Stage 2: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

May 5-14, 2022

The Strand Theatre, Dorchester

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Bryn Boice

CSC is thrilled to announce the return of our Stage2 Student Matinee Series with A Midsummer Night’s Dream!

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 Theatre, one of Boston’s hidden jewels, which serves as a cultural and educational resource for all.

The production itself will examine the themes of popularity, gender, authenticity, romance, and ideas about kindness, acceptance, understanding and respect. It sets the Fairy kingdom in the free-wheeling late 60s and the Royals and Mechanicals in the stuffy, uptight, mall-culture of the late 80s. The disconnect between these two periods will be emphasized by both music and costume, while the scenic look envelops the audience in the magic of the forest, a place where anything can happen. With the help of chandeliers in the treetops, we can change from enchanting fairyland to dark, foreboding forest with a snap of Puck’s fingers.

This project is part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. 

About Student Matinees

Student matinee performances will be held the following days/times:

  • Thursday, May 5, 2022: 10:00AM
  • Friday, May 6, 2022: 11:00 AM
  • Monday, May 9, 2022: 10:00 AM
  • Tuesday, May 10: 2022: 10:00 AM
  • Wednesday, May 11: 2022: 10:00 AM
  • Thursday, May 12: 2022: 10:00 AM
  • Friday, May 13: 2022: 11:00 AM

All student matinee performances are 90 minutes without intermission and are followed by an optional talkback with the cast. School groups are asked to arrive between 15min and one half hour before the performance to be seated in the theater.

COST: All student matinee tickets are $12.00 (students and chaperones).

School SAVOR Program is a Commonwealth Shakespeare Company initiative that receives generous funding from sponsors to provide student tickets to schools facing extreme economic hardships .Through the SAVOR program, students attend a matinee at reduced or zero cost to them or their school. The program may even cover the cost of transportation and additional in school workshops. Contact education@commshakes.org to be considered for this program.

SAVOR stands for Subsidized Art is a Value & Our Right. We firmly believe that art, and theatre in particular, should be savored live, early, and often. We hope to break down barriers to theatre, and show students art that is created for them

Please click the button below to access the form to begin a booking request:


Questions? Reach out to us at education@commshakes.org

The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest presents Shakespeare in American Communities. CSC is one of 40 professional theater companies across the nation selected to perform a Shakespeare play with a professional team of actors for middle- and high-schools and conduct related educational activities for students.

About School Workshops

Alongside this production, CSC will also be offering a number of in-school Midsummer enrichment workshops which can be delivered either virtually or in person.  A limited number of discounted and free workshops may be available. Click the button below to learn more:

 

About Public Performances

In addition A Midsummer Night’s Dream will perform 3 open/public community performances:

  • Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 7:00 PM

More information about these performances and ticket booking will be available in spring 2022.

 

Who is A Midsummer Night’s Dream appropriate for?

Stage2 productions are presented using Shakespeare’s original text, cut for length to 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 Covid-19 Safety

CSC, in coordination with the Strand Theatre and the City of Boston, continues to diligently monitor the public health situation relative to covid-19. Decisions are made with the safety of our audiences, artists and staff as our top priority. As a building run by the City of Boston itself, the Strand and CSC will follow city-mandated Covid-guidelines, including any distancing or masking rules, as of our opening day, May 5, 2022. CSC also reserves the right to add additional protective guidelines where deemed necessary for the safety of all. As of today, we will require all audience members to be masked regardless of vaccination status or individual school/district guidelines and a minimum seating distance of 3ft between audience members. Should you have an individual concern relative to masking ability or questions about our safety protocols, please reach out to us at education@commshakes.org.

As of today, all CSC staff and performers on site will be fully vaccinated and required to undergo a health screening each day before arriving in the building. Performers will not be masked while onstage during the performance but will maintain a safe distance from the audience. Otherwise, masks are required of all CSC staff while on site.

Safety policies will continue to be updated throughout the year as needed. Any changes to the above policies will be communicated here and sent to all attendees directly.

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 early-career professional actors that works with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company to further develop skills in classical acting through performance (including in CSC’s flagship Shakespeare on the Common production), artistic and professional development, and through different educational and coaching settings. 

Creative Team

Bryn Boice
Director
Bryn Boice
Director

Bryn Boice is an award-winning director, educator, actor, and producer. Her work with CSC began with three summers as a Showcase Director and acting coach for the Apprentice Program, directing Henry IV part 1, Henry VI part 2, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In 2019, she was named Associate Artistic Director and Director of the CSC Academy, which encompasses the Apprentice Program, Stage2, and other CSC education & training initiatives. Also for CSC, Bryn directed Universe Rushing Apart: Blue Kettle & Here We Go – two Caryl Churchill one-acts – which garnered her the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director, Large Theatre. Other recent Boston-area credits include: The Children (Speakeasy Stage); Admissions (The Gamm Theatre); Last Night at Bowl-Mor Lanes (Greater Boston Stage Company); an all-female production of Julius Caesar for Actors’ Shakespeare Project; and the Boston premiere of Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti (OWI Theatre). Upcoming for 2021-22: The Sound Inside (Speakeasy Stage); The Half-Life of Marie Curie (The Nora Company at Central Square) and the realization of the pandemic cancellation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Stage2 at The Strand Theatre, Boston.

She is also the Artistic Director of Boston fringe ensemble Anthem Theatre Company. With Anthem she created and directed multiple devised works and reimagined classics including the Red Sox/Yankees-themed Romeo vs. Juliet; I, Snowflake, a devised post-election reaction play; her original work, The Merry Way, featuring traditional Irish folk song; and My Fascination with Creepy Ladies, a devised work centering Edgar Allan Poe’s stories about “the death of a beautiful woman.”  New York and Regional credits as an actor and/or director include work with Asolo Repertory Company, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, InProximity Theatre Company, Theatre Row, Martha’s Vineyard PAC, Monomoy Theatre, Caroline’s on Broadway, and Manhattan Theatre Club. 

As a theatre educator, Bryn currently teaches at Salem State University, where her wide-ranging experience has allowed her to teach Voice for Performance, Applied Stage Movement, Public Speaking, Dramatic Theory & Criticism, and Dialects, among others. A great proponent of higher education and lifelong learning, she holds an MFA in Directing from Boston University, an MFA in Acting from the Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training (FSU), and a Master’s Certificate in Arts Administration from Boston University. She also holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Emporia State University (KS) and a BS in Journalism from the University of Kansas. For more information, visit www.brynboice.com

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 90 minutes 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.

 

 

What safety protocols do you have in place relative to covid-19?

CSC, in coordination with the Strand Theatre and the City of Boston, continues to diligently monitor the public health situation relative to covid-19. Decisions are made with the safety of our audiences, artists and staff as our top priority. As a building run by the City of Boston itself, the Strand and CSC will follow city-mandated Covid-guidelines, including any distancing or masking rules, as of our opening day, May 5, 2022. CSC also reserves the right to add additional protective guidelines where deemed necessary for the safety of all. As of today, we will require all audience members to be masked regardless of vaccination status or individual school/district guidelines and a minimum seating distance of 3ft between audience members. Should you have an individual concern relative to masking ability or questions about our safety protocols, please reach out to us at education@commshakes.org.

As of today, all CSC staff and performers on site will be fully vaccinated and required to undergo a health screening each day before arriving in the building. Performers will not be masked while onstage during the performance but will maintain a safe distance from the audience. Otherwise, masks are required of all CSC staff while on site.

Safety policies will continue to be updated throughout the year as needed. Any changes to the above policies will be communicated here and sent to all attendees directly.

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.

Are assisted listening devices available?

Yes, visit the box office for assisted listening devices.

When should I arrive?

Schools are asked to arrive between 15-30 minutes before curtain to be seated in the theater. 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.

Please note for student matinees, due to safety considerations we will not be permitting any schools to bring bagged lunches to eat on site this year.

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.

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.

Grant Opportunities

Help fund your field trip!
Please note that these opportunities are listed as a courtesy and are not a guarantee of funding.

Big Yellow School Bus provides $200 grants to help schools meet the transportation costs of educational field trips to non-profit cultural institutions in Massachusetts. Applications open in September, pending the passing of the Massachusetts State Budget. Applications are reviewed on a “first-received, first-funded” basis until all available funds are gone. Get your application in early! Visit Big Yellow School Bus for details and to apply. Local Cultural Councils in many communities provide a limited amount of funding for cultural field trips. Visit MCC’s Local Cultural Council website to see your town’s guidelines and apply today! Deadline is October 15, 2021.
STARS Residencies (Students and Teachers working with Artists, Scientists, and Scholars) provides grants to schools to support creative learning residencies in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Cultural partners – teaching artists, scientists, and scholars – work with students on at least three days or more. Residencies take place during the school year to help schools bring creative learning to students, both in and outside the classroom. Visit the MCC’s Stars Residencies website and speak with CSC’s education staff (education@commshakes.org) to develop a residency program that can fit your curriculum needs!

School SAVOR Program is a Commonwealth Shakespeare Company initiative that receives generous funding from sponsors to provide student tickets to schools facing extreme economic hardships .Through the SAVOR program, students attend a matinee at reduced or zero cost to them or their school. The program may even cover the cost of transportation and additional in school workshops. Interested schools should fill out the application at the button below. Please make sure you have ALSO filled out your Student Matinee Booking Request Form (and Workshop Quote Form if applying for workshop funding) so that we have full information about your school’s needs.

SAVOR stands for Subsidized Art is a Value & Our Right. We firmly believe that art, and theatre in particular, should be savored live, early, and often. We hope to break down barriers to theatre, and show students art that is created for them

The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest presents Shakespeare in American Communities. CSC is one of 40 professional theater companies across the nation selected to perform a Shakespeare play with a professional team of actors for middle- and high-schools and conduct related educational activities for students.

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Sponsors

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