THE 21st Annual WILL-A-THON

Will-a-Thon 2024 By RON CRAWFORD
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I had the delight of attending the 20th year of Will-a-Thon and I can’t wait to see Will-a-thon turn 21.

Conceived and Directed by Charles E. Gerber

“Will’s Way”….a night of Scenes, Speeches, and Soliloquies featuring a cast of 13 from Will’s Playshop, including Special Guest Artist, AUSTIN PENDLETON.

With selections from Hamlet, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Julius Caesar, and The Winter’s Tale. THE SOCIETY OF ETHICAL CULTURE
2 W. 64TH ST., 4TH FLOOR

See also Part II – “FOR THY SWEET LOVE REMEMB’RED 4/28/24 @ 1:30pm

Some of the critical praise the festival has received over the two decades of its history:

Lovers of Shakespeare will find moments to savor at The WILL-A-THON“!
—Martin Denton,

WILL’S PLAYSHOP players provide the bes- spoken Shakespeare in New York City
—the late, Joe Franklin, Bloomberg Radio

Gerber creates a delicious smorgasboard of Shakespeare’s works. I wondered how this could be done. Now I can marvel at the achievement.
—Rachel Levine, Splash Magazine Worldwide

The great quality of Shakespeare’s work is that it was always meant to be HEARD, not read- and by different voices.

Nothing realizes his genius better than hearing different voices reading the text in different rhythms and different tones.

And THAT, of course is the joy of WILL’S PLAYSHOP!
—Richard Easton(1933-2019), Tony Award Winner(2001), Theater Hall Of fame Honoree(2008), and Guest Artist in successive WILL-A-THONS :2013, 2014, and 2015.

” Charles E. Gerber knows more about Shakespeare and acting and how they go together than anybody I know , or have ever worked with, and this all shows in his work !!!” …..AUSTIN PENDLETON….Theater and Film Legend and  Participant in past and This Year’s Festival!  Tickets

Making Will-a-Thon 21 come alive include the following:

Charles Gerber

CHARLES E. GERBER (Conceiver, Director, Composer, Player) has been a professional actor now for 53 years and a producer/director for some thirty-five. He’s appeared on Broadway (OH! CALCUTTA!, HAMLET,) and has starred in two National Tours( TORCH SONG TRILOGY, and DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST).A Founding Artist of THE WORKSHOP THEATER along with his late wife, Carol Bennett Gerber, he’s appeared in a number of films and television series. For more, go to his YouTube Channel. GO WILL POWER!

Arthur Aulisi:

Arthur Aulisi: Arthur is thrilled to be doing another Will-A-thon and to be acting in New York City once again. These days, his artistic home is River Rep Theatre in the Catskills, of which he is the Associate Artistic Director. Next up with River Rep – ‘ART’ by Yasmina Reza. 

This may be about my 10th Will-a-thon, and it’s always a pleasure to work with such an incredibly talented group of artists on this amazing work of Shakespeare. What no one in the audience will ever know (if we do our jobs properly) is that we’re being led by the most knowledgeable and passionate teacher of Shakespeare that I have ever known. Doing the Will-a-thon is like being able to sing the Beatles greatest hits alongside Frank, Dino and Sammy with vocal coaching from Maria Callas. 

UP NEXT: Third Thursdays Trivia at the Tango7:00 at the Tango Cafe at Hurleyville Performing Arts Center, Hurleyville, NY  Second Wednesday Character Trivia at the Sullivan House Bar and Grill 7:00 at 544 Wurtsboro Mountain Rd.

Erik Kochenberger

ERIK KOCHENBERGER: Erik was trained at NYU’s Tisch School for the Performing Arts. Credits include: Sense and Sensibility (Cape Playhouse), The Great Gatsby (Ivoryton Theater), In This Place (Theatre Row), Macbeth (DCPA), Other Desert Cities (HPAC), FBI: Most Wanted (CBS), Rosie (Writing and Directorial Debut), and Against the Night (Ball Four Productions).

This festival is important to me because Shakespeare is the ultimate acting challenge. After participating for several years, it’s rewarding to look back at the growth we achieve each year in celebrating his life and work.

Zoe Anastassiou

Zoe Anastassiou: Zoe Anastassiou is a Greek-Aussie-British theatre/TV/film/voiceover actress. Zoe was just seen performing as part of Visible Ink – a writing program for cancer patients at MSK who write and are mentored by award-winning writers and then have their pieces come to life by many award-winning actors. Zoe can next be seen workshopping a few new play development pieces, with one on the road to the Edinburgh Fringe, and is soon to start recording her new role in the latest audio drama by How We Manage Stuff, where she is a regular voice. To find out more please visit

Photos are courtesy of the participants.


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