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Celebrity Sonnets And Speeches Focus On Shakespeare's Women

The theme for this year's San Diego Shakespeare Society's 18th Annual Celebrity Sonnets is "A Celebration of Shakespeare's Women."
San Diego Shakespeare Society
The theme for this year's San Diego Shakespeare Society's 18th Annual Celebrity Sonnets is "A Celebration of Shakespeare's Women."

San Diego Shakespeare Society holds 18th annual event at Old Globe Theatre

The San Diego Shakespeare Society holds its Celebrity Sonnets at 7:30 p.m., Monday at the Old Globe Theatre.

The San Diego Shakespeare Society holds its Celebrity Sonnets at 7:30 p.m., Monday at the Old Globe Theatre.

William Shakespeare is probably best known for plays such as “Hamlet” and “Romeo and Juliet” but he also crafted more than 150 sonnets. The San Diego Shakespeare Society is a nonprofit group that dedicates itself to celebrating the Bard all year long, said the society's President Darryl Woodson.

"The San Diego Shakespeare Society has been in existence since the year 2000 and we are the only group in San Diego that does Shakespeare all year round. We do monthly open readings, a film series, we also do the free lecture series, and we work with the San Diego Museum of Art to do what they call Art Stops," Woodson said.

Every October for the past 18 years the group has staged Celebrity Sonnets and this year it showcases sonnets and speeches that celebrate Shakespeare's strong women. Julia Giolzetti explained why she choose Polina's speech from “The Winter’s Tale” to read. The monologue takes place at a trial of Hermione, who has been accused of adultery by her husband with absolutely no evidence. Polina stands up for her friend Hermione and reveals to the jealous tyrant that his actions have caused his wife to die of grief.

"I really love this piece and love performing this monologue as Polina because it's one of the greatest instances I believe in Shakespeare's works of a woman standing up for another woman and standing up specifically to a man in authority and saying to him you're wrong. I think it's extremely relevant both 400 years ago and today for women to stand up when you see something happening that doesn't look right," Giolzetti said.

Currently Giolzetti is playing the character of Hermione in the Coronado Playhouse's Production of "The Winter's Tale."

Patricia Elmore Costa will be reading Kate's final speech from "The Taming of the Shrew." That play is often seen as problematic from a contemporary feminist perspective but Costa said, "Kate is a wonderful character and she is a woman before her time in that she is independent. Now she is 'froward, peevish, sullen, and sour,' but I think Petruchio likes that about her because he is like that himself. So this is a great example of the battle between the sexes."

Let the San Diego Shakespeare Society expand your knowledge and appreciation of Shakespeare with Celebrity Sonnets at 7:30 p.m., Monday at the Old Globe Theatre.

Celebrity Sonnets And Speeches Focus On Shakespeare's Women
Listen to this story by Beth Accomando.