Shakespeare by the Numbers

The 2015 Door Shakespeare company poses on the newly designed set.

It is our first day of technical rehearsals for the 2015 season featuring William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and The Tempest, both directed by Leda Hoffmann. These rehearsals involve the addition of production elements including lights, costumes, negotiating the backstage wooded areas at night, as well as music and movement sequences. We have seven days left of rehearsal until our first preview audience views Romeo & Juliet.

As we near opening, I thought I would share a few “fun facts” about Door Shakespeare and break down the process of creating our season by the numbers. These shows are assembled by a very small set of extremely skilled artists in a very short amount of time. Below are the numbers that reveal how we produce Shakespeare for you under the stars in the Garden at Björklunden.

Here we go:


Actors, Season Director Leda Hoffmann and I, auditioned for this summer over a course of two months in Milwaukee and Chicago, with video submissions accepted from six states


Actors cast for the season, with the youngest cast member at 16 years old


Designers/directors on the production team


Returning company members


New company members


Actors’ Equity Association union contracts


Interns and apprentices from four different universities in the Midwest region


Company members housed on the peninsula by Door Shakespeare in nine locations for a duration lasting either four or up to 11 weeks


Hours of rehearsal for both plays in the season, over 19 days. This equates to about nine rehearsal days per play.


Pages of Shakespearean text to learn during the rehearsal period


Instruments played live onstage in the season, including an upright bass, guitar, clarinet and various drums, not to mention gorgeous choral singing


Weapons rented: three switchblades and two knives dulled to stage-safe standard for our production of Romeo & Juliet

More than 100

Schedules and rehearsal and/or performance reports generated by the Production Stage Manager during the season


Feet of lighting cable rented and run to the instruments during the season, and drawing 17,250 watts of power for this year’s lighting rig


Labels sewn into the beautiful costumes by our designer and production apprentice


Days it took two very talented people, Aaron Kopec and Erica Case, to build the new set structure (pictured)

16 (and counting)

Trips to Green Bay, Milwaukee, and Chicago for production purposes over the pre-production period


Bard Buddy Volunteers that facilitate our performances; call the office to be the 37th!


Shows in the season


Seats in the house for each performance; get yours today by calling 920.839.1500 or visit!

We hope you will visit the Garden at Björklunden in Baileys Harbor to witness the wonderful sum of all of these numbers which is the stunning 2015 season featuring Romeo & Juliet and The Tempest. The season runs July 3 – Aug. 15.

Amy J. Ludwigsen is the Executive Director of Door Shakespeare.