Julie and Bryan Butters, a Swampscott couple, met via Match.com on New Year’s Day nine years ago. Since then, they have shared their love story through William Shakespeare’s plays.
It didn’t take long after Bryan and Julie met to tie the knot. After getting engaged less than a year after meeting each other, they married in July 2015.
“When you find the right person, you don’t need a lot of time,” said Julie. “We started out by just messaging each other, sending back long emails and we were just kindred spirits, you can tell.”
“I could tell from his profile and getting to know him that he was a kind-hearted, wonderful person and we shared the same values, which were more important than the shared interests,” she added. “But the shared interest was a very nice bonus.”
Julie is a local actress, former co-chair of Harvard University’s Hyperion Shakespeare Company, and an aide at the Swampscott Library, while Bryan is a history teacher at Marblehead High School.
“There is overlap,” said Bryan. “I do a lot of European history, so Shakespeare with theater and literature comes out a lot in history class. So that certainly also helped find that shared interest.”
During the pandemic, Julie organized a group of actors to meet on Zoom and practice. Eventually, during the end of the reading, Bryan joined and “got hooked.”
A new production came up and Julie suggested auditioning as a couple. The couple acted in a love scene from “The Tempest” and were offered the role — their first role acting together.
For Bryan, acting is a fun and enjoyable experience. For Julie, it is another way for the couple to spend time together and enjoy the same activities.
“I think teaching played a role in that, certainly to keep students interested there is a definite performance element and you have to have a great expression and emotion,” said Brian. “I drew on a lot of that experience from teaching when we started doing the acting together to help me out.”
The love scenes come naturally to them, just like their love story.
“We just naturally work well together and we have fun, and I think we know our boundaries too,” said Julie. “Like, if we are getting tired, I think we are going at saying, ‘Let’s stop here for the night,’ and that’s not because we are getting irritated at each other, it’s just because the energy is flagging.”
“I think we read each other very well, so we can tell if the person is getting tired or needs a break, but we make a really good team in every way,” she added.
On April 22, the Butters performed at Shakespeare’s Birthday Party at the Swampscott Public Library.
The couple, who have performed Shakespearean scenes together in virtual productions for Flock Theatre in New London, Conn. and Chill Bucket Productions in New York state, presented snippets from “Richard III,” “Romeo, and Juliet,” and “As You Like It” as part of the birthday celebration.