Stage 2: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Bryn Boice

Over the past several weeks we have closely monitored the evolving situation regarding COVID-19 in Greater Boston. Upon the Governor’s directive to limit large scale events, we made the difficult decision to cancel our Stage2 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, scheduled for April 2-10 including the April 3 public performance.

Please understand that this decision was made in the best interest of the community and for the health of our audience and staff.

We believe that the Stage2 performance series offers students a unique and important opportunity to experience Shakespeare live and fully-produced. CSC remains committed to this project and have already begun discussing our 2021 Stage2 production.

Bryn Boice has put together a FREE short series of three video lessons that can be shared with your students. All students will need for these lessons is internet access to watch the video and a way to read along with Helena’s monologue from the end of Act 1, Scene 1 from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

These videos are intended to present how we as actors and directors approach navigating Shakespeare’s text and may give your students a different perspective on reading the play at home.

Here are the three topics covered in the lessons:
Lesson 1: Paraphrasing
Lesson 2: Rhythm and Meter
Lesson 3: Punctuation

If you are interested in accessing the free videos. Please email Victoria at vtownsend@commshakes.org to receive the private link that can be shared with your colleagues and students.

About Student Matinees

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most fanciful and enchanting comedies telling the tale of four bewitched lovers as they reckon with jealousy, desperation, and the complications of true love.  This year, Stage2 takes up residence at the Strand Theater, one of Boston’s hidden jewels, serving as a cultural and educational resource for all.

Student matinee performances will be held the following days/times. To inquire about booking or for any questions about student performances, please contact Victoria Townsend or  at 617-426-0863 ext. 6 or at vtownsend@commshakes.org 

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Boston Cultural Council and administered by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.

This program is supported in part by the Paul and Edith Babson Foundation.

 

Who is A Midsummer Night’s Dream appropriate for?

Stage2 productions are presented using Shakespeare’s original text, cut for length to approximately under 2 hours without intermission. Our cuts focus on highlighting the themes, ideas and language that will resonate strongly for a student audience. Our creative team and performers make choices that serve to illuminate the storytelling for this audience without “watering down” the source material. School groups have the option of staying for a short post-show talk-back with the actors.

This year’s Stage2 production is created with a 8th through 12th grade curriculum/audience in mind. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most accessible comedies, touching on themes of jealousy, unrequited (or mistaken!) love, grand interference by the fairy kingdom, and finding confidence, maturity and personal agency. We do encourage educators and/or parents to read the play being presented and make the best choice for their students of any age. We recommend discussing the play with your students before and after you view our production. Please use the information and graphic below to gain a better idea of what to expect from this year’s play and let us know if you have specific questions about content.

About CSC2

John Hardin (Mercutio) in Romeo & Juliet, CSC2, 2019-Photo by Nile Hawver

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Stage2 Performance Series provides the opportunity for students and their teachers to attend high-quality live theater created with them in mind. These abridged productions use Shakespeare’s original text, and focus on the themes and stories that will resonate most with young audiences. Performed by our young professional CSC2 Acting Company, these performances bring together the next generation of actors with the next generation theater goers.

CSC2 is a company of young actors that works with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company to further develop skills in classical acting through performance, artistic and professional development, and through different educational and coaching settings.  The ensemble is built of twelve, non-Equity, early-career actors with some professional experience. 

Strand Theatre
543 Columbia Road
Boston, MA 02125

The view from the stage out across the 1,400 seats of The Strand Theatre. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

 

Driving Directions to The Strand Theatre

From South: Take I-93 North to exit 15, Columbia Road. Left at the bottom of ramp to third set of lights.There is a Kentucky Fried Chicken / Tedeschi’s on the corner. Turn left onto Columbia Road. Go through two sets of lights, the Strand is on the left, just past Bank of America.

From North: Take I-93 South to exit 15, Columbia Road. Right at the bottom of ramp to third set of lights. There is a Kentucky Fried Chicken / Tedeschi’s  on the corner. Turn left onto Columbia Road. Go through two sets of lights, the Strand is on the left, just past Bank of America.

From West: Mass Pike (I-90) east into Boston, to I-93 south. Follow “From the NORTH” directions.

From Jamaica Plain/ Brookline: Take the JamaicaWay south to the Arborway. Keep straight to the rotary. Go 3/4 around the rotary and turn into Franklin Park. Go through the park, and turn left onto Blue Hill Avenue. Go about 50 yards, then make a right onto Columbia Road. The Strand is about 1 1/3 miles down on the right, just past the Strand/ Walgreen’s Pharmacy.

Parking

On street parking is available on Columbia Road.

Free off-street parking is available in the Ramsey Street Municipal lot. Ramsey Street is located at the intersection of Dudley Street and Columbia Road behind CVS Pharmacy and Payless Shoes.

For evening and Sunday shows, free parking is also available in the Citizen’s Bank and Santander Bank parking lots. The Citizen’s Bank lot is located at the corner of Columbia Road and Cushing Avenue. The Santander Bank lot is located in the rear of the bank at 585 Columbia Rd.

Public Transit

Red Line: Get off at Andrew station. Take the #16 (Forest Hills) or #17 (Field’s Corner) bus to Upham’s Corner/Dudley Street. Get off in front of Payless Shoe Store. The Strand is up one block on the left, just past Bank of America.

Orange Line: Get off at Ruggles station. Take the #15 (Upham’s Corner) bus via Dudley Station. Get off in front of Get off in front of Payless Shoe Store. The Strand is up one block on the left, just past Bank of America.

Orange Line: Get off at Forest Hills station. Take the #16 (Forest Hills) or #17 (Field’s Corner) bus to Upham’s Corner/Dudley Street. Get off in front of Payless Shoe Store. The Strand is up one block on the left, just past Bank of America.

What is the running time of the production?

The performance runs approximately under 2 hours without intermission.

For student matinees, each performance is followed by a talk back with the cast which will last no more than an additional half hour. Schools may choose to be dismissed before or after the talk back and can indicate this preference when booking.

What ages is the production appropriate for?

Stage2 productions are presented using Shakespeare’s original text, cut for length to approximately 1.5 hours without intermission. Our cuts focus on highlighting the themes, ideas and language that will resonate strongly for a student audience. Our creative team and performers make choices that serve to illuminate the storytelling for this audience without “watering down” the source material.

This year’s Stage2 production is created with a 8th through 12th grade curriculum/audience in mind. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most accessible comedies, touching on themes of jealousy, unrequited (or mistaken!) love, grand interference by the fairy kingdom, and finding confidence, maturity and personal agency. We do encourage educators and/or parents to read the play being presented and make the best choice for their students of any age. We recommend discussing the play with your students before and after you view our production. Please use the information and graphic below to gain a better idea of what to expect from this year’s play and let us know if you have specific questions about content.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is there handicap seating available?

Yes, there are several locations in the theater to accommodate wheelchairs.  For student matinees, please indicate any seating needs during booking. For any specific requests for the April 3 performance at 7pm, contact 617-426-0863.

Are assisted listening devices available?

Yes, visit the box office for assisted listening devices.

When should I arrive?

The theater will open for seating roughly a half hour before curtain time. We advise you give yourself plenty of time for parking and walking to the theater.

Where should I park?/How do I get to the theater after parking?

The Strand Theatre staff will meet all buses at the curb in front of the theater for drop-off of students, They will then advise drivers on the best location to park.

Are concessions available?

There is no food or drink permitted in the theater.

For student matinees, students may bring bagged lunches to store under their seats for the duration of the show. No food or drink is to be consumed in the theater during the performance. If your school group would like to secure a space for students to eat in after the performance, please let us know at time of booking.

Are shows delayed or canceled for weather?

Audience and actor safety is our main concern.  In cases of heavy snow or extreme weather, we will cancel and try to re-seat patrons into an alternative performance date.  Weather updates can be found on the homepage of our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For student matinees, a member of our Audience Services team will be in touch with school group’s lead chaperone should there be any changes or cancellations to the performance.

If I miss the show, what are my options?

To reschedule for evening performances, call 617-426-0863 at least one business day before your reservation.  We will make our best efforts to seat you in another performance.  Seating will be based on availability.  It is not our policy to refund tickets but we are happy to re-seat you on another date.  If you miss a production altogether, we will re-seat you in an alternative production of your choice based on availability.

Can I take photos or video?

The taking of photos or video is strictly prohibited.

How can I support Commonwealth Shakespeare Company?

To make a donation or call 617-426-0863.  Click on the Ways To Give tab on our website to learn more about upcoming fundraising events and ways to get involved.

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