Memories of Summer Shakespeare

In Henry VI, Part I, Richard Plantagenet tells listeners, “I’ll note you in my book of memory.” Of course, he goes on to remark that he is doing so only to threaten and excoriate them later with the recollection. Summer Shakespeare makes no such threats, but with the tenth anniversary of our troupe upon us, we find a trip down memory lane only fitting. We’ve collaborated with those who have been with us from the beginning to come up with a list of some of Summer Shakespeare’s most memorable moments from each of the ten productions we’ve undertaken. How many of these do you remember?

  • Love’s Labor’s Lost (1995)—$1 ticket prices; enthusiastic initial outing
  • As You Like It (1996)—balloons, balloons, balloons, including a four-foot orange one that stayed up for weeks; only serious cast member injury (sorry, Doug!)
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (1997)—Summer Shakespeare’s only non-Shakespeare play; an original portrait by artist Mark Mulfinger set piece; book-in-hand performance (with only 12 hours’ notice) because of actress illness
  • Two Gentlemen of Verona (1998)—Arnold Vaughn, the big orange Chow that played Crab; instant-film pictures of cast and audience members during curtain call

*five-year hiatus, due to various and sundry complications

  • As You Like It (2004)—lime green AYLI logo t-shirts (Do you have one?)
  • Comedy of Errors (2005)—launch of Antipholi Tech Support, (computer geeks behind Summer Shakespeare and The Greenville Shakespeare Company); the July 4th performance featuring a sparkler-carrying member of the clergy
  • Love’s Labor’s Lost (2006)— Shakespeare bobblehead debut (Look for him in future Summer Shakespeare productions!)
  • Midsummer Night’s Dream (2007)—red-nosed Summer Shakespeare logo; flood twenty minutes before showtime
  • Tempest (2008)—performances signed for the deaf; initial Brave New World Project; the duck!

What are your favorite memories of Summer Shakespeare? What was your first Summer Shakespeare production? How many have you seen?

Tags: ,

Filed under:Uncategorized

4 Responses to “Memories of Summer Shakespeare”

  • Becky Carnahan Says:

    We’ve been attending since the revival in 2004 when our boys were 5,6,7, and 9. It’s become part of our summer tradition to invite friends and make an evening of it, gathering for ice cream afterwards. Our boys still talk about the woodsman with the leaf blower from “As You Like It” (I think).

  • Heather Brown Says:

    My first Summer Shakespeare attendance was in 2004 to ‘As You Like It,’ and as I was at the tender age of 15, the things that struck me the most about the production was that the poor fellow playing Orlando was terribly sunburned (which made the wrestling match quite interesting, and painful, to watch).

    I have also had the privilege to see Comedy of Errors (‘05), Love’s Labor’s Lost (‘06), Midsummer Night’s Dream (‘07), Tempest (‘08)–all of which have been a delight to watch and a highlight of the summer. It is always a pleasure to see what hilarious twist away from traditional design has been sprinkled throughout the production.

    And yes, I did get a lime green AYLI t-shirt as well as a Shakespeare bobblehead.

  • Michael C. Says:

    One of my favorite Summer Shakespeare memories is from the last time you did Two Gentlemen of Verona (1998). The whole production was high energy, but the curtain call with unexpected Polaroid photos of the cast AND the audience was the cherry on top! As I recall we ended up with one of the photos that was given away too.

  • Anna Turner Says:

    I loved your “Importance of Being Earnest.” It was my introduction to your superior summer sessions. I attend each year that I can (but unfortunately, had out of town meetings for each performance last year). Keep up the great work.

Leave a Reply