Baltimore’s theater scene includes more than 35 professional and independent theater companies. This month, they’re presenting a variety of Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, popular musicals, classic stories and contemporary shows in 15 productions.
Tag: local theater
After several years sitting dormant, the theater building on W. 25th Street in Old Goucher will soon serve two purposes.
It’s been an incredible season of theater at Center Stage this year. And while we’re sad to see it come to a close, it’s going out with a bang. Wild with Happy is the adventurous new comedy from Tony award nominee Colman Domingo that will leave you just that—wild with happy—as you head home from the theater. The show officially opened last night, and only runs through June 29th, so we heartily recommend getting your tickets now. Leading the absolutely superb cast is Forrest McClendon (a Tony Award nominee himself for his role in The Scottsboro Boys). McClendon plays Gil, a grief-stricken young man dealing with both heartbreak and his mother’s death. And they couldn’t have found a better actor for the role. Says Domingo, “I am beyond thrilled to hand over the reins of the role of Gil to my dear friend, colleague, partner in crime, Forrest McClendon. In the hands of Jeremy B. Cohen and this dream cast, I am interested in sitting back and seeing what new ideas spring to life and how this talented group will soar above the crazy, madcap challenges of this play.” When the playwright himself is this head-over-heels for a production, you know it’s going to be a must-see.
Our beloved regional theater and its celebrated new Artistic Director, Kwame Kwei-Armah, have announced the plays for the 2014/15 season. It happened just as Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night opened to an awestruck audience; and set the scene for an entire season of bringing Baltimore audiences into new worlds. “This season it is all about bringing the best, most exciting theater to Baltimore,” says Kwei-Armah. “These plays explore the moments—some private, some public—in every life when it becomes clear that nothing can stay the same. We’re thrilled to take our audience with us on these journeys through change.” Highlights this coming year include a new revival of the classic Amadeus; Kemp Powers’ critically acclaimed new play One Night in Miami…, presented in co-production with New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and The Classical Theatre of Harlem; and a one-of-a-kind festival celebrating the work of American playwright Amy Herzog.
Drinking. Dancing. Complete and total abandon. Sounds like a regular Friday night, no? Well, the Annex Theater is offering such revelry in the form of Two Suns Over Thebes—a play based on the Greek classic The Bacchae. Translated and adapted by Baltimore’s own Alex Hacker, and directed by Hacker and newly-our-favorite-local-director Mason Ross, Two Suns Over Thebes offers a distinctly local and contemporary take on the Greek classic. Sure, there’s a Greek chorus; but they’re probably not quite like any Greek chorus you’ve seen before.
“What happens to a dream deferred?/Does it dry up/like a raisin in the sun?/ Or fester like a sore– /And then run?” Few poems retain such immense power for so long as Langston Hughes’ “A Dream Deferred,” from which A Raisin in the Sun takes its title. And it’s fitting, since Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play also still resonates now, over fifty years after its initial production. And though many plays are produced or years after their debut, few actually inspire other playwrights to create entire other plays in response. Along with A Raisin in the Sun, the two plays written in response to it (Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park, and Kwame Kwei-Armah’s Beneatha’s Place) form a sort of triptych—the “Raisin Cycle” as it’s being called. You may have caught the productions at Center Stage last spring. But you may not know about the documentary film that was made about the productions. The documentary, A RAISIN IN THE SUN REVISITED airs on PBS—and is screened where it all started—at Center Stage– this month.
The ever-wonderful Single Carrot Theatre is kicking off their sixth season with another promising production tonight at 8pm at their temporary home at MICA’s Favley Hall. The show, “Drunk Enough to say I Love You?” will truly raise the question, “What does it mean to love America?”, following Guy and Sam as they navigate the tumultuous political love affair America has cultivated with the rest of the world, and its inevitable backlash. Following each performance there will be a panel discussion on foreign policy and the role our country has played in defining the current global state of affairs. As always with Single Carrot, I anticipate a wonderful show that really forces me to ask questions and seek answers.
You don’t need to bring anything except yourself. Anyone is welcome to audition, but if you have no experience with improvisation (even if you have done some acting), it will be difficult for you to have a successful audition.
If you are interested in Auditioning, send your name to [email protected] If you cannot arrive at 10am, let us know what time you would be able to arrive.
- BIG Audition
- Mobtown Theater | 3600 Clipper Mill Rd.
- Saturday June 30 | Audition 10am. Callbacks Early Afternoon
- Directions to MOBTOWN HERE
On May 7th the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company announced its acquisition of the old Mercantile Trust and Deposit Company building, at 200 East Redwood Street. The renovations of the 10,000 square foot building will transform the former nightclub into a 250-seat Elizabethan-style theater in time for the 2014 season, according to the company’s press release.
For over a decade the Redwood Street address has been home to a string of nightclubs and after-hours destinations. Before that, it spent over a century as a bank. Now, as the home to the Chesapeake Shakespeare, 200 East Redwood is going to house a stage based on the historic Globe Theatre. The architectural firm Cho Benn Holback and Associates is currently at work on a design which is going to incorporate traditional Elizabethan design into a modern, efficient theatrical setting.
Now in its 10th season, the Chesapeake Shakespeare was founded in 2002 by actor/playwright Ian Gallanar, who has since served as its artistic director. The largest non-union professional theatre in the U.S., Chesapeake currently produces its outdoor summer productions under the Doric Columns at the 12-acre Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park.
The popular summer productions will continue, but this new development will represent the Chesapeake Theatre’s transition to an eight-month season. The Chesapeake also plans to use the new site to expand its educational programs, which include after school and weekend programs for Baltimore students. An international theater festival is also on the agenda.
This shift represents a rapid change in fortunes for a city that’s long been looking for a permanent local base for honoring Shakespeare. In 2011, under mounting debt, the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Baltimore’s other professional Shakespeare Company, shut its doors for the last time. Situated in Evergreen Park during the summer, Baltimore Shakespeare seemed destined for greater things: especially after a $1 million dollar anonymous grant in 2007. That headlines-grabbing grant, however, wasn’t enough for a theater with a short season and an equity contract to overcome the burdens of the great recession.
The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival certainly is a cautionary tale, but it’s hard not to be encouraged by the Chesapeake development. This could add variety to a downtown scene which is largely associated with bars and comedy clubs. The Globe-style theatre will have the opportunity to tap into a market of convention goers and tourists in the Harbor area. With the demise of the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, it also has access to a larger pool of Shakespearean actors than it had before. There are no guarantees in this business, but, for the moment, it looks like the Bard is back in Baltimore.