Hi Darien Patch readers!
My name is Lauren Stuzin and I’m an intern for Shakespeare on the Sound, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt nonprofit theater organization that produces a free Shakespeare play every summer. This summer Shakespeare on the Sound is putting on a modern rendition of Shakespeare’s classic romance, ‘Romeo and Juliet.’
Interning for Shakespeare on the Sound has been a rewarding and informative experience thus far. I first heard about the organization through its bold and brilliant President, Leslie Lawrence. She put me in contact with the Shakespeare on the Sound’s Executive Director, Steven Yuhasz, and Administrative Manager, Scott Bartelson. I’ve been working closely with these dedicated employees who essentially devote all of their time (especially during ‘crunch-time,’ or the few months before the production debut) to the organization. The office space is very intimate (think four employees, myself, Scott, Steven, and another intern, Claire Whitin, working in an office made for two), which has provided for a very educational internship. The nonprofit theater world is much more involved than I had imagined, and it’s been rewarding to be a part of it.
In high school (I am now a graduating senior) I’ve studied Shakespeare extensively in my English classes. I’ve done a lot of interpretation of the text and analysis of Shakespeare’s prose. Thus, being able to listen in on the contemporary decisions of Joanna Settle, Shakespeare on the Sound’s Artistic Director, has been fascinating for me. I love the discussions I overhear or partake in regarding what modern interpretations and modifications will or will not work on the stage. Adapting classic Shakespeare plays to make them relevant to modern day is a difficult task, and many reiterations of the script are necessary. I’ve been working on a ‘study guide’ with the company’s Director of Education, Emily Bryan, which will be distributed at the productions as a means of both providing patrons with information about ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as well as information about the modifications Shakespeare on the Sound is making to the play to make it more modern and applicable. In doing this, I’ve once again been immersed in the beautiful language and stories Shakespeare wrote. I’ve also been able to better understand how modern Shakespeare plays work, and how careful one must be with cutting text, and characters from the play.
Shakespeare on the Sound’s version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is framed by the story of friends at a dinner party in 2012. It’s been really great getting to understand and analyze the frame in the context of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to share with the audience via the study guide I am working on.
Performances at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, CT will take place June 26- July 8 (no performances on July 2 or 4).
Performances at Pinkney Park in Rowayton, CT will take place July 18- July 29 (no performances July 23).
I hope all of you blog-readers are just as excited as I am to see the final product!
Editor's note: Here are more details on this year's performances of Shakespeare on the Sound in Greenwich and Rowayton.