Happy Birthday, Shakespeare! Celebrate with these Bard-inspired events

"April hath put a spirit of youth in everything." -- Sonnet XCVIII

References to April -- arguably the most literary month, if not the cruelest -- abound in the works of Shakespeare. No one's completely sure about the exact date of his birth, but records indicate he was baptized on April 26, 1564; he definitely died on April 23, 1616.

But while Shakespeare's entire life took place between two Aprils, his legacy lives on...and has inspired a host of Shakespearean events this month:

Shakespeare Film Series, Muenzinger Auditorium, University of Colorado Boulder:

Co-sponsored by the Colorado Shakespeare Festival Guild and CU Boulder's International Film Series, the Shakespeare Film Series will run April 4 through April 8. The series includes five films based on or adapted from the works of Shakespeare, from period pieces like 1995's Richard III to such modern adaptations as 1999's 10 Things I Hate About You. The films will show at CU Boulder's Muenzinger Auditorium at 7:30 each night; find more information here.

Shakespeare and Me, Byers-Evans House Museum:

The historic Byers-Evans House Museum makes a wonderful venue for plays in a close, intimate setting. Joey Wishnia's Shakespeare and Me, a new play chronicling the performer's lifelong relationship with the playwright's repertoire, will open there April 6, and run Friday and Saturday nights until April 28. (There's also an Industry Night on Monday, April 16.) For more information, call 303-620-4933 -- and watch for Juliet Wittman's interview with Wishnia on Show and Tell later today.

Shakespeare a la Carte, Chautauqua Dining Hall:

At the lovely Chautaqua Dining Hall in Boulder on April 23 and 30, audiences will sample many of Shakespeare's works while enjoying a culinary spread as diverse as his works. Shakespeare a la Carte allows diners to select excerpts, effectively letting them chart their own course through the evening's material, and will throw in some surprises to keep things entertaining. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.; to reserve seats, go to the website -- and don't miss the discount code there.

DPS Shakespeare Festival, Denver Performing Arts Complex:

Think of the children! Specifically, the children of Denver Public Schools, who produce the oldest and largest Shakespeare celebration in the country. May 11 marks the 28th iteration of the DPS Shakespeare Festival, in which multiple stages are erected and thousands of students converge on the Denver Performing Arts Complex for a day of scenes, sonnets, music and dancing. The free event lasts all day. For more information, go to the DPS calendar here.

And you might also consider celebrating Shakespeare's life by living as he did: by coining 1,500 new words; putting on a performance of Henry VIII and arranging to have it interrupted by a cannon blast; or translating Much Ado About Nothing into Klingon. Okay, Shakespeare didn't do that -- but if he were living today, we have a feeling he might.

How will you mark the Bard's birthday? Do you know of any other Shakespeare celebrations? Share in the comments section below.

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Shaughnessy Speirs

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