I was introduced this morning to a new Shakespeare Day Project call 450 Minute Shakespeare. Here’s the gimmick: it’s Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. It also works out quite nicely that 450minutes is about a full “work day” worth of time (7 1/2 hours). So this group is looking for people to fill up 450 minutes worth of Shakespeare performance, one minute or more at a time, so that they can present it throughout the day on April 23.
This is a fundraising event setup by a group in Taunton, Somerset who are trying to reopen their local theatre and show that Stratford’s not the only place in England that appreciates their Shakespeare. You contribute by “buying” your minute (or minutes), then you’re welcome to record whatever performance you choose (many examples on their site ranging from “perform a sonnet” to “bake Shakespeare-shaped cookies and give them to your neighbor”). I love that they encourage variety. Seven hours of people reciting Sonnet 18 and the opening to Richard III would get a little tiresome. Groups of all sizes are more than welcome, and they seem quite flexible in determining how much they expect you to pay to take part. It’s quite obvious that they’re doing it to raise money, not make a profit. There’s a big difference.
More details at the link. The site is not fully functional yet but the FAQs are pretty detailed.
What will you do with your Shakespeare minute?