Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Summer of Déjà Vu

Contributed by: Andrew Papa, one-third of the cast of our hilarious daylight show this season

My summer of 2014 could probably best be labeled “The Summer of Déjà Vu.”   Not only is this my second year working for the Water Works Theatre Company, it’s also my second time performing in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised].  Despite the befuddlement that usually accompanies déjà vu moments, these particular repeat experiences are both humbling and exhilarating.  This is a magnificent company to work for, and I get to perform in one of my favorite shows of all time.  What could be better?

But looking ahead at this particular production, there are so many new and exciting elements.  What makes this show so much fun is that no two productions are alike.  I suppose you could say that about any play, but it could not be truer than with this one.  Many of the show’s key moments are completely made up by the cast – not just by what’s in the script – and a great deal of it is improvised.  Just which parts are made up, you might ask?  You just might have to comes a few times to see for yourself.  J

This is a great cast, a great company, and a wonderful way to spend the summer…even if it is, as the great Yogi Berra once said, “déjà vu all over again.” 

Visit for tickets to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abriged) [Revised].

Thursday, July 31, 2014

To Be: Something Wicked This Way Comes

My son Jarod and I before the annual WWT fundraiser

Contributed by Jenni Carmichael Clark, WWT Community Marketing and Events Director

Ten years ago I learned of a theatre education program where my son could do sword-fighting, learn acting skills and become familiar with Shakespeare that took place outside in a local park… I signed him up immediately.

Eignt years ago I received an invitation to be part of that program. I remember the invitation clearly. Here was a unique opportunity to apply my event planning and marketing skills within the theatrical community -- coordinating fundraising, special events, playbill planning and community outreach programs to get the word out about Shakespeare Royal Oak. I didn't hesitate then either. I signed me up.

Since that time I have watched my son perform on the Water Works Theatre Company stage. I have worked alongside him, and countless other theatre lover volunteers, to breathe life into each season and manage a Hospitality tent that lets our audience know how important they are and how much we appreciate their continuing support of our expanding programs. I have witnessed stellar performances under the stars and the fortitude of actors and crew on misty, rainy, chilly and sweltering summer nights.

Since that time I have coordinated eight fundraisers, attended countless community organization meetings to “spread the word,” written articles and sold advertisements to businesses who also value what our programs offer. And I have spoken with thousands about the amazing experience that we call Shakespeare Royal Oak. 

To be part of this organization – and what my son calls “The Best Two Weeks of the Summer” – is Wicked Awesome! I am honored to promote a program that employs local artists and makes Shakespeare productions possible in my hometown. I am passionate about sharing the fact that these plays can be accessible and affordable and fun for all ages. I am excited to see Hamlet amidst the slings and arrows of park improvements and inclement weather that haunted our “tech week” but never daunted our artists … or our staff.

To BE part of Shakespeare Royal Oak is an amazing leap of faith. Each spring we go once more into the breach. What a piece of work is every man, woman and child involved in our programs. The play’s the thing that brings them back each season.

Shakespeare Royal Oak is an exceptional program. Our community is lucky to have it. My kids are lucky to grow up with it. I am passionate to be part of it …. I celebrate that it is To Be … every summer. 

Visit for more information and tickets for this season which runs July 31 - August 10. 

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!