About Us


Shakespeare Royal Oak offers Michigan's Premier Outdoor Shakespeare Festival
in a one-of-a-kind summer setting.
Words from our Founder

About Shakespeare Royal Oak

A slow summer sunset glows across a stage, tucked among tall trees. You’re sitting comfortably on the grass with special friends, as the area’s best professional actors open up the magic of Shakespeare’s genius just for you, under the open sky. By the final bow you’ll be on your feet applauding this unique, affordable and amazing experience that the people of Shakespeare Royal Oak have shared with you under the summer stars.
And as you stroll out of the park, your heart will feel the sweetness of the fleeting season, and wish it would never end. I’m not exaggerating. Each one of our shows over the last 21 years has been as special as a jewel.
Then there are the kids of our education programs. When you see their excited smiles and hear them speak a soliloquy for the first time, or stage a sword fight, or improv a scene, you’ll swear they shine brighter than they ever have.
Bring your family and friends to enjoy this experience as we continue making jewels in the park. Welcome to Shakespeare Royal Oak
Words from our Founder

Our History

Since 2001, Water Works Theatre Company has offered Shakespeare Royal Oak featuring the wonderful work of the Bard with Michigan’s best professional and emerging professional artists, in a one-of-a-kind outdoor summer setting. It began as a mid-winter dream and emerged that first August as a moonlit magical moment destined to fill a cultural niche so important to the quality of life in the community. In 2002, Water Works began to fill an educational niche by offering professional Shakespeare performance training to K through 8th grade students that was not available anywhere else, at a reasonable price and convenient location. In 2009, we began presenting a second “daylight family show” in rotation with our main Shakespeare play. In 2010 we began offering high school students the chance to create their own Shakespeare-based show on our stage.
Through the years, we've entertained thousands, and employed hundreds of local artists, many of whom have gone on to succeed in theater, television and film. Also, many of our students have gone on to study the craft in college. Some have even returned to us as professionals themselves.
We've received many accolades from community and state leaders, and garnered our fair share of artistic awards. Most importantly, we continue our mission to create a sustaining movement of artistic and community excellence, thanks to our artists, patrons and sponsors.
Ed Nahhat
Founder and Chair
Water Works Theatre Company

Shakespeare Royal Oak

Shakespeare Royal Oak began with a commitment to equality, diversity, inclusion, access, and anti-racism. We always hoped a fully diverse community would join us along the way and will now commit to proactively engaging it.
Shakespeare Royal Oak commits to actively involve people of all races, backgrounds, and cultures in our organization, whether staff, artists, or audience. We will expand our relationships with the BIPOC community by furthering outreach beyond Royal Oak. We will listen to the BIPOC community in an ongoing effort to build our future together.
Shakespeare Royal Oak will provide opportunities for diverse individuals and organizations to join us. We will continue to create a safe space where all artists can bring their unique perspectives and experiences to our work.
Shakespeare Royal Oak is committed to equality and diversity in our casting and hiring. We invite and encourage artists of all races, backgrounds, and cultures to audition and work with us. We support non-traditional casting and remain committed to consideration of all roles for all artists. 

Shakespeare Royal Oak Staff


Edward Nahhat
Executive Director/Board Member
Sara Catheryn Wolf
Artistic Director
Jenni Clark
Managing Director
Katarina Moore
Director of Education
Scott Myers
Public Relations Director
Patrice Walsh
Administrative Manager
Holly Hellsten Conroy, Jan Schmitt and Ed Nahhat
Board Members
Mary Hickman Kruszewski
Social Media Director
Bryan Conroy
Marketing Consultant
Holly Hellsten Conroy
House Manager/Board Member
Jason Hoff
Box Office Manager
Olivia Marsh
Development Manager
Luciana Piazza
Intern Coordinator

Technical Staff

Matt Lira
Operations Director
Jarod Clark
Technical Director/Sound Design
Michael Suchyta
Lead Carpenter
Chris O’Meara
Lighting Designer


Angela Marsh/Night Cry Graphics
Graphic Design Consultant
Clicks & Mortar Websites
Website Consultant/Development
Kevin Walsh
Video Production