CEDAR CITY, Utah — In conjunction with theatres and Shakespeare organizations around the world, the Utah Shakespeare Festival will be commemorating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death (and legacy) with two events for southern Utah residents and visitors. Bard’s Birthday Bash will be April 21 and 22, and the Shakespeare Cinema Celebration will be April 23.

Bard’s Birthday Bash is a party primarily for elementary schools in Iron County. They will be attending one of four sessions, two each day from 9:20 to 11:20 a.m. and 12:40 to 2:40 p.m. Included are numerous events for the students to take part in, including maypole dances, jousting, improvisation training and performing, cake with Queen Elizabeth, and a chance for schools to perform or watch their student Shakespeare plays in the Adams Theatre. The public is invited to observe the student plays.

“This is one of the ways we celebrate Shakespeare and reach out to students in our area,” said Michael Bahr, Festival education director. “Kids are not afraid of Shakespeare or his plays, and this is a fun, exciting way to introduce them to theatre and the world’s greatest playwright.”

Unfortunately, if weather is stormy, this event will be canceled.

The second event, the Shakespeare Cinema Celebration, is geared to a bit older audience and to families in general. It is a free series of screenings of movies adapted from Shakespeare’s plays—plus food and discussion. The screenings are in the Sharwan Smith Movie Theatre at Southern Utah University.

The day begins at 9:45 with a live broadcast from the Folger Shakespeare Library: “Wonder of Will LIVE: Sharing Shakespeare Stories.” It will be followed by showings of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (released in 1935) at 11 a.m., The Taming of the Shrew (1967) at 1:30 p.m., Henry V (1989) at 3:45 p.m., Much Ado about Nothing (2012) at 6:45, and Macbeth (2015) at 9 p.m.

Free food will be available throughout the day and a brief orientation will precede each play, with an open discussion after each showing.              

The Shakespeare Cinema Celebration is sponsored by the Festival, Southern Utah University, and the Center for Shakespeare Studies.