“Our doubts are traitors/ and make us lose the good we oft might win/ by fearing to attempt,” Lucio said in William Shakespeare’s play “Measure for Measure.”
Many people think reading Shakespeare is only for those who hold high degrees in literature or English. However, the Bard’s writings can be enjoyed by anyone who is interested.
This year marks the 400-year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and Weber State University is celebrating the impact he had on the world. On March 18, a student-driven project entitled “Shakin’ Up Shakespeare” is offering those who enjoy Shakespeare a chance to submit a piece of work to show their love. Students can submit poetry, paintings, lyrics, photographs or anything else they can come up with.
According to Kirsten Billingsley, the event is supposed to help inspire a love for the author. Billingsley is a double major in English and theater, and has worked with the English department to put this event together.
“Many people have this idea that it’s over their heads, but it’s for everybody,” she said.
Billingsley is giving a presentation in Elizabeth Hall to encourage students to enjoy Shakespeare. During the presentation, the works that students submit will be on display.
Submissions for the event were due on March 14. However, according to Billingsley, pieces will be accepted until the morning of March 17. Not only will the works be displayed, but the English department also has FanX multi-passes to give out to the winners of the event. Plus, the first 10 people who submit to the show by March 16 will get a free Thursday pass to FanX.
“I want people to have a situation where they can share ideas,” said Billingsley.
She also invites students to submit any type of work they want in order to share their love of Shakespeare. That can include writing one of his stories from a different characters’ point of view, rewriting a scene from a play, constructing a set for a play or even creating costumes.
“I want them to have fun,” Billingsley said. “You can be as formal or as informal as you want.”
Billingsley emphasized that reading and enjoying Shakespeare is for everyone, and people shouldn’t be discouraged from trying.
“Shakin’ Up Shakespeare” will be on March 18 in Elizabeth Hall, Room 215 from 2 – 4 p.m. There will also be movie screenings of Shakespeare films throughout the month, as well as a production of “The Tempest” at WSU’s Browning Center in April.