Audio Archive

Davis, Mary Alette

I began to love Shakespeare at 8 years old when I first read Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare for children. Growing up near the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, I fell in love with the plays as performed by some of the top actors in the country. Since that time I have acted in many plays, created improvisational theater, and performed in Shakespeare’s plays - - in theaters, indoors and out doors, and on unlikely stages in homeless shelters and prisons. Knowing that Shakespeare as taught to youth is often academic and plainly boring, I wanted to get young people into the fun of the language, which means acting it. For a decade or so, my husband Bob and I adapted and directed many of Will’s plays for youth performance at Brazil! School of the Arts’ Shakespeare Camp. While raising three sons, I continued to act and also taught with the Guthrie’s Shakespeare in the Schools Onstage program at high schools in the Twin Cities.

The Davis Family is not the Trapp Family Singers, but our troupe of five (three sons now in various stages of adulthood) have performed with the Guthrie and many other stages too over the years, even though our children aren’t currently looking starry eyed at the stage, as I once did. Maybe they’ve been exposed to its uncertainties early on, which is not to say any of them are planning for safe and secure jobs! Though I am married to one of those ‘top actors’ in the Twin Cities, I have moved into regular employment directing programs, some of them theatrical and inter-generational, for children and youth at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. I am grateful for the vision in a church hiring someone with a theater background to encourage young people. Faith and art - both find definition in the imagination!

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