Courtesy Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks.

Te Cafe, Franktuary & multiple locations
April 29
Various times

April belongs to the Bard, who was born on the 26th day of the fourth month and left the world just 52 years—and some 200 works—later on the 23rd.

Pittsburgh is joining a worldwide celebration of the iconic playwright and actor in observance of the 400th anniversary of his passing with seven days of festive live and online events.

Jennifer Tober, Lynn Squilla & guest at Franktuary.
Jennifer Tober, Lynn Squilla & guest at Franktuary.

Running through April 29th, Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks‘ (PSIP) second annual Week of Will continues the nonprofit’s mission to produce free outdoor events in city parks, and pays homage to the world’s reigning pre-eminent dramatist.

Spicing up mundane Monday night is the series’ “Villainy Most Vile Shakespeare Slam,” running from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Te Cafe, Squirrel Hill. Free and family-friendly—and open to actors and non-actors alike—the event will feature readings and performances showcasing Shakespeare’s most villainous characters.

Courtesy Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks.
Courtesy Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks.

The polls aren’t the only place to be on Super Tuesday. On April 26, be sure to also cast your vote for your favorite “Shakespearean Ruler,” during PSIP’s social media contest, which will rank Shakespeare’s famous and infamous kings, queens, tyrants, fools and more. Stay tuned for PSIP’s announcement of the victor at the end of the day.

Fans of the Bard of Avon should not miss a mid-Spring night’s dream of sorts, when PSIP hosts a Bard bash at Franktuary in Lawrenceville. On April 28 from 5 to 7 p.m., the public is invited to mix and mingle with Pittsburgh actor and director and PSIP Artistic Director Jennifer Tober, along with company members. Attendees will eat, drink and be merry in support of the company’s 12th season.

Week of Will culminates with an announcement of the winning design submitted for PSIP’s 2016 Comedy of Errors t-shirt contest. The company’s popular “Bard in the ‘Burgh” t-shirt tradition has produced such favorites like “As Yinz Like It,” and this year’s winning design will go on sale starting in May.

Donations and proceeds collected during PSIP’s Week of Will events will support the company’s September 2016 production of Comedy of Errors. One of the Bard’s earliest and most popular comedies, the farce will be directed by Charles Beikert, who is hosting a live Twitter chat with the public on Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. Ask your burning question about the Bard via @Pgh Shakespeare.

Looking for more events? Read our 11 Pittsburgh events not to miss in May feature.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.