On Monday a new free app called the Sonnet Project is designed to bring to the masses the poetry of William Shakespeare. This new sonnet app is for the Apple iPad and iPhone. The Sonnet Project is the initiative of the New York Shakespeare Exchange, a non-profit organization. The project involves the concerted efforts of directors, actors, and stage coaches working to put together more than 80 films that have already been completed or are still in the process of completion.
The launch of the multimedia app involves the release of 10 short films. After Monday, a new short film will be released every few days. Notifications will be sent to the iPhone app user every time one is released. The app may be downloaded from the Apple app store.
A mere two-minutes of your time
The Project is an effort to get classic poetry across people who think of the bard’s immortal verses as way over their heads or boring. Stage actors will perform two-minute short films at certain New York City landmarks including Tony winners Cady Huffman and Joana Gleason. These locations include the Brooklyn Bridge and World Trade Center Memorial.
William Shakespeare wrote a total of 154 sonnets mainly about beauty, death, and love. The first of these were published in 1609. Each of the sonnets contain around 14 lines and have always been rather easy to carry around as some people do back in the day when books are still the only means of lugging around poetry. This app has made Shakespeare’s sonnets as portable and accessible as they can get.
The artistic director of the New York Shakespeare Exchange, Ross Williams said that he had wondered about what could happen if Shakespeare were delivered to them in “easily digestible chunks” that would make Shakespeare a part of their daily lives.
Williams is hoping that Shakespeare might get better digested when people take him in small bites. He also believes this will facilitate better appreciation and understanding of his body of work.
The Sonnets app and more
Last year, an iPad app called “The Sonnets by William Shakespeare” featured famous actors such as Patrick Stewart, David Tennant, Stephen Fry, Simon Russell Beale and Kim Cattrall. This one was a creation of Touch Press based in Britain. Aside from the performances, relevant information and commentary plus interviews with Shakespeare scholars are included. A replica of each original sonnet is also provided. This app cost $6.99.
In February, the Cambridge University Press released two new apps for their series, “Explore Shakespeare” featuring interactive content such as commentary and audio performances. iPad users and Shakespeare lovers were treated to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Twelfth Night” as the latest addition to an interactive collection including “Romeo and Juliet” and “Macbeth.”
Poetry that touches the soul
Williams refers to Shakespeare poetry as possessing of “a simplicity in spirit.” Williams says that this is the main reason why people can connect to his body of work in the most amazing way.
Photo Credit: William Shakespeare Portrait