TO TWEET or not to tweet – that is the dilemma facing wannabe Shakespeares.
Modern day bards are being challenged to reproduce the finest works of Shakespeare in just 280 characters as part of his birthday celebrations.
Shakespeare’s 37 plays averaged around 22,500 words per play but organisers of his birthday celebrations are appealing for tweet versions of his works.
The #280ornot280 initiative aims to see all his plays reproduced with a modern twist – and the best will be showcased during annual the birthday weekend at the end of April.
Dr Anjna Chouhan, senior lecturer in Shakespeare Studies at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, added: “Since the purchase of the Birthplace in 1847, and the subsequent establishment of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, our mission has been to promote the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s life and works to people around the world.
“We’re delighted, therefore, as we prepare to celebrate his birthday in 2019, to be helping to bring Shakespeare firmly into the age of social media, and to encourage new audiences to engage with and negotiate his language and stories in exciting and relevant territory.”
The RSC will be putting on a host of free activities around the birthday celebrations.
Director of events Geraldine Collinge said: “Shakespeare’s plays have been reproduced and adapted in many ways over the centuries since they were first written. Taking to social media to tell his stories in 280 characters or less is a fantastic way of showing how his themes and characters still resonate.”
Helen Peters, Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s England who help to organise and promote the celebrations, was looking forward to seeing the entries.
“Twitter is one of the world’s most popular communication tools with millions of users across the globe so we believe that this would be a perfect way to celebrate his birthday this year.
“We are looking for creative ways to condense plays into 280 characters that best summarise each of his plays – and consideration will also be made for those who put a modern linguistic twist on his works.”
The winning tweets – ages 13 to 17, and 18 plus – will feature on the Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations website.
The 18 plus category winner will receive an afternoon tea voucher for Hathaway Tea Rooms in Stratford, and the 13 to 17 age group winner will receive a family Explorer pass for entry into Shakespeare’s England attractions in Warwickshire.
To submit an entry, email [email protected] or send it via twitter (make sure to include the @Shakespearescel), by April 5.
Visit www.shakespearescelebrations.com for further details.