Shakespeare in the Park

Following the process of putting together an outdoor Shakespeare experience!

   Jun 20


Oh my word I am so sorry I haven’t updated this in… well… almost a year.

So this year we are doing Titus Andronicus. Why? Because it’s awesome. That’s why. And it’s about time we tackle a show with some “issues” in it.

Titus, for those who aren’t familiar with it, contains a LOT of violence. Like, really a lot. Like as in 14 of the 21 characters in the play die before the end of it. Two of them are baked into a pie and fed to their mother. One character has her hands cut off and her tongue removed. Titus, the main character, has his hand cut off. So it’s a bit brutal.

That said, it’s also got some thought provoking issues in it. Titus is the perfect public servant- the man who has dedicated his life and 21 of his 25 children’s lives to Rome. He doesn’t want to lead Rome, he just wants to serve it. So when the new emperor promptly dismisses him from public life and follows this with several more insults and slights, we can understand Titus’ pain and anger. This isn’t to say Titus is entirely the victim either- upon returning to Rome from his last military campaign, he sacrifices the youngest child of the captive queen as a thanks to the gods for bringing him safely home. So can you blame Tamora for wanting to get revenge for her child’s life? What would YOU do to the person who killed your youngest child? And while victims today of sexual assault don’t always have the physical mutulations that  prevent Lavinia from telling her story, the stigma of rape silences just as many victims today as effectively as Lavnina is silenced.

So while the violence is so far over the top that it occasionally dips into farce, there is a lot to chew on in this show.

It’s also a lot of fun. The bad guys- Aaron, Chiron, and Demetrius- are so awful and stupid that it’s fun to hate them. It’s hard to feel pity for them when Titus kills the boys and bakes them into a pie to feed to their mother.

To sum it up, combine action-adventure with Greek tragedy,  and farce with heart wrenching pain… and you have Titus. There are scenes that nearly make me cry every night- followed by a scene where I laugh so hard I nearly fall off my bench. This is what you should prepare yourself for if you come to see the show.

Oh- show details?

Detroit Lakes City Park. Free Admission. Weather Permitting.

June 27 & 28 at 7:00 pm

June 29 at 4:00 pm

July 3 & 5 at 7:00 pm

Show runs approximately two hours with a ten minute intermission. And there is stage blood. LOTS of stage blood.


   Jun 20

Check out our awesome poster!!

Photo credit for the background image goes to Jim Sinclair!

2013 Poster

Come to the show!

   Jun 20

It’s the Final Countdown…

Or something like that…

Dress rehearsals are so close you can nearly smell them… (hopefully they don’t smell like stinky actor!) And after that is the show! This has been a cooler summer than we’ve been used to for rehearsing; no nights where we are sweltering just yet. (Yet?) Hopefully this lovely weather sticks around for the run of the show.

It’s always great seeing the show go from people struggling with lines and meanings to a truly fleshed out story where you can feel the emotions of the characters give life to the show.

Shows start next week! You excited?

   May 14

Congratulations to the Cast of The Winter’s Tale

Leontes, The King of Sicily– Christopher Schreiner

Polixenes, The King of Bohemia, Wilson Vave

Florizel,  Polixenes’s only son and heir, Devyn Becker (Also will play Officer and Mariner)

Autolyca,  A roguish peddler, gypsy, Katie Anderson

Antigonus,  Paulina’s husband, Noah (Tuppy) Mercil

Clown, The Shepherdess’s buffoonish son, Caleb Schreiner (Also will play Jailer)

Cleomena, A lady of Sicily, Rachel Vave

Hermione, The Queen of Sicily. Tianna Schwartz

Perdita, The daughter of Leontes and Hermione  Kodi Boit

Emilia, Hermione’s lady in waiting. Rosie Vave

Mopsa, Shepherdess Kaisa Vave

Dorcas, Shepherdess Rachel Vave

Shepherdess, An honorable sheep-tender, Shayna Rodeman

Camilla, An honest Sicilian noble woman, Mandi Neumann

Paulina,  A noblewoman of Sicily, Christine Kinney

Dianne,  A Sicilian lady Tammy Jensen

Thalia, A child of the Silician Court, Amara Sonnenberg (Also will play the Bear)

Decima– Servant in the court- Kendra Jensen

Scripts and schedule will be available at the theatre starting late this afternoon (May 14th).  Please pick up your script and read through it before rehearsal starts. Rehearsal starts at 7:00 on Monday, May 20th.  See you there!

   Apr 29

Winter’s Tale Audition Pieces

Here they are!!! Can you believe that in two weeks we will be close to having a cast show?

Remember that you are simply picking a piece to read for auditions; at our Shakespeare in the Park auditions it’s general for all roles.

Men #1


Is whispering nothing?
Is leaning cheek to cheek? is meeting noses?
Kissing with inside lip? stopping the career
Of laughing with a sigh?–a note infallible
Of breaking honesty–horsing foot on foot?
Skulking in corners? wishing clocks more swift?
Hours, minutes? noon, midnight? and all eyes
Blind with the pin and web but theirs, theirs only,
That would unseen be wicked? is this nothing?
Why, then the world and all that’s in’t is nothing;
The covering sky is nothing; Bohemia nothing;
My wife is nothing; nor nothing have these nothings,
If this be nothing.


Women #1



Sir, spare your threats:
To me can life be no commodity:
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
I do give lost; for I do feel it gone,
But know not how it went. My second joy
And first-fruit of my body, from his presence
I am barr’d, like one infectious. My third comfort
Starr’d most unluckily, is from my breast,
The innocent milk in its most innocent mouth,
Hauled out to murder: myself on every post
Proclaimed a strumpet: lastly, hurried
Here to this place, i’ the open air, before
I have got strength of limit. Now, my liege,
Tell me what blessings I have here alive,
That I should fear to die? Your honours all,
I do refer me to the oracle: Apollo be my judge!

Women #2


What studied torments, tyrant, hast for me?
What wheels? racks? fires? what flaying? boiling?
Must I receive, whose every word deserves
To taste of thy most worst?

That thou betray’dst Polixenes,’twas nothing;
That did but show thee, of a fool, inconstant
And damnable ingrateful: nor was’t much,
Thou wouldst have poison’d good Camilla’s honour,
To have her kill a king: poor trespasses,
More monstrous still to come: and then you caused
The casting forth to crows thy baby-daughter
To be or none or little,–O lords,
When I have said, cry ‘woe!’ the queen, the queen,
The sweet’st, dear’st creature’s dead,
and vengeance for’t not dropp’d down yet.



Men #2


Come, poor babe:
I have heard, but not believed, the spirits o’ the dead
May walk again: if such thing be, thy mother
Appear’d to me last night, and ne’er was dream
So like a waking. She says ‘Antigonus,
Since fate, against thy better disposition,
Hath made thy person for the thrower-out
Of my poor babe, according to thine oath,
Perdita, I prithee, call it. For this ungentle business
Put on thee by my lord, thou ne’er shalt see
Thy wife Paulina more.’ And so, with shrieks
She melted into air. [sets baby]Blossom, speed thee well!
There lie, the storm begins; poor wretch.
Weep I cannot, But my heart bleeds; Farewell!
I am gone forever.


Men #3


I understand the business, I hear it: to have an

open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand, is
necessary for a cut-purse; a good nose is requisite
also, to smell out work for the other senses. I see
this is the time that the unjust man doth thrive.
What an exchange had this been without boot! What
a boot is here with this exchange! The prince himself is about a piece of iniquity, stealing away from his father with his clog at his heels: if I thought it were a piece of
honesty to acquaint the king withal, I would not
do’t: I hold it the more knavery to conceal it;
and therein am I constant to my profession.

[Re-enter Clown and SHEPHERDESS]

Aside, aside; here is more matter for a hot brain:
every lane’s end, every shop, church, session,
hanging, yields a careful man work.



Women #3


I would there were no age between sixteen and
three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the
rest; for there is nothing in the between but
getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry,
stealing, fighting–Hark you now! Would any but
these boiled brains of nineteen and two-and-twenty
hunt in this weather? Good luck, an it be thy
will what have we here! Mercy on us, a barne a very
pretty barne! A boy or a girl, I wonder? A
pretty one; a very pretty one. I’ll take it up for
pity: yet I’ll tarry till my son come; he hallooed
but even now. Whoa, ho, hoa!







   Jul 11

2013: The Winter’s Tale

We’re already looking ahead… and wow is The Winter’s Tale an odd/random/bizarre one. The story goes a little something like this:

First half… Two kings (Leontes and Polixenes) are best friends, and one is visiting the other one, but has to leave. The king who is being visited (Leontes) doesn’t want his friend (Polixenes) to leave, so he asks his wife to convince him to stay. The Queen (Herimone) is suceessful in persuading the best friend to stay, but somehow the hosting king gets it into his head that his best friend and the Queen are having an affair and he goes insane with jealousy. The Queen (who is pregnant) is accused of getting pregnant by the best friend, and Leontes throws her in prision and tries to get one of his courtiers (Camilla) to poison his friend Polixenes. Camilla tells Polixenes that she is supposed to kill him, so he flees. The king Leontes also sends a messenger to the oracle at Delphi to see if Apollo can shed any light on the situation. Before the messenger returns, the court all tries to convince Leontes of the Queen’s innocence, but he denys them.  While in prison, the Queen gives birth to a baby, who the king refuses to see, and forces another courtier to take the baby girl far away and let her die of exposure. Dion, the messenger to Apollo, returns and says the Queen is innocent. The king refuses to believe him, so the Queen dies as does his only son. Leontes realizes he was wrong and is remorseful. Meanwhile, Antigonus, the courtier sent to expose the baby so she dies, takes the baby away and leaves her on a sea shore where she is found and taken in by a kind shepherdess, and Antigonus is then eaten by a bear. (See, this show is random!)

Second half… it’s now sixteen years later. (Time makes an appearance as a character.) The baby, Perdita, has grown up into a lovely young woman, and the best friend king, Polixenes, has son that is two or so years older… and guess what: they fall in love. However, since Perdita has been raised as a shepherdess, it’s not appropriate for Florizel (the son and prince) to marry her. Because Florizel is sneaking off to see her all the time, his father and Camilla follow him and partake in a sheep shearing feast, where some random Satyrs show up and do a dance. Florizel and Perdita run off to get married, and end up back at the original court of Perdita’s father…. though neither of them know of their relation to the other. Eventually, the Shepherdess shows up and produces items found on Perdita when she was a baby thus proving her to be a princess and allowing her to marry Florizel.

But wait… there’s more! Because a new level of strangeness needs to be added to the play, the Queen Hermione is brought back to life (albeit aged…) and is reunited with a grateful Leontes.

What do you get when you add insane jealousy + satyrs + resurrection? Winter’s Tale!

   Jul 10

A Rainy End to a Tragic Show (Fitting, eh?)

The Katie is back for her annual post-show wrap-up. You may know me this year as Eleanora, Queen of Verona and resident head-cutter-offer. Or perhaps Rinalda, the buttock-wielding stewardess; Anne Page, the charming bride; or even Biondella, the wearer of rainbow socks. (Need I say more?)

On the morning of July 8th, our director said–out loud, no less–and I’m paraphrasing here, “Wowee! This is the first time in Shakespeare in the Park’s history that we have never ever ever been rained out!” But little did she know, we still had one show left that afternoon…and by one show I mean 1/4 of a show, because it started pouring about four scenes in. Of course, it ended up being a beautiful day like 20 minutes after we started packing up, but it was okay. We still had a pretty wicked awesome show.

I always assumed doing this show would be a horrible idea because that’s what Nikki said, and I listen to her. But it ended up being absolutely magnificently amazing. We had a very varied (teehee) audition turnout, and on the evening of the readthrough, I saw Shakespeare in the Park veterans, newbies, friends from high school, and even the mother of a former cast member! And, as the story goes, that room full of many strangers became a room full of ridiculously loquacious family now that the show’s over. We really have been through everything together. After all, six people die in this show. That was rough.

Speaking of death, SWORDFIGHTING IS SO COOL. I did not know how cool swordfighting was until I saw people actually fight with swords, and then I was like, “WHOA.” It made me wish I wasn’t so intent on keeping peace, because swordfighting is really, really cool. (I think I’ve made my point.) Also on my list of cool things: having a box-shaped set. It was awesome because we could all sit and chill in the open outside air just behind the set. More importantly, we could hear our cues and not have to worry about missing entrances. Seriously, I don’t think anyone actually missed an entrance during this show. Huzzah! Cool thing #3: finishing a scorching hot matinee by stripping down to our Shakespearean undergarments and jumping in the lake!! Oh, what a beautiful, wonderful feeling. After spending nearly three hours covered in eight billion layers of skirt, that lake felt better than…bacon. (I’m dead serious.)

And now we eagerly look forward to A Winter’s Tale next year, which apparently takes place in summer, which lead me to the conclusion that Shakespeare is really really dumb. But there are fur pants in that show, but only the guys get to wear them. Lame, I know. But in all honesty, Romeo and Juliet was such an incredible experience. I made so many new friends–thank you, new friends, for allowing me to make you!–and it was such an exciting opportunity to do such a classic show. (Who knew R+J was so funny? BUTT SHAFT!) I can’t wait for next year. Thank you to Nikki for being awesome, and for everyone else who was awesome around the same time as this show. It was the best. I wouldn’t have changed a single thing about it.

Eleanora out.

   Jun 28

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow…

I can’t believe it. We open tomorrow.

This has been an amazing, amazing experience. 17 cast members, 40 pages of script, countless yards of fabric all adds up to a great production. Some of the highlights along the way have been: Contemporizing the script into “Bromeo and Juliet”, which has resulted in Jim being referred to as “Daddy Cap”; adding “meow” into the script in as many places as we could get away with it; trying to figure out how to say the word “wanton” so it doesn’t sound like “wonton”, then wondering if we could get a local Chinese establishment to sponsor us; learning stage combat and the bumps and bruises that came with it…

It’s been an absoulte blast.

Granted, it’s work… it always is, but it’s just like when you’re lifting a heavy object- if everyone lifts his or her piece, the whole thing becomes much lighter. This year, the entire cast has been pouring their hard work into this production, and it absoultely shows.

Come see the show. It’s some of the best Shakespeare I’ve seen in a while (and believe me, I’m my own biggest critic!). Leave us a review on our Facebook page!

   Jun 26

Show Opens THIS WEEK!!! Aaagh!

Detroit Lakes Shakespeare in the Park Presents:

Romeo & Juliet

Detroit Lakes City Park

Free performances! (Weather permitting)

 June 29, 7:00 pm;  June 30, 7:00 pm; & July 1, 4:00 pm

July 6, 7:00 pm; July 7, 7:00 pm;  & July 8, 4:00 pm

 More info at:

   Jun 18

R&J Update- Sorry for the silence!!


Aren’t they cute???

Hey Everyone,

Sorry we’ve been quiet on the blog, it’s been super busy geting the show setup and ready to go! It’s coming together quite nicely. The fights are all choreographed, just about everyone is getting solid on all of their lines, and the set is nearly finished!

It has been an absoulte blast working with this cast this year. I’ve never seen such a hardworking group! They should be very, very proud of this production. I know I am!

Here is a little teaser of some costumes: