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Shakespeare & Beyond

San Francisco Shakespeare Festival celebrates its 35-year history with 35 Shakespeare speeches

San Francisco Shakespeare Festival
San Francisco Shakespeare Festival

Thirty-five is the magic number for San Francisco Shakespeare Festival this year. Since February, SF Shakes has been presenting a series of free, short performances to celebrate its 35-year history in San Francisco. The goal is to perform 35 famous speeches from Shakespeare’s plays in 35 famous places in the city.

The series kicked off Feb 11 with Hamlet’s “O that this too, too solid flesh would melt” soliloquy, performed at Crissy Field East Beach with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. On Pi Day (Mar 14), the “And make two pasties of your shameful heads” speech from Titus Andronicus was performed at a popular pie shop in the Mission District. And in another particularly apt combination, Mark Antony’s “Friends, Romans, countrymen” speech from Julius Caesar was performed at City Hall on the ides of March.

The latest performance, on Aug 25, featured six speeches from The Tempest, with Julian Lopez-Morillas* as Prospero. He was joined by Anne Yumi Kobori as Ariel, and John R. Lewis* as Caliban. The performance also included two songs from The Tempest: “Full fathom five thy father lies…” and “Where the bee sucks…” You can see the Sutro Baths ruins in the background of these photos.