“Why I Love DSF”: Carol VanZoeren

Each month leading up to the 2013 Festival, we will ask a different DSF audience member to share why they love DSF.

We know different people come to the Festival for different reasons, so we are expecting each answer to be unique.

Carol VanZoeren – Wilmington, DE

I got hooked on Shakespeare as a college freshman, when I saw a video of Shakespeare in the Park’s King Lear. When the devilishly handsome Edmund came out to deliver the “Why bastard? Wherefore base?” speech with the wind whipping his roguishly long hair… I. Was. Done. I knew immediately that Shakespeare on the page ain’t nothin’ compared with Shakespeare on the stage. And that the best stages are outdoors.

I’ve seen numerous productions outdoors in the summer over the years. All have their special charm. But having seen every DSF production sinceMidsummer back at Archmere, my summer is simply not complete without it. Of course the show itself is always wonderful. As a Shakespeare veteran – actor and audience member – I delight at the new life the DSF company unfailingly brings to familiar text.

Beyond the show, though, DSF really makes it a Festival. An Event. There’s the camaraderie of the picnickers of course, which is lovely.  But there are so many special touches on top of that – the goofy pre-show, complementary bug spray, enough Porta-Potties, the games the apprentices play with the picnicking audience. And especially the “we’re all in this together” spirit when the weather turns.

I remember one rain delay during Richard III. DSF busted open the after-party wine in the Carriage House for the whole audience to wait it out. Strangers bonded over “Oh I hope this clears, I SO want to see the rest of this show!” (FYI, unfortunately it did not clear that night. Fortunately, I was able to use my raincheck at a later performance. Wow.)

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the factoids posted along the path up the long hill from the parking lot. (*) Thank you, David, for updating those in 2012! They’re entertaining and enlightening. More importantly, they give us an excuse to pause and catch our breath as our picnic supplies become more and more cumbersome with the elevation.

Thank you DSF for 10 years of fun, and here’s to a long and storied run!

(*) Don’t worry, there’s a back way if the walk’s too difficult. For me, lugging stuff up that hill is part of the whole experience!

“Why I Love DSF”: Doug Doerfler (June 2013)
“Why I Love DSF”: Maureen McCaffery (May 2013)
“Why I Love DSF”: Lourdes Puig and Alicia Bonilla-Puig (April 2013)
“Why I Love DSF”: Matt Sullivan (March 2013)
“Why I Love DSF”: Deborah Yutzy (December 2012)