Ithaca Sonnet Festival

The Ithaca Shakespeare Company is thrilled to announce that our very first Ithaca Sonnet Festival is open for submissions!

And we need you!

We are seeking community members of all ages and trades to participate in our outdoor, online Sonnet Festival. You don’t need to have an acting resume, a headshot, or have ever said a word of Shakespeare’s text out loud — we just want to get as many people as we can out of doors, speaking Shakespeare’s words!

If you love poetry, theatre, Shakespeare, or have ever wanted to try your hand at acting, or if you just want to be part of a community of people doing this cool, crazy thing, here’s what you need to do…

  1. Pick one of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

    (There’s lots of them! 154, to be exact. You can see all of them here, with some explanatory notes if needed, indexed by the first line:

    You can also find them here, again indexed by first line, with more detailed notes and commentary:

    So take your pick! Just find one that speaks to you and dive into it.)

  2. Memorize it.

    (You can do it! It’s only 14 lines. That’s shorter than “Crazy in Love” and “Single Ladies,” and we know you’ve got those memorized.)

  3. Find a good spot to perform it.

    (Somewhere out of doors, and nice to look at. There are so many beautiful places to go! Ideally it will be relatively quiet, so we can hear you. But find a spot you love!)

  4. Make a video of yourself performing it!

    (Perform your heart out! Use that voice! And don’t forget to hit “record”!)

  5. Send it our way!

    E-mail your video to and we’ll post it to a special Youtube page along with all the others.

    Then share it on all your social media — Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or whatever floats your boat! Just make sure to tag your posts with #ithacasonnetfestival, so other folks can see it and join in too.

OH, and one more thing… We have a totally-optional, but pretty cool virtual Sonnet Workshop coming up — for free! So if this sounds like something you’re into, but you’d love a little guidance, keep your eyes open for that upcoming announcement. And in the meantime, get to memorizing!