The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre wants Philadelphians to think love, and what it was like falling in love for the first time.
"We want to make Shakespeare available to the city and we want to hear love stories," said Samantha Clarke of the PST. "The stories of love and loss go hand in hand."
The Shakespearean performance group setup pop-up performance stations at Love Park, Rittenhouse Square and City Hall today seeking passersby to stop and recite a Shakespearean sonnet. In return, participants got Hersey Kisses. The activity helped launch the "Show Us Your Love Sonnet Competition," which runs from December 9 to January 31.
Ezekiel Mathur was on his way to the post office when he saw the sonnet station at Love Park today. He stopped when he saw the Hershey Kisses and jumped into read Sonnet 29.
"I'm not used to reading Shakespeare. The words are not words usually coming out of my mouth," said Mathur. "It was fun. I just might write a sonnet myself."
The top 10 sonnets will get a videotaped performance by a Shakespearan actor and the top four winning sonnets will be performed during each of the company's live performances of Romeo & Juliet in April.
"This city is so perfect. There's so much love already in Philly," said Clarke.