Share Your Shakespeare
The goal of this festival is to inspire others throughout the world to share their own connection to Shakespeare, their love of the language and stories, or how he speaks the truth of their lives, through a diverse mix of tributes and performance excerpts. Participation is simple: just follow these steps:
- Select how you'd like to share your Shakespeare with the world.
- Record yourself (or have a someone else record you) using your computer, laptop, tablet, mobile device or digital video recorder.
- Upload your video to YouTube and use the form below to send us your link!
Types of Submissions
Short clips (under 3 minutes) of live action performances of any kind, readings, animations, video art, graphics, songs, and music videos are all welcome. Three different ways to contribute:
1. Express your tribute using Shakespeare’s words
Short Performance Excerpts such as a short monologue; 14 line sonnet; a multi-person scene from Shakespeare; quote any of your favorite lines; a song from one of the plays, professional production clips. Share your favorites or try one of the examples. Any lines from Shakespeare are welcome!
2. Express your tribute using your own words
Talk about the importance of Shakespeare to your life or the world through Commentary, Tributes and/or Testimonials. If useful, respond to one or more
of the following:
- What does "Shakespeare" mean to you?
- Talk about your personal relationship to Shakespeare. How did you discover his work? Where has that taken you?
- Do you have a favorite Shakespeare memory of a live performance, film or reading?
- How has your knowledge and experience of Shakespeare shaped your view of the world, life, relationships?
- Which of Shakespeare's work speaks to you personally and why? Please share some passages.
- Why do you think Shakespeare still means so much today?
- Is Shakespeare a universal playwright? Why?
- Why have you chosen to include Shakespeare in your life?
3. Express your tribute by creating a new way for the world to experience Shakespeare
Create an animation, song, dance, visual art pieces that you can visually record and share with the world. Examples:
- Animations of Shakespeare characters or stories;
- A song or new poetry influenced by Shakespeare’s words, stories or characters;
- Shakespeare themed painting,
- Illustrations or other visual artwork;
- Musical compositions or dance inspired by Shakespeare’s works.
All Submissions must be under 3 minutes in length.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Merchant of Venice (Portia)
The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.
Romeo & Juliet (Act 2, scene 2)
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!
Oh, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
The courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s, eye, tongue, sword,
Th' expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
Th' observed of all observers, quite, quite down!
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That sucked the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
That unmatched form and feature of blown youth
Blasted with ecstasy. Oh, woe is me,
T' have seen what I have seen, see what I see.
Feeling inspired to find your own passage from Shakespeare to share? Learning more about the global Shakespeare celebrations in 2016? Check out these online resources:
The Folger Shakespeare Library’s Online Digital Texts
A free online version of Shakespeare’s Complete Works
First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare
In 2016, the Folger Shakespeare Library will be touring Shakespeare’s 1623 First Folio (the first collected edition of his plays) to all fifty states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.
An online initiative of the British Council highlighting the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s legacy