Next Sunday is the last performance of Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing at the Delacorte Theater in New York City's Central Park. For this week's installment of our summer reading series, we spoke with Christine Jones, the show's set designer. She's also produced sets for the world premiere of Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, and for the off-Broadway musical Debbie Does Dallas.
Here's a look at what's she's been reading this summer:
'Winter's Tale,' by Mark Helprin
It's the story of a would-be burglar and the young woman he loves as they go about their lives in New York City, from the early 1900s to present-day Manhattan.
"The way that the author describes the city, the language that he uses really heightens the magic of New York City," Jones explains. "So it seems like the gritty, real city that we know, but also a kind of fantastic place that you might imagine a fairy tale."
'The Giving Tree,' by Shel Silverstein
Jones is pregnant with her first child, so she's creating a library for her baby. The collection includes the beloved Silverstein book, which offers some open-ended lessons about generosity and self-sacrifice. She's also picked up The Missing Piece Meets the Big O, a story about how to recognize true friendship.
'The Continuum Concept,' by Jean Liedloff
"Evolutionary biology informs much of Liedloff's child-rearing advice," Jones says. "They have spent all of this time in the womb becoming accustomed to the rocking that happens just when you're walking and moving, and that the more that you can just, sort of, continue their experience in the womb and make that a gentle transition, then the better off that they'll be, and that you know what it needs if you really just try to listen to your instincts as opposed to following instructions in a book.