On the occasion of William Shakespeare’s 400th death-iversary (that is, the 400th anniversary of his death), Portsmouth Mayor Jack Blalock has proclaimed that April 23 is Shakespeare Day.
City councilor Christine Dwyer made the proclamation on behalf of Blalock and the rest of the council in Market Square just after noon on Saturday.
Portsmouth prides itself on its rich historic past and cultural strength involving a storied history of engagement with the works of William Shakespeare, Dwyer read.
The proclamation refers to Seven Stages Shakespeare Company as Portsmouth’s resident Shakespeare company. Seven Stages co-founders Christine Penney and Dan Beaulieu joined Dwyer for the proclamation, along with frequent Bard evoker Bruce Pingree, manager of The Press Room. Seven Stages had lobbied the city council to recognize Shakespeare Day, part of a global celebration of millions of Shakespeare lovers, according to the proclamation.
The proclamation notes that the First Folio, an early collection of Shakespeare’s plays, is currently on display in New Hampshire (at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester). The Folio was written and published in 1623 — the same year Portsmouth was founded, according to the proclamation.
Dwyer’s announcement was preceded and followed by festive music from the Leftist Marching Band. Seven Stages Shakespeare Company and other area organizations will be holding a number of Shakespeare-related events throughout the spring and summer.
For more information about Shakespeare’s death-iversary and upcoming Shakespeare events, see The Sound’s April 13 story here.
Whereas: Portsmouth, New Hampshire sits at the hub of a metropolitan region steeped in creative diversity; and
Whereas: Portsmouth prides itself on its rich historic past and cultural strength involving a storied history of engagement with the works of William Shakespeare; and
Whereas: Portsmouth was founded by people familiar with and possibly influenced by the works of William Shakespeare, inspiring them to push the limits of possibility and journey across the sea to embark on new adventures; and
Whereas: April 23rd 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s legacy, a testament to the longevity, timeliness and expansive human appeal of Shakespeare’s work; and
Whereas: The First Folio one of the most important books ever printed is currently on display in New Hampshire (a book that was written and published in 1623, the same year Portsmouth was founded); and
Whereas: There is a global celebration of millions of Shakespeare lovers happening today; and
Whereas: It is at the heart of the mission of Seven Stages Shakespeare Company (Portsmouth’s resident Shakespeare company) to illuminate the works of William Shakespeare through programs created to engage, enliven and enlighten both company and community.
Now, therefore, I, Jack Blalock, Mayor of the City of Portsmouth, on behalf of the members of the City Council and the citizens of Portsmouth do officially proclaim April 23 to be Shakespeare Day.