Labyrinth: A Legacy of Language

UntitledFrom the heights of Shakespeare’s own time to the current day, every writer who has put pen to page has done so under the guiding light of the Bard’s influence. What better way to celebrate Shakespeare’s marvelous heritage than to explore the traces of his genius left to us in the writings of his artistic children. Labyrinth will take you on a journey through the works of other great playwrights through the centuries: Stoppard, Williams, Ibsen, and Sheridan, until at last you reach the core and center – Shakespeare’s own works.

Cast & Staff

Cast & Staff

The Cast

The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard

Max Brad Lussier
Charlotte Sr. Danielle Dwyer

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Blanche Rachel McKendree

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

Krogstad Chris Kanaga
Mrs. Linde Sr. Danielle Dwyer

The School for Scandal by Richard Sheridan

Joseph Surface Chris Kanaga
Servant Rachel McKendree
Lady Teazle Heather Norman
Sir Peter Brad Lussier
Charles Surface Peter Haig

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

Benedick Peter Haig
Beatrice Rachel McKendree

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Hamlet Kyle Norman
Chorus Brad Lussier, Sr. Phoenix Catlin, Rachel McKendree,Peter Haig, Stephanie Haig, Kate Shannon, Heather Norman

Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

Chiron Rachel McKendree
Demetrius Peter Haig
Tamora Sr. Danielle Dwyer
Titus Chris Kanaga

Tempest by William Shakespeare

Prospero Brad Lussier


Sr. Danielle Dwyer
Technical Director
Chris Kanaga

To see the entire program or read the program notes click here

News & Reviews

News & Reviews

A chance for everyone to bring the Bard to life

Written by John Watters,  Barnstable Patriot A-Sonnets logo-020714 There are few people in history who have a worldwide celebration of the 450th anniversary of their birthday, but then there are only a few that have the name recognition of the literary legend William Shakespeare. (A recent survey put the Bard, in with Lincoln, Napoleon, Mohammed and Jesus Christ as the most historically recognized names globally.) In honor of Shakespeare, who quilled his words to parchment in the 16th and 17th century, the Elements Theatre Company of the Community of Jesus has started the Word Made Flesh project, which will allow you and participants from all around the world to use 21st century technology to tape performances of any one of his 154 sonnets. How amused and amazed would the Bard be that people are making sonnet “selfies”? It does bring another meaning to his words that “All the world’s a stage, / And all the men and women merely players.” “It’s hard to remember exactly how The Word to Flesh Project got started,” said Sr. Danielle Dwyer, artistic director of Elements. “Once the idea began to formulate, you kind of forget whose original idea it was. We just saw it as a practical and fun way to put Shakespeare’s words into the hands of the people. By having people from all over do it, it sort of becomes a quilt of words if you will.” “We have people six years old to age 94 sign up to participate,” added Dwyer. If you would like to participate you just need to go to There you peruse the list of sonnets pick one you might like to do (I picked Sonnet 139). You familiarize yourself with it, and then with whatever method you wish to record it, such as phone, iPad or video camera, you submit it to the project so even you can be a player on the stage. As you read this, Elements Theatre Company is in New York performing an original work titled Labyrinth: A Legacy of Language, exploring Shakespeare’s influence on other playwrights through the ages. The works of Richard Sheridan, Henrik Ibsen and Tom Stoppard are woven together with Shakespeare to create this new work. Don’t fret if you didn’t get a chance to catch Elements performances in NYC, they are bringing the play home and will perform it at the Community of Jesus’ Paraclete House theater on April 25 and 26. So for those of you who would like to brush up your Shakespeare and dip your toe into performing a Sonnet in the safety of your own home, visit the Word Made Flesh website, and join in; its easy and fun.

From the Director

From the Director

Dear Friends,

Welcome to Labyrinth: A Legacy of Language, an original piece for Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday. It is our great joy and delight to offer this show as a tribute to his inspiration and ongoing influence through the last four and half centuries.

In thinking about his birthday celebrations, what better way to celebrate than to bring together works that speak of his influence and at the same time speak of their own integrity. Shakespeare’s exceptional and original grasp of the human condition; its excesses and depravity; its joy and heroism all gave birth to new ideas and possibilities of storytelling for the stage. Gathering and culling through playwrights who claim him as a direct influence was an overwhelming yet awesome task. Each of the four playwrights we chose were and are still mavericks in their own right; owing a debt of gratitude to Shakespeare’s influence. It is true Ophelia’s quote “We know what we are, but know not what we may be. “ His genius opened the door for others to explore and expand drama and its reach to greater truth.

In the course of the show you will see some very specific stylistic choices. Besides looking for playwrights influenced by Shakespeare, we wanted there to be a unifying theme and so all of the eight scenes grapple with the issues of forgiveness and or revenge. The rythym of Labyrinth takes its direction from its name, starting with a work from the last thirty years and traveling back in time until it reaches the center and core of works from Shakespeare. Keeping consistent with the nature of celebrating these 450 years, a series of windows from those years make up the set as a way to view the show, – looking through these windows of time, so to speak.

Thank you for joining with us on this birthday celebration.


Sr. Danielle Dwyer and all of Elements Theatre Company

See and Hear

See and Hear

Labyrinth: A Legacy of Language

Rehearsals have begun – Check-out the gallery below.