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Sweet Tea Testimonials: The Life of Language

By October 5, 2014January 12th, 2022No Comments

By Jessica Osnoe, STS Master of Education

One of my earliest experiences with Shakespeare is attempting to read Hamlet around age ten. I remember following the story, but becoming frustrated with the language because I knew there was meaning in it that I couldn’t yet see. I felt relieved to learn a few years later that Shakespeare’s works, and indeed all plays, weren’t meant simply to be read; they were meant to be acted, to be lived out onstage.

As a lover of words, I am fascinated by the way language works, especially in performance. The act of breathing – respiration – includes both inspiration (breathing in) and expiration (breathing out), which gives the language a unique life each time it is spoken. Words live (inspire) and die (expire) in a single breath, making each performance a different expression in the life of the language.

One of the things I love most about Sweet Tea Shakespeare is its commitment to living out the beauty of language in performance. Every production begins with attention to the text and builds a shared understanding of the story among the actors so that each night, we can live each word with the audience, celebrating the potency and fragility of language well-lived and of a story well-told.

The process of creating the characteristic atmosphere for each Sweet Tea Shakespeare performance also inspires a unique fellowship among the cast and crew. A Sweet Tea show is never only about the play, so those who invest their time gain not only experience in acting, but the joy and satisfaction of bringing about a creative vision with like-minded people. The sweetness of this shared fellowship and understanding makes working with this company one of the joys of my life. I am honored to share in Sweet Tea Shakespeare’s vision and invite you, as you are willing and able, to own part of the vision as well.

Sweet Tea