April 23rd is Shakespeare’s official birthday. He was born in April 1564 and while there is uncertainty about the exact date, he definitely died on that date in 1616 and a convenient legend may have been established since April 23rd is also the feast day of St. George, patron saint of England (among other places).
Shakespeare was no stranger to pandemics and plagues. He may have written King Lear while in quarantine. Theatres were closed over a five-year period beginning in 1603 so the current pandemic, while a lot less deadly, would be familiar to him.
Here in Weston, we have an organization dedicated to bringing Shakespeare’s works to young people, Shakespeare in Action. SIA is one of the two anchor artistic organizations resident in the Weston Hub. They are currently organizing an activity open to all but aimed at people over the age of 55.
Read on below:
Did you know Shakespeare wrote his play King Lear in quarantine? Come join Pete Smith and Shakespeare in Action in our free online drop-in story-telling workshop for folks over 55. Tell a story. Tell your story.
Using Shakespeare’s King Lear as a springboard, you’ll receive guidance, be offered tools, and be inspired, to write, and tell compelling personal and fictional tales.
Through this story-sharing, we hope to create an ensemble and collect stories to turn into a community-based theatre production when social distancing is a thing of the past.
When: Mondays @ 10am – 11am
Dates: May 4th – Jun 1st, 2020 *excluding May 18th*Where: Zoom
Who: Priority for folks over 55 living in York South – Weston, but also open to anyone of any age who wants to be part of this project.
How: If you’re over 55, Email Danna at York West Active Living Centre at [email protected] or click the links below.
Why: Feeling isolated? Want to share stories? Come join!
Shakespeare in Action is gathering local stories to share to an online hub. They’re asking for submissions of three minutes or less, true or not-so-true, folktales, memoirs, or whatever tickles your fancy.
Much of Weston—and the city—is shutting down to flatten the curve. Here’s a partial list. Please help if you can by leaving a comment below. I’ll update as possible.
Closed or cancelled
Weston, Mount Dennis (and all other) library branches
York Recreation Centre
Shakespeare in Action
Mount Dennis’ Climate Action Summit
Licensed daycares and schools
All city-run March Break camps
Frontlines March Break camp, as of Tuesday
Our MP’s constituency office
Weston King Neighbourhood Centre
Most small business, including Black Cat, P&M’s, and supercoffee, which are doing a bang-up job.
Black Cat, Weston’s finest café, has an offer for you if you’re having a hard time getting to the store. Justin says that if you can’t make it to the grocery, he can order in baked goods, eggs, and milk for you. Justin, you’re a hell of a guy.
P&M’s is offering to order meat, sauce, and seafood, if you’re in a tight spot. I love you guys!
Do you dream of taking the stage?
Have you always wanted to create, perform or design for a theatre play?
Are you over the age of 55?
Now’s your chance!
Shakespeare in Action with the support of the New Horizons For Seniors Program is proud to produce King Lear in Weston, a community-engaged theatre project that is created by and for seniors living in northwest Toronto.
SHAKESPEARE FOR KIDS SUMMER CAMP
has a NEW HOME for 2020!Now in conjunction with SHAKESPEARE IN THE SHELL, The Groundlings (ages 7-11) and King’s Company (ages 12 – 15) will design, rehearse, and perform a play on the by the Artscape Weston Common, Shakespeare in Action’s new home!
The city is hosting another chance to have input into the second phase of the Weston Heritage Conservation District. This phase of the plan will cover between Rosemount and Elm, and William and Church.
The meeting will be Saturday, January 18 at 1 pm at Artscape.
The York South Weston Tenant Union will be hosting a summit on Saturday, February 1 at 2:30 at the WKNC, 2017 Weston Road.
Tonight’s the last night to see A Christmas Carol by Shakespeare in Action with the Weston Silver Band. Robin Breon, a theatre reviewer, gives it a rave review:
I’ve seen quite a number of Carols over the years and this one (to paraphrase Dickens) was as good A Christmas Carol as any good old city knew, or any other good old city, village, borough or town in the good old world!