…Play Many Parts


This sunny, spring Sunday we celebrate the 453rd birthday of the Bard. While the exact date of William Shakespeare’s entrance into the world is not known, the mark that he made on it is immeasurable.

To say that William Shakespeare’s plays and other works have stood the test of time seems like a gross understatement. They have thrived. They started as a product of the time in which they were created and turned into works that have shaped the world for centuries.

Even if you don’t know a soliloquy from a sonnet, you’ve come across Shakespeare’s work. He coined countless phrases and words that we still use today. If you’ve ever worn your heart on your sleeve (“Othello”), felt disheartened (“Henry V”), or considered yourself fashionable (“Troilus and Cressida”), you’ve used just a few of the thousands of words and phrases accredited to the Bard.

For over 400 years, Shakespeare’s works have been preserved and reimagined in ways that their author may have never imagined. In the spirit of Sunday Funday and in honor of the Bard’s 453rd(ish) birthday, here’s a brief journey through the evolution of one beloved scene from “Romeo and Juliet.” From the (more or less) traditional interpretation (Juliet was, after all, originally played by a boy), to “West Side Story,” and the less reverent but still amusing “Gnomeo & Juliet.” Enjoy!

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