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Happy Birthday, Shakespeare!

Shakespeare was born in 1564, making 2014 the 450th anniversary of his birth. To celebrate, we're kicking off our Shakespearean Milestones series this year, focusing on plays that for various reasons hold a special place among Shakespeare's works. The series began with The Tempest at the Hangar Theatre in February and will continue with the most famous play ever written this summer.

Shakespeare Camp!

We're also expanding our educational program in a major way by offering a Kids' Shakespeare Camp for two weeks this summer, June 30 - July 13. This camp will be led by the Equity actor playing Hamlet for us, and at the end of the camp, your kids will get to perform Shakespeare on the ISC's summer stage at Cornell Plantations! Kids will learn to love Shakespeare's words and make them their own, while receiving training in voice, movement, improv, stage combat, and more.

Click here for more details on the Kids' Shakespeare Camp

Was Shakespeare Really Born on April 23?

We celebrate Shakespeare's birthday on April 23, but was he really born that day? Actually, we don't know. There's no documentary evidence of exactly what day Shakespeare was born. So why do we say it was April 23? Three reasons:

  1. There is a record of Shakespeare's baptism on April 26, 1564, and a new baby would typically have been baptized within a few days of birth. So he might have been born on April 23...but it might just as well have been another day close to it.
  2. Shakespeare died on April 23, in 1616. There is documentary evidence of that.
  3. April 23 is St. George's Day, and St. George is the patron saint of England.

The idea that England's greatest writer might have been born and died on the day dedicated to England's patron saint was just too much for scholars and Shakespeareans to resist. So April 23 it became. And it might be true...

Give A Birthday Gift To Shakespeare

The Ithaca Shakespeare Company's summer productions have already become the largest Shakespeare festival in the Central New York region. And we've barely gotten started! We have a vision of continuing to build a bigger and better Shakespeare program that can rival anything else out there, and the Shakespearean Milestones series and Kids' Shakespeare Camp are important steps toward that goal.

But we need your help! Our expenses are always increasing, and ticket sales alone can't come close to covering our financial needs — especially since we are strongly committed to keeping our shows affordable for everyone. At the same time, funding from government grants and corporate sponsorships is tighter than ever. So in order for us to continue doing what we're doing, we need your help.

If you believe Shakespeare matters...

if you want the Ithaca Shakespeare Company to continue its quest to build a world-class Shakespeare Festival here in Ithaca...

...then please take this opportunity to give a "Shakespeare's Birthday" gift to support our work.

To give you an idea of what your contributions can make possible:

  • $10,000 makes YOU the premier sponsor for the summer season!
  • $7,500 builds our set and stage at Cornell Plantations
  • $5,000 hires an Equity actor for the summer or rents the sound system for the performances
  • $2,000 puts beautiful costumes on our actors
  • $1,000 rents teaching space for our Kids' Shakespeare Camp
  • $750 provides housing for an actor coming from out of town
  • $500 hires an assistant for our Kids' Shakespeare Camp
  • $250 rents the swords for the final duel between Hamlet and Laertes
  • $100 gives a child a partial scholarship to come to our Kids' Shakespeare Camp
  • $50 rents a piece of the armor for the ghost of Hamlet's father to wear
  • $25 lets us know you appreciate having Ithaca Shakespeare around!

Contributions in any amount are helpful and greatly appreciated. All donations are tax-deductible, and every penny goes directly toward the work you see on stage or in the classroom. So please take this opportunity to visit our website and make a simple, secure donation to help us build an even better Shakespeare program! You can also donate by check if you prefer.

Click here to give a Shakespeare's Birthday gift now