Door Shakespeare Celebrates Valentine’s Day

Danny Junod.

In conjunction with the most lovey-dovey holiday of the year – St. Valentine’s Day – Door Shakespeare will present “What’s Mine, Is Yours,” an evening of Shakespearean scenes, sonnets, games, and warm wintery beverages on Feb. 15, 8 pm, at the Ephraim Village Hall.

Danny Junod of the Door Shakespeare Company took time to share his thoughts on Shakespeare…and what he believes Billy Shakespeare would think of Hallmark’s biggest holiday.

Sally Slattery (SS): Tell me a little bit about your education.

Danny Junod (DJ): I started acting in high school, and learned a great deal from my drama teacher about the discipline required in order to study theatre. I received a BA in drama from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., which was an all-encompassing study of theatre arts. They do not focus on a particular technique or genre of theatre. I was lucky to have experience in classical, contemporary, avant-garde, Renaissance, etc. styles of acting.

It was post college, however, that helped to really coalesce all of what I had learned in college into an effective way of working for me as an actor. I moved to LA and studied in a private class with a teacher/director/coach by the name of Kerrie Keane.

And every new play or part that I work on is an opportunity for education as an actor. It is an ever-growing art form.

SS: You took part in Door Shakespeare last season – what characters did you play? Tell me about the experience.

DJ: Last year I played Banquo in Macbeth and Dumaine in Love’s Labour’s Lost. The experience was very rewarding and educational. It was my first time performing in an outdoor theater space. The setting was certainly one of the most informative aspects of the process. Performing Shakespeare surrounded by nature added a great deal of inspiration to the parts that I played, and helped me as actor to access a lot of the honesty of the characters.

It was also a rewarding and unique experience to find such an interest and passion for Shakespeare in Door County. Every audience we had gave the plays such a great energy that it made each performance really exciting.

SS: How are you spending your winter?

DJ: I have spent this winter splitting my time between Door County and Chicago. While in Door County I have been enjoying the snow and the outdoors, and also working part time at Base Camp.

I’ve also been working part time at Patagonia in Chicago, but also maintaining theatre contacts and performing with a group called The Back Room Shakespeare Project in The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov.

SS: Why do you encourage folks to attend “What’s Mine, Is Yours?”

DJ: This event is one of the best examples of what makes Door County so special. It gives residents an opportunity to get out during the cold winter months and enjoy the artistic culture that is so prevalent up here.

It’s also a great testament to this community and its theatre reputation. The actors performing in this event are professional actors traveling all the way from Chicago in order to share Shakespeare’s words.

SS: What do you believe Shakespeare would think of Valentine’s Day?

DJ: I think Shakespeare would love Valentine’s Day. He was not afraid of the excesses of emotion, and Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to indulge in the most beautiful emotion of them all.

SS: What has Shakespeare taught you about love?

DJ: Shakespeare has taught me that above all else love requires patience. All of his characters, whether they are from one of his comedies or from one of his tragedies, have learned the hard way that patience is the most essential part of love. Petruchio needs to have a mountain of patience to tame Kate and win her love in Taming of the Shrew. And if only Romeo and Juliet had been a little older, or learned the lesson of patience a little earlier, they may have lived a long life of wedded bliss.

The cost to attend “What’s Mine, Is Yours” is $15 for adults and $10 for children. All proceeds benefit Door Shakespeare’s 2014 Season. Call 920.839.1500 to reserve tickets.

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