The marvelously inventive Sonnet Project from New York Shakespeare Exchange (NYSX) is setting all of Shakespeare’s sonnets one by one to (very) short films set in various New York City locations. Directed by and starring by an assortment of talented people, the series advances on April 16 with a big name, Broadway star and Tony winner Len Cariou (TV’s Blue Bloods,/em>), in Sonnet #76.
Following that, and premiering at a viewing party on April 22 at Amity Hall, Sonnet #63 will make its debut, starring famed actor, director and playwright Austin Pendleton.
In the end, the project will create short films of every one of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, “bringing together the classical poetry of the Bard with the urban poetry of New York City.” Each is released on the Sonnet Project website, and there’s a free Sonnet Project mobile app for iPhone and Android too.
When all the sonnets have been filmed, NYSX intends to develop a Sonnet Walking Tour of New York City neighborhoods.
How do I film thee? Let me count the ways. Yes, I know, that’s a reference to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, not Shakespeare, and it’s a sonnet “from the Portuguese,” not from the Big Apple. But as Gertrude Stein could have said, sonnet is a sonnet is a sonnet is a sonnet. And you can see that many sonnets, and many more courtesy of the Sonnet Project. A much better break-time activity than watching cat videos on YouTube, no?