THE SEAFARER's John Emmet Tracy is taking on a big project: he's taking 38 of Shakespeare's plays, adapting them down to 30-minute versions, and performing them as a fundraiser for BC Children's Hospital on Shakespeare's 450th birthday. Below is the information about the show, as well as a piece of John's story of why he's doing this. What an amazing cause!
THE 24 HOUR SHAKESPESARE PROJECT
A Benefit for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation
Wednesday, April 23, 12 noon – Thursday, April 24, 12 noon
The Blake Snyder Theatre at GO Studios
#210-112 East 3rd Avenue, Vancouver
A 24-hour staged reading of all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays to benefit BC Children's Hospital, taking place on April 23, 2014: Shakespeare's 450th Birthday.
On William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, April 23, 2014, actors, media personalities, pro athletes, community leaders, volunteers and audience members will come together as part of a very special event: a 24-hour staged reading performance of all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays. The money raised by the 24 Hour Shakespeare Project will benefit the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
In 2008, my then two-and-a-half year old son Finnian underwent surgery at BC Children’s Hospital to correct a coarctation of his aorta. Inspired by the outstanding treatment, pain management and personal care and guidance afforded to Finn and our family during our 9-day stay at the Hospital, I became determined to create a fundraiser in order to contribute in some way to this tremendously important institution.
As a professional actor with many years of experience performing, studying and teaching Shakespeare’s plays, it was clear to me that I would build this fundraiser around Shakespeare’s work. Combining my love for this material with my passion to offer something back to BC Children’s Hospital was a clear decision for me.
This event will be a 24-hour, continuous staged reading. Some of the plays will be presented in unique styles through the added use of music, masks, dance, puppetry, reverse-gender casting and traditional storytelling forms such as Italy’s Commedia dell’arte of the 16th century.
Performers will hold a copy of the play and interact with one another while reading from the text. Professional actors, as well as local celebrities such as athletes, media personalities and community leaders will be donating their time to perform in order to attract audiences and monetary pledges from individuals, businesses and corporate entities. Audience admission will be by suggested donation of $15 per adult/$5 per child of 5-12 years.
Performers will stay for one or more of the plays, while I will remain onstage, performing for the entire 24-hour period. There will be very brief breaks in between each play or groups of plays. The performance venue, The Blake Snyder Theatre, has been generously donated by Michael Coleman and Sean Dickenson of School Creative.