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Sonnet Play

by William Shakespeare

created and adapted by Brian Myers Cooper

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"relentlessly intimate"

Sonnet Play weaves more than 35 of Shakespeare’s sonnets into a modern tale of infatuation, love, betrayal, infidelity, and forgiveness, proving that the human heart has not changed in the 400 years since Shakespeare penned his famous sequence. Presented in an ultra-intimate style, Sonnet Play takes the audience on an personal journey of the heart told in a modern context. The story is clear and relevant to modern ears, and audience members serve as privileged confidantes rather than passive onlookers. During one talk back, one patron called the experience “Relentlessly intimate!” Indeed, the Sonnets’ through line of exploring the basic human need for connection is brought to startling life as Mr. Cooper creates a connection with each audience member throughout the performance. The result is a powerful piece of theatre that leaves audiences marveling at the raw emotional force of these eternal poems.

Production History

Sonnet Play began life in May of 2015 with 8 invited performances at the National Opera Center. After some revision, version 2.0 was performed again in July 2015 at the Opera Center, and then at the ACT school in San Francisco in August.

In 2016, Bedlam Theatre Company granted me the opportunity to further develop Sonnet Play in the first of their 2-week MADLab workshops, culminating in one invited performance. The photo at the top of the page is from the original run, and the remaining photos are from  the Bedlam MADLab performance.

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Sonnet Play

© 2015 Brian Myers Cooper

Brian Myers Cooper is an actor, writer, director, dramaturg, and acting coach. Most recently he created Sonnet Play, told entirely using Shakespeare’s sonnets, which he developed with the acclaimed Bedlam Theatre Company's MadLAB! residency, and has performed in NYC and San Francisco. Follow his journey as he memorizes all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets, and get tips and tricks on how you can start your own journey! He served as dramaturge for two plays in the 2016 NY Fringe Festival. Favorite acting roles include Pastor Paul in The Christians, Gillette in The Game's Afoot, Miss Saigon (2nd Nat’l.), Galileo (Moisés Kaufman, dir.), Romance, Romance! (Alfred/Sam - Lauren Kennedy, dir), James Baldwin's Blues for Mr. Charlie (Parnel), End of the World Party (original Off-Broadway cast)and the American premier of Billy Roche’s The Cavalcaders (Florida Stage). A longtime labor advocate, he is a trustee of the Equity-League Pension & Health Trust Funds, and served for twelve years on the national Council of Actor’s Equity Association. You'll find dozens of his recipes at MyTinyKitchen.us.