Fire at CT’s Shakespeare Theater

My heart weeps for a Connecticut theater destroyed by fire recently.

I grew up attending performances at the American Shakespeare Festival Theater in Stratford, CT. My mother took my sister and me to its shows, mostly Shakespeare plays; it’s where my love for the bard was born.

At the time, I didn’t appreciate the names of the actors I saw: Katherine Hepburn, James Earl Jones, and Morris Carnovsky. We’d picnic on the lawn overlooking the shoreline and loved the building itself, modeled after the Globe in England.

I played the Wall in the Pyramus & Thisbe scene in Act V of Midsummer’s Night Dream at a local summer camp. Decades later, as a middle school teacher, I taught the same play and directed student productions.

When my then boyfriend first met my family, my mother took us to a performance of Othello. Maybe not the best play for romance, but it began our Shakespeare journey together. Living in London from 1982-1987, we attended as many Royal Shakespeare Company shows as we could. Returning to the US, we were (and continue to be) delighted to find the Shakespeare Theater of NJ 20 minutes from our house.

As yet, no cause of the fire has emerged. Arson? I hope not.

Let’s treasure our art spaces; it’s what makes us human.

The Globe in London





About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. ( I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
This entry was posted in commentary, Education, Family, Shakespeare, teaching, Theater and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fire at CT’s Shakespeare Theater

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s