UC Davis is offering up a special Valentine: the Valentine’s Day Sonnet Walk, with some of Shakespeare’s poetry to be performed along the way. The public is invited to come along, free of charge, on guided strolls to various points in the city of Davis and on campus, including the arboretum.
The Department of Theatre and Dance is collaborating on the project with the arboretum and the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, which this year is presenting a Season of Shakespeare.
Theater professor Peter Lichtenfels, the sonnet walk director, said he is keeping the details a surprise, but he promised “a joyous, highly creative celebration of Shakespeare’s treasured love poems.”
Shakespeare’s surviving works include 154 sonnets dealing primarily with the profound nature of love, passion and beauty. An English sonnet is a strictly rhymed, 14-line lyric poem — “lyric” meaning that the poem expresses a person’s emotions.
Lichtenfels, who joined the UC Davis faculty in 2003, is a professional theater director and a Shakespeare scholar who was instrumental in establishing UC Davis’ exchange program with the Globe Theatre, the re-created Elizabethan theater in London.
He also forged an exchange with the Shanghai Theatre Academy, in keeping with his commitment to cross-cultural theater.
He and his wife, UC Davis theater professor Lynette Hunter, are the authors of the forthcoming Negotiating Shakespeare’s Language in Romeo and Juliet: Reading Strategies from Criticism, Editing and the Theatre, accompanied by a full critical edition on the Web.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: Valentine’s Day Sonnet Walk, open to the public, for all ages.
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 14; guided strolls depart at 10 a.m. and every 15 minutes thereafter, until the last stroll departs at noon. Each walk will last about an hour, and there will be refreshments about halfway through.
WHERE: The starting point will be disclosed when people make reservations.
COST: Free. Space is limited.
ADVANCE RESERVATIONS REQUIRED: Through the Mondavi Center box office.
Telephone: (530) 754-2787 or (866) 754-2787.
Online: www.mondaviarts.org (use the promo code SONNET to avoid handling charges).
By William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring barque,
Whose worth’s unknown although his height be taken.
Love’s not time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.