ensemble Studio Theatre), 50 Shades Of Hey (The Ugly Rhino Festival), Black Latina (La Tea Theatre), The Big Ride, Finalist (American Globe Theatre), Bombs and Manifestos (Roy Arias Theatre), Ready (Shetler Studios), America’s Next Most Wanted (The Players Theatre). He assisted Alexander Dinelaris Jr. on The Drawer Boy at SoHo Playhouse, and was the Company Manager. He has assisted Christopher Durang, Billy Hopkins, Neil LaBute, Austin Pendleton, and more. He was Production Manager for Summer Shorts 2013, the Venue Director for the Fringe Encore Series 2013, and the General Manager of SoHo Playhouse. He is currently the Assistant Director on Memory Rings in MASS MoCA (Phantom Limb Company). He holds a B.F.A. in Directing from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Acting: The Sopranos (HBO Recurring).
He is a proud core member of Oberon Theatre Ensemble. Special thanks to EsoteriCam Productions, and everyone at The Sonnet Project.



I’ve been telling stories for over 25 years as an actor, producer and director for film, stage and television; collaborating on projects throughout Europe, Canada, the US and Asia. About 20 years ago I started photographing the journey and it feels great to be putting those skills to good use by adding DOP to the hyphenate. My wife, America Olivo, and I started EsoteriCam Productions a year ago and have assembled a great team of filmmakers who have gone above and beyond to make this film happen. We’re looking forward to making many more. www.xiancampbell.com



Stacey Jordan has been a NYC Based Wardrobe Stylist/Costume Designer for the past 14 years… She’s worked on Commercials and Campaigns with Clients such as Saatchi and Saatchi, Helm Media, Nickelodeon, HGTV, A&E ,Tv One, Ford, and many more. She’s also worked with Talents such as Ken Jeong(the Hangover), Jennifer Ehle(Fifty Shades Of Grey), James Urbaniak(The Office), and Hisham Tawfiq (the Blacklist). With a Passion and Love for wardrobe Styling and Costume Designing, Stacey’s always looking forward to her next on set Adventure!



Composer and cellist Rubin Kodheli (ko-thé-lee) is a celebrated young creative rebel. The inspirational tapestry of his work is woven from blended threads of rock, jazz and classical influences, a stylistic trademark that has afforded Kodheli a highly diverse and eclectic career. From his compositions appearing in mainstream feature films such as Precious (2009), to his genre-transcending original symphonic rock compositions, to his collaborations as a performer with premier composers of our time, including Dave Douglas, Henry Threadgill, Meredith Monk, and Tom Harrell. Kodheli’s work is an intriguing sonic collage that enraptures and captivates its listeners.

Creating instrumental alchemy in his compositions and performances, Kodheli deftly molds the cello to emulate the timbre of a guitar, a drum, or a human voice. His compositions teem with nuance, providing the opportunity to listen repeatedly, each time ripe with the possibility of hearing something that previously went unnoticed. Immersing audiences in honest musical explorations, Kodheli pushes listeners to engage, question and contemplate.

Kodheli began his musical journey as a composer and cellist in Albania, where, as a child, he would stay up all night, fascinated by the celebrat\ory performances of traditional Albanian folk music as well as attending many rehearsals of his mother singer/actress Justina Aliaj (a-lee-i). He later moved to Beligum to pursue formal studies at l’Académie d’Uccle and later in Germany at the Richard Strauss Konservatorium. Mr. Kodheli graduated from The Juilliard School in New York City, in where he was a pupil of Fred Sherry.

All of these unique musical experiences, from childhood to the present, have continually influenced and molded his work with dancers, choreographers, fellow composers, filmmakers and various other creative professionals in New York City, and around the world.



Jesse Rosenberg is a 2014 graduate in filmmaking at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, with a focus on documentary films and cinematography. His thesis film, Life Sentences, is a short documentary about families affected by the incarceration of their loved ones. The film received the 2013 Landsburg Documentary Post-Production Award, was a Wasserman Award finalist at the NYU First Run Festival, and was a regional semifinalist for the 2014 Student Academy Awards. It was an official selection in the St. Louis International Film Festival and is a finalist in the USA Film Festival’s International Short Film Competition. His other films include Alan Menken: A Life Composed, a short documentary about the eight-time academy award-winning composer. He is a certified Steadicam operator and is currently working in New York City as a freelance director and cinematographer. In August 2015 he will be the cinematographer for a documentary about animal refuges in the Bolivian Amazon.



Sara Cicilian is a New York-based actress native to Detroit, MI. Sara has been seen in numerous award winning feature films, short films, TV, commercials, book trailers and Off-Broadway Theatre including: Sex, Relationships and sometimes Love (Producers Club). TV: Deception (NBC). Film: Waves Full of Bliss (Dir. Russell Uddin), Ovum (Dir. Matt Ott), Kensho at The Bedfellow (Dir. Brad Raider), The Senior Prank (Dir. Donald Leow), Numbers on a Napkin: A Love Short (Dir. Jeff Pinilla). Sara is an alumna of The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts class of 2010. saracicilian.com

Apr 18 2013 · 0 comments · ·

Play Sonnet 109

O! never say that I was false of heart,
Though absence seemed my flame to qualify,
As easy might I from my self depart
As from my soul which in thy breast doth lie:
That is my home of love: if I have ranged,
Like him that travels, I return again;
Just to the time, not with the time exchanged,
So that myself bring water for my stain.
Never believe though in my nature reigned,
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,
That it could so preposterously be stained,
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good;
     For nothing this wide universe I call,
     Save thou, my rose, in it thou art my all.



In Sonnet 109, the poet tells his beloved that they mean more to him than anything or anyone else.

Billy wants his lover never to say that he was unfaithful in his heart, even though his absence may have suggested otherwise. He and his feelings are as inseparable as he is from himself. She are his home, straying would make him a traveler, and he would return again, at the appointed time, with feelings unchanged. This is how he rights his misdeed. Despite the weaknesses in his nature as everyone made of flesh and blood, Billy could never be so morally compromised as to leave someone so good for something worthless. Nothing in the entire universe means anything to him but her.


Will’s Wordplay

A word on blood: It is said here with a suggestion of family, kinship, line of descent. Base-born blood would be considered to have baser desires than noble blood. There are also implications in sonnets 111 & 112 of the Will’s “baser” social connections. He’s just a poor boy, from a poor family! Blood could also mean animal passions, carnality, or a tendency to those things. Meow.


Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island

“Located along the north shore of Staten Island near the ferry, Sailors Snug Harbor was originally built as a home for retired sailors, eventually becoming a cultural center for both Staten Island and the rest of New York.

The institution was founded in 1801 after Captain Robert Richard Randall’s (d. 1801) will specified that his Manhattan estate be used to start a marine hospital for “aged, decrepit and worn-out seamen.” The name Sailors Snug Harbor was suggested by Randall himself. At the time of his death, Randall’s estate, located north and east of modern-day Washington Square, was rural. By the time a protracted challenge to his will was settled, the land around the estate had changed dramatically, the city being developed around the area. Opting instead to maximize profits on the Manhattan property, Snug Harbor’s trustees relocated the proposed site to Staten Island, buying property around the harbor in 1831.

The first of Snug Harbor’s many buildings opened in 1833. Over time its initial group of 37 residents grew and more buildings were added, including the chapel, music hall, and more dormitories. Completed in 1830-31, Building C, the center building in a series of five Greek-revival style structures facing the water, is the home of the Main Hall of the Newhouse Gallery. The other four buildings were added in 1839-1841 and 1879-80, and are notable in that they exhibit a high degree of stylistic uniformity. The Chapel (1854) and its romantic Anglo-Italian style of architecture is also a landmark.

In the 1960s the Trustees of Snug Harbor considered demolishing the buildings and upgrading and modernizing the facilities. In 1965 The City Landmarks Preservation Commission stepped in, designating six of the structures on the site official landmarks. (Other landmarked features include the Gatehouse and the site’s perimeter wrought-iron fence, both designated in 1973.) When the State Department of Health ordered Snug Harbor to remedy fire hazards in the landmarked buildings in 1970, the Trustees again discussed trying to undo the designation. In the early 1970s the dilapidated Sung Harbor had become economically nonviable, and the Trustees announced that they would move the home to North Carolina, agreeing to sell the site to the City for market value. The first of three parcels, 14.5 acres containing the landmarked structures, were sold to the City for $1.8 million in 1972. The City could not purchase the entire property, and in the interim a developer had purchased the site’s other land for a potential residential project before the City stepped in to purchase the 65-acre parcel for $7.2 million. A third parcel in the northwest portion of the park was added in 1978.

In December 1974 local officials appointed a committee to investigate uses and develop a strategy for Snug Harbor. Following the recommendation of the committee, the Snug Harbor