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Library’s Community Read 2014 spotlights Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is the featured personality for Community Read 2014. (CONTRIBUTED)
William Shakespeare is the featured personality for Community Read 2014. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON, MADISON COUNTY – During April, Huntsville-Madison County Public Library invites the public to join Community Read 2014 in honor of the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare.

“All branches will host events centered on this theme. We’ll also offer a series of special presentations and speakers,” communications director Ann Marie Martin said.

The main library at 915 Monroe St. hosted the first observance with “A Night at the Globe” on April 2. “Comic Science Improv presented a night of improvisational fun with a Shakespearean twist,” Martin said. Audience members provided players with Shakespeare-themed suggestions for an on-the-spot performance.

The Bailey Cove branch at 1409 Weatherly Plaza will feature “Antony and Cleopatra in Glasgow, 1972.” The session will look at Shakespeare’s “radical drag” and the Citizens’ Theatre, Martin said.

The Bailey Cove event starts at 6 p.m. on April 7. “Dr. Chad Thomas of the University of Alabama in Huntsville will present a lecture on cross-gender casting in Shakespearean productions after 1967,” Martin said.

Madison Public Library at 130 Plaza Blvd. will host “‘Draw if You Be Men: An Introduction to Shakespeare’s Theatrical Swordplay” on April 9 at 3 p.m. Dr. Hugh Long of Athens State University will present a lecture on swordplay in Shakespearean production, complete with stage props.

Then in Madison on April 12 at 1 p.m., the Huntsville Fencing Club will present a rousing fencing demonstration “to get us in the Shakespearean spirit,” Martin said.

Dr. Jeffrey Nelson of UAH will lecture on “Shakespeare: What’s in a Name?” on April 23 at 6 p.m. at the main library.

Nelson will discuss ways that an author shapes how we read and about readers’ preconceived notions for an author’s plays and writing. He will examine if people read Shakespearean works as historical documents.

In addition, library branches will host numerous other crafts activities, such as ‘totes with quotes,’ quill pen making and ‘fairy jars’ for children.

For more information, visit guides.hmcpl.org/shakespearecommunityread.

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