All for One and One for All!

Posted in Blogs, Photo essay, Theater and Dance

IslShakesprFest'15Ad2BY OLENA HODGES
Whidbey Life Magazine Contributors
June 24, 2015

The Island Shakespeare Festival kicked off their exciting 2015 season this weekend with the second annual Bard’s Ball fundraiser. This “Swashbuckling Soiree” featured delicious food and wine, fun activities, and some interwoven storytelling designed to build excitement for this season’s productions.

bbregistrationtable1Board member Dayle Gray stands with volunteer Pam Schell, Managing Director Michelle Durr sits with volunteer Kathryn Stevens, ready to welcome revelers at the Registration Tent!

bbsilentauction2Local artists and businesses donated to the silent auction, managed by our Pretty Pirate Donna Hood. A beautiful hand-blown glass vessel by Robert Hodges was certainly an eye catcher!

bbhennatatoo3Drew Christie, of Kalakala Co Mercantile fame, styled beautiful temporary henna tattoos, adding lovely body art to some fantastical costumes! Here, board member and Ball organizer Rene Neff chooses a design to complement her boho-chic attire.


Friends and foes alike challenged one another to duel in the sword-fighting tent! I was slain many times over. As you can see, Shelley Hartle bested me in our altercation. She had me running for the hills!

bbfood5Chef Vince Nattress from the Orchard Kitchen created a moveable feast of culinary delights. These small plates paired perfectly with delectable wine from Ott & Murphy Winery. This season’s Rosé is especially delightful!

bbfalconer6World renowned falconer Steve Layman was a hit with his majestic companion. Here he tells a bit of his tale to the flowery fairy Andrea Binder. Our favorite photographer, Michael Stadler, took portraits and candids throughout the evening but proved elusive to our other cameras!

bbactors7From left to right, our actors for the evening and 2015 company members: Michael Robinson, Valerie Huntington, Ahna Dunn-Wilder, Zora Lungren, Anasazi Bhakti, Olena Hodges (me!) and Andrew Yabroff.

bbstarcrossedlovers8Michael and Ahna played thwarted lovers, unable to find each other’s arms until the end of the evening.

bbduelinglover9Ahna had her princess-sister Zora for comfort, while Michael valiantly challenged anyone and everyone to fight in Ahna’s honor—until the challenge was accepted and he ran in fear!

bbsonnetreader10Andrew was commissioned to read Shakespeare’s sonnets to lovers. Here, Tim Callison asks him to serenade the lovely Robin Black-Callison.


Our other sonnet reader, Valerie, poses with the delightfully frightening giants of the evening, Matt Hoar and Siobhan Wright.

bbqueensplea12Anasazi Bhakti and Zora Lundgren spend some time on stage. Anasazi played a queen whose precious jeweled necklace was stolen by none other than ME! She spent the evening one step behind, trying to reclaim her stolen goods.


In the end, it was George Henny with the jewels, aptly stowed in a secret pocket no one dared inspect. If you see him, ask him where the necklace was hidden!

kingandqueen14At the end of the evening, last year’s King and Queen, George Henny and Carrie Whitney, passed their crowns to the new royalty. Charlie Murphy and Robin Black-Callison will reign until next year’s ball.

bb3centstamp15Guests enjoyed a lively concert by 3 Cent Stamp to conclude the festivities.

bbericrosepeg16A joyful evening for (from left to right) Artistic Director Rose Woods, Associate Artistic Director Eric Mulholland and Board President, Peggy Juve. We all had a fantastic time at the ball and excitement is growing for our sixth season!

Island Shakespeare Festival opens Friday, July 17 with “The Tempest,” directed by Rose Woods. On Thursday, July 23, we’ll add a world-premier adaptation of “The Three Musketeers,” adapted and directed by Gordon Carpenter, to our repertory. And don’t forget our Classic Conservatory for Young Adults production of “Antigone,” by Sophocles, directed by Kylie Soder, running Thursday through Saturday, July 9, 10, and 11.

Our tent is now located at 5476 Maxwelton Road in Langley. All performances are free! The house opens at 4:15 with performances beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. And remember, we pass the hat after each show!

All for one, and one for all!

Island Shakespeare Festival Acting Company Member Olena Hodges will be sharing her “behind the scenes” experiences of the Island Shakespeare Festival with WLM all summer.


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