Simplicity and Shakespeare

“And this, our life…
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.”

Pop quiz – is this a stanza from:

  1. An Appalachian folk song
  2. Shakespeare
  3. All of the above

If you guessed “All of the above” – you’re right! Re-imagining something as complex as Shakespeare takes time and talent. When I heard that a company was setting As You Like It in the 1920s Ozarks, I was skeptical. Would an exile to the Elizabethan forest of Arden work in mid-Missouri?

It did. The team stripped the script down to the bare essentials, and wove Shakespeare’s lyrics into original compositions and traditional folk tunes.

The set was a cabin porch and a campfire. The lighting designer projected a starry night sky on the ceiling of the theater. Sitting in the audience, it felt like spending a spring evening on a porch swing. Every design choice helped tell the story.

Watching the production, I was struck by its simplicity. Rosalind and Orlando’s love story is the sole focus. Their flight to the forest became a trek through the rolling Ozark hills, reminding the audience that love is more than a journey – it’s an adventure.

At Henning Communications, we do the same thing: tell your story, simply and well. Working in partnership with your team, we weave your message into a clear message.

We develop creative and copy that inspires donors, friends and partners. Repeating these ideas through a variety of channels reinforces the message, and builds enthusiasm and responses.

Through a partnership with your team, we set measurable, attainable goals, and help achieve them. Every layout choice we make, each word we choose, each well-considered image tells your story. Together, we can create something powerful with straightforward simplicity.

Our marketing brochures quotes American jazz composer Charles Mingus:

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace.
Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple,
that’s creativity.”

That’s what we strive do.