Thursday, July 10, 2014

KidsAct makes my Summer Magical


Contributed by: Grace K -  KidsAct! camper who is ready for her eighth year of fun at the park.

Kids Act is the reason I love summer. Ever since I can remember, I was there at Starr Jaycee park sword fighting, dancing, reciting Shakespeare, and so much more. I started KidsAct at six years old knowing absolutely no one. I was shy and scared, but the instructors and campers welcomed me with open arms. They love every single one of their campers and are so excited that you have joined them. Over the past seven years, I have made good friends and I have found some great role models to look up to. I have learned many sword fighting and combat moves (and not gotten hurt while doing it). I have learned how to dance to songs like  “Bad” and “Telephone”. I have learned how to think on the spot and make people laugh with improv. And I learned what Shakespeare actually is talking about! I even started going to the shows at night under the stars with my mom. Most of all though, I made memories that will last me a lifetime. Kids Act has made my summers in August magical and I hope it does the same for you!

Learn more and register for KidsAct! 

Friday, January 31, 2014

2014 Summer Internship Program

Water Works Theatre Company, Inc.

2014 Summer Internship Program
(Please scroll down  to see blog post regarding for audition information: 2014 Audition Information
Purpose:  To enhance the career prospects of aspiring actors, production technicians, and those interested in theater administration or education by offering opportunities to work in Equity conditions for an established Shakespeare theater.
Schedule:  Pre-production for some interns begins as early as April, 2014.  Acting rehearsals for all shows will begin after July 4, 2014. Performances will take place in Royal Oak’s Starr Jaycee Park July 31 – August 10, 2014.  Our Main Stage show, Hamlet, directed by Edward Nahhat, will be performed Thursdays through Sundays, while our popular Daylight Show, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, (Abridged) [Revised], directed by Sara Catheryn Wolf, will be performed on two weekday evenings and weekend mid-days from August 2 to 10, 2014.
  • Acting Intern:  As an acting intern, you would be performing in either our main stage production, or our daylight family show production. You will be performing Shakespeare under Equity conditions with professional actors. If applying for the acting internship, you must make an appointment and audition on either March 10 or 11.
  • Production Intern:  As a production intern, you would be working with trained technicians in your chosen field of study. The possibilities are: costumes, props, assistant stage management, lights, and sound.
  • Administrative Intern:  As an administrative intern, you would be assisting office administration, box office, marketing, hospitality and front of house duties, working with reservations, and assisting in publicity.
  • Education Intern:  As an education intern, you would be assisting one or both of our two one-week outdoor education workshops, Water Works Academy and KidsAct!, during the day. You would be working with children, assisting the leaders in teaching, and helping young people to build and produce a show at the end of each week.
  • A certificate and letter of recommendation.
  • Experience working under Equity conditions.
Provisions:  This is an unpaid position and interns are responsible for their own transportation.  
Application:  email your resume and a description of your area of interest to:
Auditions:  All prospective interns will fill out an application form.  All potential acting interns must attend an audition:
Monday, March 24: appointments are available between 6 pm and 10 pm

Tuesday, March 25:  appointments are available between 6 pm and 10 pm
About Water Works Theatre Company
Since 2001 Water Works has presented Shakespeare in the Park in Royal Oak and other award-winning productions.  Water Works enhances the quality of life in the community by offering Michigan’s only outdoor professional Shakespeare event, close to home in Royal Oak’s Starr Jaycee Park.  Water Works’ mission is to provide a place to call home for local professional actors, designers, directors, teachers, and other artists in a dynamic collaboration with skilled professional volunteers and other community supporters.  Learn more at:



July 31 – August 10



By William Shakespeare

Directed by Edward Nahhat

Performance Dates: July 31—August 10


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

(Abridged) [Revised]

By Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield

Directed by Sara Wolf Molnar

Performance Dates: August 2—10


Audition Dates:  Monday, March 24 and Tuesday, March 25, between 6:00 pm and 10 pm, ***New Location *** Royal Oak First United Methodist Church 320 W. Seventh Street in Royal Oak, Michigan. Please prepare two contrasting monologues, one Shakespeare, and one comedic contemporary piece, no longer than 4 minutes total.

Please request your preferred time for an audition appointment via email to or call 248 399 3727.  Please include your name, the date and time of your preferred slot, and an email address and phone number where we can contact you to confirm your appointment.  All prospective acting interns should attend auditions.  We support non-traditional casting.

All roles are open to Equity and non-Equity actors, with the exception of Laertes and Ophelia in Hamlet. Equity actors cast will be offered a Special Appearance Contract. All non-Equity actors will be paid a small stipend. Rehearsals will begin after July 4.

About Water Works Theatre Company

Since 2001 Water Works has presented Shakespeare in the Park in Royal Oak and other award-winning productions.  Water Works enhances the quality of life in the community by offering Michigan’s only outdoor professional Shakespeare event, close to home in Royal Oak’s Starr Jaycee Park.  Water Works’ mission is to provide a place to call home for local professional actors, designers, directors, teachers, and other artists in a dynamic collaboration with skilled professional volunteers and other community supporters.  Learn more at:


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

An Obsession Realized....

Contributed by Sara Catheryn Wolf
Director of Henry V

It all begins with a thought that becomes an idea.  That idea quickly becomes obsession, and then you have to find a way to realize it.  When that germ of a thought became an idea which morphed into an obsession to direct this play, I was enormously fortunate when I met with Ed Nahhat at that coffee shop in downtown Royal Oak to pitch it.
Fast forward about a half a year later, and that dream has been realized. I’m back home with Water Works Theatre, watching record crowds watch my obsession, being completely realized by talented local artists. Actors with such heart and determination, they rehearsed six out of seven days, learned the choreography to two major battle scenes, studied and worked the language- and some learned it in two languages- all since July 5. We have local designers, technicians, fight choreographers and prop masters who have fleshed out a great story and made it even greater. We have volunteers who work the shows for free- in marketing, PR, box office, hospitality, concessions, ushering- all out of love for the theater. I might also add that these designers, technicians, prop masters, interns and volunteers are working all three shows of our season (Henry V, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Summer Sonnets). Yet, of course, the most important part of Water Works is the audience. Imagine having a story to tell if there is no one there to tell it to? And what a story to tell...

Henry V  is a play for under dogs; it asks us to find our own greatness, to rise above the people we were, or how others may have viewed us.  "Harry" certainly does that- he goes through doubt, worry, loneliness, judgment and overwhelming odds. He shows us that WE are warriors for the working day, and that there is greatness in us all. In working through and rediscovering this play, the most striking thing was its honesty. Henry wears his heart on his sleeve, at least to the audience. He takes us on that journey with him, through his darkest hours to his incredible victory that surprises even him.  The story is an inspiration told by a mosaic of memorable characters.

All of this began from an obsession that was once an idea that started as a thought that was nourished by an Executive Director and a theater that believed in it.  How can I keep from singing?  I invite everyone to come and enjoy this truly wonderful production!

Please visit for more information on scheduling and tickets.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Masks are Back at The Park!

Contributed by Holly Conroy
House Manager, Board Member and Mask Designer

Last summer, for the Water Works production of The Tempest, I apprenticed with uber-talented Nina Barlow, to learn the lengthy processes for creating masks from paper pulp, papier mâché, and thermalplastics. It was a blast! Nina was so generous with her time, talent, and materials…and the woman is SO MUCH FUN!!! I became obsessed with mask-making. Everyone in my family, including my 97-year-old mother-in-law, submitted to having their faces cast in plaster gauze—the first step in creating perfectly-fitting custom-made masks. Since then, they’ve received all sorts of masks, from tree-faces to zombies to Elvis.
Masks are creeping into my other theatrical endeavors,too. A production of The Fantasticks I directed in June featured several, and I plan to make a set for Morgan Le Fey’s magical creatures in Camelot at Village Players in 2013.

So imagine my delight when I learned I would be given the opportunity to collaborate with Bart Bund on masks for A Midsummer Night’s Dream this summer! Woohooo! Bart’s imaginative staging is leading me in new directions and, once again, I’m having a blast! In addition to some very silly masks for the “mechanicals,” I’m stretching my skills on a couple of over-the-top fairies and a changeling boy. I hope they turn out as snazzy in reality as they are in my mind! Come and see!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rewriting Shakespeare

By Audra Lord
WWT Administrative Manager and Resident Playwright

The great thing about working for Water Works Theatre Company is that they truly recognize and honor the varied skills of their team; in fact, so many of us wear different hats that it's not at all uncommon to see the bookkeeper making masks or the office wench writing a play! 

Last season, Executive Director Ed Nahhat wanted to offer a new event: afternoon performances of Shakespeare's sonnets in Starr Jaycee Park. Ed was familiar with my successes as a local playwright and suggested that I be involved.  I got to work and cobbled together a script from Shakespeare's sonnets, creating a theatrical event which would ultimately become the one-act play, Summer Sonnets. To give it narrative structure, I set it in the Classic Hollywood era, using the basic bones of All About Eve, a classic Bette Davis film that explores the rivalry between an aging stage diva and a much younger newcomer. Throw in some wacky film fans, a tuneless minstrel, a violent death, and...wham! It was a play. The staged reading was well received (and well-executed by Director Holly Conroy and her talented cast) that we decided that Summer Sonnets should have an encore.

Flash forward to this year's Version 2.0. The rewrite is complete, and currently in rehearsals under the able direction of JM Ethridge, a woman whose comic instincts are impeccable. If I die before she does, I'd like her to write the eulogy. I would probably laugh myself back to life. The new script has been contemporized, sexied-up and moved to contemporary Hollywood. We've added more music and amped up the wackiness, celebrity, bitchiness and sleaze. It's fantastic, unique and hilarious, and I am very proud of the part I played in making this happen. When I began to write plays, I never dreamed I would end up rewriting Shakespeare, but again this summer, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Please join us for this FREE show Saturdays and Sundays August 4, 5, 11 and 12 at 3:00pm. No tickets necessary, just come as you are. We look forward to seeing you at the park!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

What Will You Do With YOUR Kids This Summer???

KidsAct! Rehearsal

By Jennifer Clark, WWT Marketing Director & KidsAct! Mom

School lets out in 2 weeks. In my mind, as a working parent, is the ever-present Summer Vacation Question: What am I going to do with my kids?

Seven years ago, I stumbled upon an answer that has kept my children enthralled and excited every summer. KidsAct!When my son was six years old, he was interested in typical boy stuff, including sword-fighting pirates and heroes. As I researched camps, it won’t surprise you that I didn’t find many that offered sword-fighting as an option. One did … KidsAct! (grades 1-8).

Now, seven years later, my son is ready to embark upon his “Senior Year” in KidsAct!-- he can hardly wait to start the program August! He’s enjoyed the benefits with opportunities few kids can boast about. He’s handled a sword every summer and fought choreographed swordfights. Plus, he’s performed one of these fights while reciting lines from Macbeth. During his seven years in the KidsAct! program, Jarod has done scenework from Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet (yes, he performed the Balcony Scene at 8 years old), Macbeth, Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Tempest. Plus, he’s the only kid from the program who can say he PERFORMED in the Main Production. At only 9 years old, he auditioned and was cast in Macbeth, giving him the unique opportunity to perform in THREE fight scenes, including a death scene, in a professional theater production.

As a mom, I can tell you that his KidsAct! experience transfers to his school life. He’s a confident 13 year old who can speak well in front of others, participating in the Optimist Club Speech Competition these past few years. Plus, he’s become a key volunteer for the Water Works Theatre Company – but that’s another blog.

Swordfighting isn’t the only draw. And now my daughter, only a baby when her brother began his experience with KidsAct!, is in her second summer with the program. The big attraction for her isn’t swords … it’s the unique dancing and improvisation she learns and performs. Her enthusiasm drew two of her best friends into the program – one of them even drives from Grosse Pointe to come to Starr-Jaycee Park ! A chance to learn Shakespeare, act, do improvisational exercises and even work with swords is unique for any child. Each of these girls has acquired a level of confidence while enjoying the opportunity to perform on the Water Works Theatre stage in the park.

I can tell you that Water Works, first a special experience for my kids, has given me my own unique challenges and memories as a member of the Water Works Theatre Company Staff. I’ve met so many people, faced my own challenges and had such fun as the Events & Community Marketing Director and Park Hospitality Manager. But wait … that’s even a different blog … J

Next year, Jarod has a new Water Works challenge to look forward to … He will make the transition and graduate to the Water Works Academy (grades 9-12) . He can hardly wait to experience this next level of theatrical education. More scenework … more one-on-one training … more opportunities to learn and grow and become more confident. Shakespeare shaped by the hands of high school students. Even I’m excited to see where he goes as his Water Works education continues!

So, what are you going to do with YOUR kids this summer? Both my kids are going to KidsAct!

To learn more about KidsAct! (grades 1-8) and Water Works Academy (grades 9-12) please  visit

Water Works Academy Student Actors