Talk Like Shakespeare Day

For Further Information, Contact Alida Szabo, Director of Audience Development
Ben Frick, Public Relations Assistant
Chicago Shakespeare Theater – 312.595.5633 MAYOR RICHARD M. DALEY PROCLAIMETH TALK LIKE SHAKESPEARE DAY April 23, 2009—Shakespeare’s 445th Birthday New Web Portal Online at Chicago—April 20, 2009—Mayor Richard M. Daley announced that April 23, Shakespeare’s 445th Birthday, will be Talk Like Shakespeare Day, an occasion for Chicagoans to bring the spoken words of Shakespeare into their daily lives. "On his 445th birthday, Shakespeare still speaks to the people of Chicago through timeless words and works," said Mayor Daley in his formal city proclamation. "On April 23, I encourage citizens to celebrate Shakespeare by vocal acclamation, through his words." Citizens can prepare for the occasion by brushing up their Shakespearean, and joining the conversation, at, which will go live as the Bard’s birth week begins on Monday, April 20. Visitors are asked to contribute stories, photos, videos, and quotes to the site’s live tumblr feed. The web portal features the online instructional How to Talk Like Shakespeare, activities for incorporating the Bard at the office, at home and at school, Shakespeare’s Twitter (a live feed from the Bard who, magnanimously, has offered to help translate any visitor’s request from English to Shakespeare), a Coined by Shakespeare Quiz to test visitors’ knowledge of words and phrases invented by the Bard, a "best of the web" collection of Shakespeare on YouTube (with cameos by the Beatles, the crew of the S.S. Minnow, Sesame Street, Captain Jean Luc Picard and others), among a variety of other resources. Shakespearean rappers The Q Brothers (creators of Bomb-itty of Errors and Funk It Up About Nothin’) will release to radio a new anthem highlighting, in hip-hop, the finer points of speaking Shakespearean. Finally, on April 23, schools throughout the Chicagoland area will take part in Talk Like Shakespeare in the Classroom activities, as teachers participate in inventive games and exercises to help students talk like—and engage with—Shakespeare. Chicago’s own Tony Award-winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater will mark the occasion as well. "We’re asking our artists and audiences to find a moment to bring Shakespeare into their daily discourse—even if it’s just asking a coworker to pass ‘yonder stapler,’" said Artistic Director Barbara Gaines. "This is someone who literally, single-handedly, introduced at least 2,000 words to the English language that we still use today. We wish him a very happy birthday."

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3 thoughts on “Talk Like Shakespeare Day

  1. I just can’t separate it from Talk Like A Pirate Day in my head, which let me tell you is making things very confusing.

    How sharper than a sea serpent’s tooth it be, ta be havin a thankless child, yarrrr.

  2. Linguist David Crystal has a website you might be interested in checking out. There are several recordings of attempts at recounting the dialectical pronunciations using excerpts from Shakespeare’s work, (approximations of course, since we have no recordings) Sounds very Irish-influenced to me–come to think of it Duane, there were some famous Irish pirates, weren’t there?
    Oye think thee arrrs ‘n arrrgs be coumin’ froom ahte’thet paahrt u’th’British ayles, ef’n Oye be rimembrin’ keerect-loik.

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