“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Shakespeare’s line from As You Like It has a personal meaning to the casts and crews of Rowayton’s Shakespeare on the Sound, who really have been players, and hardworking ones at that. Megan Crowley McAllister conceived Shakespeare on the Sound as a way to put on free outdoor, modern productions of Shakespeare’s plays, at Pinkney Park and, from 2007 to 2012, Baldwin Park in Greenwich. McAllister brought Ezra Barnes aboard, who served as the founding artistic director from its inception in 1996 until 2008. SOS drew 6,000 guests during the 1996 season with Much Ado About Nothing, attracted an audience of 10,500 in 1999 with Romeo and Juliet—in which Scrubs star Zach Braff played Romeo—and hit a high in 2009 (under the artistic direction of Joanna Settle) with 14,000 attending A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This June, with Steven Yuhasz serving as executive director (2012 to present), the open-air production company will celebrate its twentieth season with All’s Well That Ends Well. In honor of the inspiring history of this beloved local nonprofit, we take a look back at some of the performances that have entertained us over the years.
Shakespeare on the Sound’s inaugural poster for Much Ado About Nothing in 1996.
The raucous events of Twelfth Night can be gleaned from Shakespeare on the Sound’s marvelous 1997 poster advertising the production.
1999’s poster advertising Romeo and Juliet, starring Zach Braff as Romeo, which drew (what was at the time) an all-time high of 10,500 guests that season.
The poster for 2006’s production of Macbeth was reminiscent of the color and lighting of Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitar Player painting.
The 2007 production of The Comedy of Errors was the first year Shakespeare on the Sound performed at both Pinkney Park in Rowayton and Baldwin Park in Greenwich.
The tone of the 2008 production poster for Julius Caesar was noticeably darker, and fittingly so, as it was the last year founding artistic director Ezra Barnes was at the helm.
The 2009 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was the Shakespeare on the Sound’s most attended, with 14,000 guests during the season.
The 2013 poster for the production of As You Like It. With Steven Yuhasz taking over as executive director in 2012, SOS began teaching Shakespeare in schools, and founded a summer camp and an anti-bullying program called Speaking Daggers. The 2013 performance of As You Like It is regarded as one of the best productions to date.
Scrubs star, and Garden State writer/director/star, Zach Braff revels in his role as the love-struck Capulet in 1999’s Romeo and Juliet.
A shot from 1998’s production of Taming of the Shrew.
A shot of the revered 2001 production of Henry V.
The stark ferocity of the actors in 2008’s production of Julius Caesar.
A look at how the production has evolved over the years. From 1999’s Romeo and Juliet…
…to the 2008 production of Julius Caesar.
Ezra Barnes in 2005’s The Tempest. Barnes served as artistic director of Shakespeare on the Sound for twelve years.