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CSC2 to Stage A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM at Babson

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Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC), resident theatre at Babson College, announces A Midsummer Night's Dream as the second production by the CSC2 company, an ensemble of young professional actors in residence with CSC for the 2016 season. Directed by CSC Associate Director Adam Sanders, community performances (90 minutes) will be held Friday, May 6, 8:00 pm; and Saturday, May 7 at 3:00 pm (sold-out school matinees May 4 - 10) at the Carling-Sorenson Theatre at Babson College, 231 Forest Street, Wellesley. Tickets to community performances are $20 and general admission. For more information, visit commshakes.org or call OvationTix customer at 866-811-4111.

Last year Commonwealth Shakespeare Company piloted a new performance series made possible by the National Endowment for the Art's "Our Town" grant. The mission of this series is to provide young audiences (mainly grades 8 through 12) with a high quality, professional introduction to Shakespeare's plays and to offer classroom programming that bridges the performance with the public school curriculum. Over 3,000 middle and high school students saw the inaugural production of Romeo and Juliet at the Strand Theater in Dorchester and over 50 classes hosting CSC actors and teaching artists for accompanying workshops, all free of charge.


"This year, we're building off of the 2015 success by titling the series Shakespeare for Young Audiences," says Sanders. "This title can mean a number of things but for CSC, it means picking plays and highlighting themes that affirm our audiences real-life experiences. For instance, in Midsummer we've been exploring the difficult transition from living in a world where the correct actions are dictated to you, into an ambiguous adult world where relationships are complex and feelings are sometimes contradictory."
One of Shakespeare's most popular plays, A Midsummer Night's Dream follows the journey of four young lovers as they find their way through the forest and to each other. In the city of Athens, growing up means fitting in with the traditions of how people "should" and "must" feel. Fleeing these expectations, the youth discover in the woods that transformation awaits for those who dare to leave the beaten path. In the forest, these young lovers' paths intersect with those of warring fairies and well-meaning mechanicals rehearsing a play. With a little interference from mischievous Puck, no one will come out of the woods entirely the same.

CSC2 is a young, diverse company of 12 non-Equity, early career actors working with CSC on an extended basis. As both a distinct ensemble focused on peer learning, and alongside the professional actors and artists of the mainstage company, CSC2 will perform in a variety of productions, including CSC's Free Shakespeare on the Common production of Love's Labour's Lost this summer, July 20 - August 7, 2016.

The CSC2 A Midsummer Night's Dream cast features Jes Bedwinek as Hippolyta/Titania; Rachel Belleman as Helena; Anthony Cason as Bottom; Margaret Clark as Hermia; Marisa Gold as Snug/Cobweb; Cameron Gosselin as Snout/Moth/Egeus; Nash Hightower as Lysander; Arisael Rivera (2015 CSC2 cast member) as Puck/Philostrate; Grace Trapnell as Peter Quince/Mustardseed; Matthew Tyler as Oberon/Theseus; and Colin Wulff as Flute/Peaseblossom.

The creative team includes Adam Sanders, Director; Chris Olmsted (2015 CSC2 alum), Assistant Director; Yo-el Cassell, Movement Director/Choreographer; Brynna Bloomfield, Scenic Designer; Miranda Giurleo, Costume Designer; Connor O'Leary, Properties Master; Jen Rock, Lighting Designer; Andrew Duncan Will, Sound Designer; Geena Forristall, Stage Manager, and Jeremy Browne, Production Manager.

ABOUT CSC Commonwealth Shakespeare Company is dedicated to bringing the works of William Shakespeare in vital and contemporary productions to the people of Boston and to exploring Shakespeare's plays with the Boston community in innovative and creative ways. Best known for its annual free performances on Boston Common, CSC also presents several free play-reading events during the year-Theatre in the Rough, Shakespeare & Law, and Shakespeare & Leadership. The Company fulfills its educational mission with training programs for both pre-professional actors through its Apprentice Program and early-career actors through CSC2. Commonwealth Shakespeare Company is the Theatre in Residence at Babson College. For more information visit commshakes.org.


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