Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

August 26, 2015

DCR's Hatch Shell

Music by Felix Mendelssohn | Play by William Shakespeare

Directed by Steven Maler and Conducted by Christopher Wilkins


August 26, 7pm


Stage and musical stars of Boston collaborate in the most celebrated of all musical scores written for a classic play. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the most renowned, the most successful, and the most perfect incidental music in history. The famed “Wedding March” signals the story’s happy ending even though “the course of true love never did run smooth.”

Margot Rood, First Fairy
Annie Simon
Erika Vogel

Thea Lobo, Second Fairy
Julie Cavallaro
Carrie Cheron
Mary Gerbi
Kamala Soparkar

Dancing Fairy Company:
Isabella Casparriello
Amanda McCluskey
Madison McCluskey
Sydny Scott
Sarah Vachon
Iris Ventimiglia

Boston Landmarks Orchestra

Gregory Vitale, concertmaster
Christine Vitale
Pattison Story
Gerald Mordis
Tera Gorsett
Heidi Braun-Hill
Melissa Howe
Stacey Alden

Paula Oakes, principal
Robert Curtis
Maynard Goldman
Lisa Brooke
Alexandra Labinska
Lilit Hartunian

Kenneth Stalberg, principal
Donna Jerome
Don Krishnaswami
Noriko Herndon
Willine Thoe

Aron Zelkowicz, principal
Mark Simcox
Jolene Kessler
Melanie Dyball
Patrick Owen
Steven Laven

Robert Lynam, principal
Barry Boettger
Kevin Green
Irving Steinberg


Lisa Hennessy, principal
Theresa Patton


Andrew Price, principal
Lynda Jacquin


Ian Greitzer, principal
Margo McGowan

Donald Bravo, principal
Gregory Newton

Kevin Owen, principal
Whitacre Hill

Dana Oakes, principal
Jesse Levine
Greg Whitaker

Robert Couture, principal
Hans Bohn
Donald Robinson

Donald Rankin, principal

Ina Zdorovetchi, principal

Jeffrey Fischer, principal

Robert Schulz, principal
Craig McNutt

Maynard Goldman,
Personnel Manager

Melissa McCarthy Steinberg,

Kristo Kondakci,
Assistant Conductor


Sophia Blum

Sophia Blum last appeared with CSC as Lady Capulet in CSC2’s Romeo & Juliet,  Titania and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Calpurnia in Julius Caesar with The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey’s Touring Company.  She also recently played Queen Margaret in Henry VI Parts I, II & III in an Off-Off Broadway production.  www.sophiablum,com

Johnny Lee Davenport
Snug/ Egeus

Johnny Lee Davenport returns to CSC after A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Boston Landmarks Orchestra. Other area credits include Thurgood, The Whipping Man, and A House with No Walls (New Repertory Theatre), The Unbleached American (Stoneham Theatre); It’s A Wonderful Life, A Radio Play (Wheelock Family Theatre); Water by the Spoonful and Broke-ology/Elliot Norton Award, Best Actor (The Lyric Stage Company); Driving Miss Daisy and Master Harold…and the Boys (Gloucester Stage Company); and Invisible Man/Helen Hayes Award, Best Ensemble (Studio Theatre Washington, D.C. and The Huntington Theatre Company). Mr. Davenport has played more than 50 roles in 24 of Shakespeare’s plays including Richard III (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company); Pericles (Actors’ Shakespeare Project); and Richard II (Shakespeare & Company). Film credits include “Ted” “The Fugitive”, “U.S. Marshals”, and “Ascendants”. He was named Best Actor in Boston Magazine (2011).

Paul Melendy

Paul Melendy Area credits include A Confederacy of Dunces co-starring Nick Offerman and Ryan Landry’s “M” (Huntington Theatre Company), Shakespeare at Fenway! with Mike O’Malley, Neal McDonough, and Christian Coulson, and Art with Seth Gilliam (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company),  A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company/Boston Landmarks Orchestra), Bank Job and The Last Schwartz (Gloucester Stage Company), The Apple Family Plays (Greater Boston Stage Company, Gloucester Stage Company, and New Repertory Theatre), Shear Madness (Charles St. Playhouse), and Ryan Landry’s Jesus Christ, It’s Christmas!, Snow White & the 7 Bottoms, and It’s a Horrible Life (Gold Dust Orphans). Other regional credits include Underground Railway Theater, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Centastage, New Century Theatre, Wheelock Family Theatre, W.H.A.T., and Barnstormers Theatre.

Billy Finn
Billy Finn

Billy Finn is thrilled to be making his CSC debut. Other regional credits include A Lie of the Mind (Trinity Repertory Company); Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, The Dog in the Manger, King Lear (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing (Folger Theatre); The Talented Mr. Ripley (Round House Theatre); Wilder Sins (Washington Stage Guild); By the Water (Premiere Stages); The Scarecrow and His Servant, Teddy Roosevelt and the Ghostly Mistletoe (The Kennedy Center); Journey to the Door of No Return (Arena Stage); Othello, Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labour’s Lost (Virginia Shakespeare Festival). Billy recently graduated from the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA program in Acting.

Matt Giampietro

Matt Giampietro was recently seen as Tybalt/Apothecary in CSC2’s Romeo & Juliet and in West Side Story at The Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH.  Film: “Best Night Ever” and “Leverage” (TNT).  Matt earned his MFA in 2012 from the University of Washington PATP.

Georgia Lyman
Titania/ Hippolyta
Georgia Lyman
Titania/ Hippolyta

Georgia Lyman was most recently seen as Mia/Abigail in John Kuntz’s Necessary Monsters for Speakeasy Stage. Also for SpeakEasy Stage Company, she played Liz in The Whale and Crystal Allen in The Women. Other roles include Kerr in Chesapeake (Winner: Best solo performance), Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Clea in The Scene (Lyric Stage) and Actor #3 in Hotel Nepenthe (Actors Shakespeare Project). She was a founding member of the award winning theater company Orfeo Group for 5 years. She is currently the Artistic Director of Outside the Box, Boston’s largest free performing arts festival.

Kate Paulsen

Kate Paulsen  is thrilled to be making her CSC debut. Recent Boston theatre credits include Portia in Julius Caesar (Bridge Rep), Henry in Henry V (Arts After Hours), The Nina Variations, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet (Brown Box), and Uncle Vanya (Apollinaire). Film credits include “Black Mass” (with Adam Scott) and “Parallel” (with Juan C. Rodriguez). You can also catch her on TV or the web advertising for Cumberland Farms, The Honest Company,, Keurig, Amica, and Dragon Speech Recognition Software.

Robert Pemberton

Robert Pemberton Previous prosecutions include Art, Frankie and Johnnie in the Clair de Lune, and Speed the Plow (IRNE Award). Other credits include Driving Miss Daisy, Ponies, Dinner With Friends, Antony and Cleopatra, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Elliot Norton Award), and Much Ado About Nothing (Elliot Norton Award). Film: “By the Sea” (nominated for Latin Oscar), “Treading Water”, Boondock Saints”, “The Exchange”, “Gentleman from Boston”, “The Still Point”, “The New England Connection”, “Temps”, and “Anathema”, among others. Television: “The Brotherhood” (Showtime), “Another World”, “Guiding Light”, and “Unsolved Mysteries”.

Arisael Rivera

Arisael Rivera returns to CSC after appearing as Puck in CSC2’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Friar Laurence in CSC2’s Romeo & Juliet, and in the Ensemble of King Lear on Boston Common.  Other credits include Narrator/Arsonist in LA Lights Fire, and Butch in Educational, Career Relevant.  Follow him on Twitter: @ari_sael_riv.

Juan C. Rodriguez

Juan C. Rodriguez CSC: All’s Well That Ends Well (Ensemble), Apprentice Program Alum (2011), Teaching Artist.  Boston Area Credits: The Lover (Bridge Rep of Boston), Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Nina Variations (Brown Box Theatre Project), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Apollinaire Theatre Company). Since graduation CSC’s Apprentice Program, Juan has visited local schools and Boys & Girls Clubs as a company teaching artist.

Amanda Ruggiero

Amanda Ruggiero Recent credits include: Lamballe in Marie Antoinette at The Gamm Theatre, and Mrs. Van Buren in Intimate Apparel at The Lyric Stage. Other credits include: AstroBoy and The God of Comics with Company One; Ragtime with Fiddlehead Theatre; Hair and Gypsy at The New Bedford Festival Theatre, Woman #3 (Young Woman) in The Big Meal, Lauren in Circle Mirror Transformation, Nancy/Patricia in A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Jackie in Mauritius, Esme (younger)/Alice/Pupil in Rock ’n’ Roll, Hero in Much Ado About Nothing, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Princess Eboli in Don Carlos, Carrie in Radio Free Emerson at The Gamm Theatre

Lewis D. Wheeler
Oberon/ Theseus
Lewis D. Wheeler
Oberon/ Theseus

Lewis D. Wheeler  previously worked with CSC on Boston Common in Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew and in staged readings of Henry V, Richard III, and Fool for Love. Regional credits: No Man’s Land – IRNE Nomination (American Repertory Theatre); Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Pattern of Life, Muckrakers (New Repertory Theatre); Chosen Child –IRNE Nomination (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre); The Importance of Being Earnest, A Number, Glass Menagerie (Lyric Stage). A founding member of Harbor Stage. Lewis earned his BA in Theatre and Film Studies at Cornell University and MFA from American Film Institute

Brandon Whitehead

Brandon Whitehead CSC credits include Fear and Misery in the Third Reich, Boyet in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the Hatch Shell, and Fool in King Lear. Other recent credits include Amiens in As You Like It and Oscar Wilde et al in The Importance of Being Earnest at the GAMM Theater. Also Matthew Harrison Brady in Inherit the Wind and Mike Francisco in Breaking Legs at Ocean State Theater Company as well as Mr. Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors with Tantrum Theatre (Ohio). Before moving to Massachusetts, Whitehead spent nearly twenty years working professionally in Seattle performing with ACT (A Christmas Carol, Joe Egg, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Seattle Repertory Theater (Twelfth Night, The Imaginary Invalid), Intiman (Paradise Lost), Seattle Shakespeare Company, Book-It Repertory Theater, Village Theater, and many others. Some of his film and television credits include “Castle Rock” (Hulu), “A Bit of Bad Luck”, “21 and Over”, and “Leverage”.

Creative Team

Steven Maler

Steven Maler is the Founding Artistic Director of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC). At CSC he has been directing Free Shakespeare on the Boston Common productions since 1996, including Richard III, Love’s Labour’s Lost, King Lear, Twelfth Night, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Coriolanus, All’s Well That Ends Well, Othello, The Comedy Of Errors, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, Henry V, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, and Romeo & Juliet. Other CSC works include his critically acclaimed production of Naomi Wallace’s adaptation of William Wharton’s novel Birdy, Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden, the world premiere of Jake Broder’s Our American Hamlet, and the world premiere of Robert Brustein’s The Last Will.  In collaboration with Boston Landmarks Orchestra, he directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring the Overture and Incidental Music of Felix Mendelssohn, as well as concert stagings of The Boys from Syracuse and Kiss Me Kate at Boston’s iconic Hatch Shell.  For CSC he has also directed one-night-only readings of iconic plays featuring Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Paul Rudd, Anthony Mackie, Blair Brown, Tony Shalhoub, Brooke Adams, Leslie Uggams, David Morse, and Jeffrey Donovan among others.  He conceived and directed Shakespeare at Fenway, an evening of Shakespeare scenes performed at Boston’s iconic Fenway Park, featuring Mike O’Malley, Neal McDonough, Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders, Kerry O’Malley, Seth Gilliam, Zuzanna Szadkowski, Max Von Essen, Christian Coulson, Jason Butler Harner, and many others.

In collaboration with Google, he adapted and directed a first of its kind sixty minute virtual reality film of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, entitled Hamlet 360: Thy Father’s Spirit, starring Jack Cutmore-Scott, Jay O. Sanders, Brooke Adams, and Faran Tahir.  It is currently available for viewing on Boston public media producer GBH’s YouTube channel; for more information, visit

Outside of CSC, he directed Maria, Regina D’Inghilterra for Odyssey Opera, Péter Eötvös’ operatic treatment of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (U.S. Premiere) and Thomas Adès’ Powder Her Face for Opera Boston, The Turn of the Screw at New Repertory Theatre, Santaland Diaries and Chay Yew’s Porcelain at SpeakEasy Stage Company, Top Girls and Weldon Rising at Coyote Theatre, and The L.A. Plays by Han Ong at A.R.T. His New York City credits include the New York Musical Theatre Festival production of Without You, written by and starring Anthony Rapp. The production has been seen in Boston, Edinburgh, Toronto, London, and Seoul.

He received the prestigious Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, as well as for Best Production for Twelfth Night and All’s Well That Ends Well; Outstanding Director, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Best Production, SubUrbia; Best Solo Performance, John Kuntz’s Starf***ers (which also won Best Solo Performance Award at New York International Fringe Festival). His feature film “The Autumn Heart,” starring Tyne Daly and Ally Sheedy was in the Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival.

Christopher Wilkins

Christopher Wilkins was appointed Music Director of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra in the spring of 2011. Since then he has reaffirmed founder Charles Ansbacher’s vision of making great music accessible to the whole community.

Mr. Wilkins has led the development of programs with an emphasis on inclusive programming and collaborative work. Collaborations have included regular performances with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Boston Lyric Opera, the New England Spiritual Ensemble, and Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA), among many others. He has also helped develop the orchestra’s Breaking Down Barriers initiative, which makes accessibility a priority in all aspects of the organization’s activities.

Mr. Wilkins also serves as Music Director of the Akron Symphony. Recent major projects in Akron have included fully staged performances of Porgy and Bess, The Rite of Spring, Titanic,South Pacific, and A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. The orchestra’s community initiatives have recently been awarded a major grant from the Knight Foundation. That funding will support community-oriented programming and collaborative projects over a 5-year period.

As a guest conductor, Mr. Wilkins has appeared with many of the leading orchestras of the United States, including those of Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. He has also appeared overseas, with regular concerts in New Zealand, Latin America, Spain and the UK.

Previously he served as Music Director of the Orlando Philharmonic, the San Antonio Symphony and the Colorado Springs Symphony. He is currently Artistic Advisor to the Opera Theatre of the Rockies in Colorado Springs. During his tenure in San Antonio, he and the orchestra received six programming awards from ASCAP, including the first-ever Morton Gould Award for creative programming. He also served as Resident Conductor of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, assisting in the formation of the orchestra in its inaugural season, and leading it on tours throughout the Americas.

Mr. Wilkins was winner of the Seaver/NEA Award in 1992. He served as associate conductor of the Utah Symphony, assisting Joseph Silverstein; assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnányi; conducting assistant with the Oregon Symphony under James DePreist; and was a conducting fellow at Tanglewood.

Born in Boston, Mr. Wilkins earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in 1978. He studied with Otto-Werner Mueller at Yale University, receiving his master of music degree in 1981, and in 1979 attended the Hochschule der Künste in West Berlin as a recipient of the John Knowles Paine traveling fellowship, awarded by the Harvard music department. As an oboist, he performed with many ensembles in the Boston area, including the Berkshire Music Center Orchestra at Tanglewood, and the Boston Philharmonic under Benjamin Zander.

Adam Sanders
Adam Sanders

Adam Sanders is the Associate Artistic Director at CSC. He serves as director of the Apprentice Program, and is the director and originator of CSC2, a cohort of early-career actors. Directing credits for CSC include: Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar (CSC2 Company), Symphonic Shakespeare, (in collaboration with Boston Landmarks Orchestra at the Boston Hatch Shell); co-director: Kiss Me Kate, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Boys From Syracuse (also BLO/Hatch Shell collaborations), co-director/dramaturg: Shakespeare and Leadership (2013 – 2017), and CSCs unprecedented Shakespeare at Fenway performance in 2014; director: Shakespeare and the Law (2017).

Yo-El Cassell
Yo-El Cassell

Yo-El Cassell’s CSC credits include Comedy of Errors, All’s Well That Ends Well, Othello, Coriolanus, Two Gentleman of Verona, Twelfth Night, King Lear, Romeo & Juliet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Kiss Me Kate and Symphonic Shakespeare with Boston Landmarks Orchestra. Off Broadway: Moonlight Interior. Many productions with American Repertory Theatre, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, New England Conservatory, Boston Opera Collaborative, and Nantucket Dreamland Theatre.  He has taught at Boston Ballet, Skidmore College, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, The New England Conservatory, and Harvard University Dance Department.

Brian Lilienthal
Lighting Design
Brian Lilienthal
Lighting Design

Brian Lilienthal Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Our American Hamlet. Regional: Over 250 productions at: Huntington Theatre, Arizona Theatre Co, Milwaukee Rep, Cleveland Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville (over 60 productions and 20 world premieres at the Humana Festival of New American Plays), Merrimack Rep, Arden Theatre, Trinity Rep, GEVA Theatre Center, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, among many. Opera: Long Beach Opera, Bard Summerscape, Portland Opera Repertory Theatre. Mr. Lilienthal has won the Los Angeles Ovation Award for lighting design, and has been nominated multiple times for Boston’s IRNE Award. He has spent 9 summers as the resident lighting designer for the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. MFA: California Institute of the Arts. Mr. Lilienthal currently teaches lighting design at Tufts University, and is a member of the Patriots Program at Merrimack Rep in Lowell, MA. He lives in Somerville, MA, and is a drummer with a rockabilly/jump blues quartet that performs throughout the Boston Metro area.

Brooke Stanton
Costume Design
Brooke Stanton
Costume Design

Brooke Stanton (she/her) is a costumer who has worked in theatre, film, and television. During her five years with George Lucas’ ILM, she built creatures for the Star Wars Special Edition Trilogy and The Phantom Menace. She has toured internationally and nationally designing for Peter Sellars. Other clients include Disney, Columbia Pictures, CBS, American Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Aspen Music Festival, Boston Symphony Youth Orchestra, Commonwealth Shakespeare, New England Conservatory, and Odyssey Opera. She studied Costume Design at NYU and Textiles at California College of the Arts.

Brian McCoy
Sound Design/ Mixing
Brian McCoy
Sound Design/ Mixing

Brian McCoy Audio engineer focusing in live sound reinforcement with extensive experience mixing Front of House, as a Monitor Engineer, and System Tech. Comfortable with responsibilities of being Crew- chief and system designer. Displaying a strong sense of pride in the craft, constantly learning and keeping up with industry innovations, with the flexibility and knowledge to be able to be able to adapt to any situation.

Jeremiah Mullane
Stage Manager
Jeremiah Mullane
Stage Manager

Jeremiah Mullane recent credits include The Second Girl, Awake and Sing!, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Seagull, The Cocktail Hour, The Jungle Book, and Invisible Man (Huntington Theatre Company). He relocated from Washington D.C. where he worked as a stage manager on productions at The Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, and The Studio Theatre.  He is a graduate of the theater program at Ithaca College.

Renee E. Yancey
Production Manager
Renee E. Yancey
Production Manager
Renee E. Yancey is a stage manager, production manager, and theatre educator. For CSC: Production Manager for Richard III; A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Boys from Syracuse (co-productions with Landmarks Orchestra); the CSC galas, 1985: New York City and A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and Much Ado About Nothing (CSC Apprentice Program)  Originally from Texas, Renee spent 10 years based in the Washington, D.C., area where she performed stage, production, and events management for Olney Theatre Center, Studio Theatre, theatre Washington/Helen Hayes Awards, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Velocity DC, and AFI Silver Spring. New England-area work includes Stage Manager for Frankenstein (Central Square Theater); Heartland and Ripe Frenzy (New Repertory Theatre); and The Fantasticks (Opera House Arts). Renee is a Lecturer and Program Head of Management for the School of Theatre at Boston University. Education: BFA Texas State University; MFA Boston University
Leslie Sears
Assistant Stage Manager
Leslie Sears
Assistant Stage Manager

Leslie Sears has worked for companies such as the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Roundabout Theater Company, the Huntington Theatre Company, Old Globe Theatres, New Repertory Theatre, Gloucester Stage Company, Childsplay, Boston Lyric Opera, Tanglewood Music Center, Boston Early Music Festival, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Connecticut Opera Association, Opera Boston and Musica Acadamy International. Other favorite past
projects include All My Sons, directed by David Esbjornson for HTC; Ruined, directed by Lisel Tommy, a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse, Huntington and Berkley Rep; Invisible Man, directed by Christopher McElroen and adapted by Oren Jacoby, a co-production between the Huntington and Studio Theatre; and Private Lives, directed by Maria Aitkin, produced at the Huntington and remounted at the Shakespeare Theatre.


The production was a meticulously constructed and finely acted evening of theater that married pragmatism to conviction and ambition to enchanting effect.-The Boston Musical Intelligencer, Kate Stringer


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