Love drama? Here are four of the coolest Maryland theatre companies and where to catch their productions this summer.
Are you a dramaturg, a lighting nerd, or just a fan of stage plays? There are a number of creative theatre companies in Maryland that put on stunning shows every year! Below is a bit about four of Maryland’s best theatre companies and where to find them this summer:
Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, Baltimore City/Ellicott City
Chesapeake Shakespeare Company began in 2002 with a mission to make well-known Shakespeare plays fresh and and innovative. The company’s energetic productions engage audiences in a new way; Chesapeake Shakespeare Company started out performing in the ruins of an old mental institute in Ellicott City, Maryland. The unique outdoor setting created memorable and unique adaptions of Shakespeare and other classic works.
In 2014, the company opened an indoor cultural center and theatre in downtown Baltimore, just blocks from the inner harbor. During the summer, however, they pay homage to their roots and produce shows in the ruins of the Patapsco Female Institute.
This summer, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company is producing Shakespeare’s The Tempest in the ruins of the institute:
“The Tempest is Shakespeare’s magnificent island fantasy. The sorcerer Prospero conjures a tempest to lure his brother and King Alonso to his island exile. His intends to expose their treachery, for they have deposed him from his rightful position as Duke of Milan. Among his motives is his fatherly wish to ensure a proper future for his daughter, who is stranded with him on the mysterious island.”
Single Carrot Theatre, Baltimore City
Single Carrot Theatre formed in 2006 when a group of dedicated dramaturges from University of Colorado chose Baltimore as the home for their new theatre. Since then, Single Carrot Theatre has developed a reputation for theatrical innovation in Baltimore. According to their website the company creates “new, diverse, and socially significant works; [reinvigorates] the classics; [creates] vibrant theatrical experiences; and fiercely [supports] the growth of young artists.”
Now in its tenth season, Single Carrot has one really unique show planned for this summer, Promenade: Baltimore:
“Single Carrot Theatre and STEREO Akt present Promenade: Baltimore, a boundary-breaking production that invites its audience to board a bus and traverse the city, passing through neighborhoods both familiar and unknown. Audience members watch through the windows as actors on the street present poetic expressions of everyday life in Baltimore, complimented by a live-mixed soundscape of music, narration, and stories based on and told by neighborhood residents. Promenade: Baltimore celebrates and explores all that is Baltimore: highlighting its complexity, struggles, treasures, and, ultimately, its undeniable beauty.”
Red Branch Theatre Company, Columbia
Red Branch Theatre Company, based out of Columbia, Maryland, formed in 2008. Since then, the company has upheld its mission to provide affordable, professional, and thought-provoking theatre experiences. The company focuses explicitly on musicals, and produces four shows each season. Furthermore, the company values “theatre with a social conscience,” and seeks to engage and give back to the community through partnerships. Red Branch Theatre, Inc. is also a 501c3 nonprofit corporation. So, all donations made to Red Branch are tax-deductible!
This summer catch their contemporary production of Lysistrata Jones August 4-26, 2017:
“Travel from ancient Greece to present day Athens University in this updated retelling of the classic Greek play with a new, infectious score. “Lyssie J.” and her brigade of sisters keep their “affections” under lock and key until their basketball player boyfriends start winning games, learning an important life lesson: absence might make the heart grow fonder, but abstinence makes the heart grow fondest.”
Maryland Ensemble Theatre, Frederick
The Maryland Ensemble Theatre in Frederick, Maryland is a diverse ensemble of professional resident artists. Formed in 1997, the MET characterizes their work as exciting, emotional, thought provoking theatre. This ensemble includes 25 actors, directors, writers, musicians, technicians, and designers. Their facilities include a 100 seat black box theatre, and a classroom/rehearsal space, a 16 person dressing room, costume shop, scene shop, and box office.
This summer you can catch their production of Fred’s Diner May 26 – June 18:
“In Fred’s American Diner on a busy English motorway, people dream of better lives. Chloe wants to emigrate, Melissa dreams of university, Heather wants to rebuild her life, Sunny wants Heather. And someone is going to kill Fred. You’ll find friendly staff and get service with a smile, but not far beneath lies a deadly secret in this dark comedy.”
What shows are you looking forward to seeing this summer? Did we leave out your favorite Maryland Theatre Company? Let us know in the comments below!