Um, There's a Bunny on the Stage: Fond Memories from Shakespeare in the Park

Wooden O actors recall their favorite moments from 20 years of outdoor performances.

By Laura Dannen July 9, 2013

Kate (Kelly Kitchens) and Petruchio (David Quicksall), um, flirt in Wooden O's trailer-park rendition of The Taming of the Shrew.

There's some fun reminiscing happening over at, where Wooden O alum are recalling their favorite, wackiest moments from 20 years of Shakespeare in Seattle-area parks. I pulled a choice few, but you can find the full list here.

David Quicksall "When we did The Taming of the Shrew at Steel Lake in Federal Way, this kid brought her pet bunny.  At very inopportune moments, the bunny kept running onto the stage and was part of the action, and the little kid had to run up on stage to corral her bunny."

Kelly Kitchens "Shrew, I have to say, is always going to have a special place in my heart. Getting to throw a beer can across the stage, who doesn’t love that?  It’s hard to pick! I’d do it every summer. I would load up the van anytime they asked me to."

David Quicksall "My favorite Wooden O moment was last year in The Winter’s Tale as Autolycus. When I made my entrance, I would eat people’s food and drink their wine or whatever they had available. I went up to this one couple that had a big bottle of Mountain Dew. I cracked open the top of it and took a huge swallow, and by the time it got into my mouth and halfway into my stomach, I realized it was almost all vodka. So I had to make a decision whether to swallow all this alcohol that was in my mouth…remember I still had a whole show to do…or spit it out. So I swallowed it."

George Mount, artistic director, Seattle Shakespeare Company "During the first couple of years at the Luther Burbank performances, the cast would unload and build the set that I’d driven to the amphitheater in my grandfather’s pick-up truck, coincidentally call 'The Big O.' The cast would then pile into the back bed of The Big O and ramble up the hill to the community center building at the top of the hill from the park. In fact, the building, at one time, had been my elementary school. It was in one of the old classrooms that the cast (mostly made up of my high school and college friends—with a few new friends met in the Seattle theatre scene) would get into costume and do their hair and makeup. Once dressed, ready and warmed up for the performance, we would wait until about 15 minutes before the start time to ensure enough audience had gathered and then climb back into the truck."

"With the cast in costume and cheerily rolling into the park—very much like traveling players from Shakespeare’s time—we would drive right up to the stage, tumble out of the truck and begin the night’s show. My invocation to the actors as I would park the truck nearby would always be, 'Time to crank up the dream factory.'"

The outdoor theater season officially opens July 11 with Wooden O's Henry V and The Tempest, followed by the Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival July 13 & 14. Pack a picnic and don't mind the rabbits.

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