On Monday, June 9, 2014, Sir Kenneth Branagh was a surprise guest at the New York-based Shakespeare Society's "Playing Shakespeare" celebration, where he presented the Shakespeare Medal to fellow actor Richard Easton. Mr. Branagh is in Manhattan starring in a sold-out environmental production of "Macbeth," which is currently playing at the famed Park Avenue Armory, a historic 55,000 square foot performance venue.
The Public Theater's Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis, was also in attendance and presented the Linda Gross Playing Shakespeare Award to Hamish Linklater, the current star of The Public's Shakespeare in the Park.
Richard Easton won the Tony Award for "The Invention of Love" and has appeared in "Coast of Utopia," as well as 76 Shakespeare productions, including "Henry IV" with Kevin Kline, and "Henry V" directed by and starring Mr.Branagh. Hamish Linklater is currently appearing as Benedick in the critically-acclaimed production of "Much Ado About Nothing" in Central Park; his previous credits include "The Comedy of Errors" (Drama Desk nomination), "The Merchant of Venice," and "Twelfth Night" (Drama Desk nomination).
Guests at the event included Lily Rabe (Mr. Linklater's co-star in "Much Ado"), Jack O'Brien (Tony winner for "Hairspray"), Stephen DeRosa ("Boardway Empire"), Jacob Fishel (TFANA's "King Lear"), and others.
The Shakespeare Society is is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the enjoyment, understanding, and appreciation of William Shakespeare's works through performance, commentary, and educational activities.
For additional information on their events, visit www.shakespearesociety.org.