At last year’s Sonnet Stroll, readers gathered at Re-Books in Waterville to read sonnets as part of the annual Bard’s Birthday Bash. Kneeling in front, from left, are Josh Fournier, Robert Sezack, Shana Page, Joshua Bickford and Vanessa Glazier. In back, from left, are Lynda Lemar, Helena Page, Elizabeth Wing, Ray Wing, Mary Freeman, Lyn Rowden, Cindi Bailey and Alli McDonald. Submitted photo

WATERVILE — Recycled Shakespeare Company is planning a big party for its 10th annual Bard’s Birthday Bash on Saturday, April 22.

The event begins with the Sonnet Stroll through downtown Waterville. Costumed members of RSC and anyone who wants to join them will gather at Camden National Bank, 150 Main. St., at 9 a.m. to recommence the reading of all 154 sonnets interspersed with monologues and songs from his plays.

The stroll continues to Yardgoods Center and The Villager Restaurant. It pauses at Waterville Public Library at 10 a.m., where librarians and others will join in the readings.

It proceeds to Re-Books, where owner Robert Sezack will read selections outside his storefront as he has every year.

The stroll stops in at Greene-Block Studios, then continues to the Silver Street sidewalk in front of Cancun Restaurant, where Rep. Colleen Madigan will join in the readings. People can try their hand at period weaponry with a sword fight demonstration at 11 a.m., led by stage combat artist Joshua Fournier.

Simultaneously, RSC Chorus will bring Shakespeare’s songs to the patrons of Front/Main Restaurant, led by Joshua Bickford on mandolin; he wrote all original music to Shakespeare’s words. They plan to perform in various locations throughout the day and all are welcome to sing along.


Continuing up Main Street the stroll will visit The Framemakers, and Incense and Peppermint, entertaining diners at Holy Cannoli, having readers from Days Jewelers join in, and stopping at Waterville Creates at the new Paul Schupf Art Center. At 1 p.m. they will gather at Jin Yuan as readers from across the nation will join by recordings or Zoom to add to the festivities.

At that time Aaron and Heather Rowden, who now reside in California, will be delivering their annual surprise contribution.

From 2:30-5 p.m. people can join the crowd at Selah Tea for more entertainment or even get up and read — no experience is required. Bobbie McGee at Selah Tea has supported this project from its inception, and it is now the tradition for everyone to read Sonnet 154 out loud together there.

RSC and Waterville have over 65 readers from the arts, theater, government and business, as well as friends and visitors from near and far.

At 6 p.m. Waterville Mayor Jay Coelho will kick off the annual Masquerade Ball, held until 9 p.m. at the Greene-Block Studios. Elizabethan dances will be led and taught, with free birthday cake. Costumes are welcome and add to the fun, but they are not required. Anyone of any age can learn these simple dances; no partners are necessary.

For more information, contact Lyn Rowden at 207-314-4730 or [email protected]. Like and follow the group Facebook for updates.


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