We asked Shaun & Pete a few questions about their life and their art.
PETE – Who is your favorite character from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and why? Peter Quince. Art doesn’t happen without the Quinces of the world.
SHAUN – What are you most looking forward to about this production in particular? I’m most looking forward to working with Smith Street again. I just had my first character study session with Jonathan, our director, and after it was over I walked in the area near Carroll Park where we perform. I realized how much like home that area feels, largely due to the fact that being there in the summer with SSS is has become such a special time for me. Performing with Smith Street and doing the kind of wonderfully in-depth, collaborative work they inspire and working alongside such generous, dedicated artists has provided some of the loveliest, most meaningful experiences of my career. I love this company and I love working on and performing Shakespeare with them.
SHAUN – What sound or noise do you love? I love the sound of the violin or cello and the sound of water: rain, ocean waves, babbling brook, water in a bathtub, puddle splashes, whatever. All of these sounds calm my heart (even when the water is causing mayhem).
PETE – What sound or noise do you love? The sound of ice hitting a full glass.
SHAUN – What sound or noise do you hate? The sound of plastic grocery bags or plastic packaging rustling, iron or metal screeching, people popping their gum, sniffling noses, packing tape being pulled from its dispenser and stretched across a box.
PETE – What sound or noise do you hate? The Mister Softee Jingle.
SHAUN – What is your favorite performance from a Shakespeare movie or play. Most recently I’ve come across Ben Wishaw playing King Richard II and Sophie Okonedo playing Queen Margaret, both from the TV series The Hollow Crown, which dramatizes Shakespeare’s history plays in wonderfully produced episodes. Their performances are perfect and astounding. I realized while I was watching them that I was holding my breath, so they quite literally took my breath away.
PETE – What is your favorite Shakespeare quote or section of text from any of this plays and why?
“When a man’s verses cannot be understood nor a man’s good wit seconded with understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room.” It perfectly captures the isolation of not being able to connect.
SHAUN – Have you just finished a project or are about to start a project that you’d like to tell us about outside of SSS? Eulogy, a short film that I’ve written and am directing. It features several friends whose work I greatly admire and respect, Jennifer Tsay and Daniel Robert Walton (an SSS alum) among them. I love creation and collaboration so creating with friends who share a collaborative, hard working spirit is a joy for me.
PETE – Have you just finished a project or are about to start a project that you’d like to tell us about outside of SSS? My adaptation of Three Musketeers just went up in New Orleans, and I’m about to start rehearsals for Austin Pendleton’s adaptation of Richard III (combining it with key scenes from Henry VI part 3).
PETE – What is your favorite performance from a Shakespeare movie or play. I love Michael Keaton’s Dogberry. He’s just doing Beetlejuice. But it works!
For more information on SHAUN BENNET FAUNTLEROY
For more information on PETE MCELLIGOTT and his Theater Company TEN BONES.
For more information about Smith Street Stage and our 2018 production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM