All posts by Jean Thompson

High Five for Students and Teachers!

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet:
              5,500 Students — 50 Schools — CSC’s 50th Production


BALTIMORE (April 7, 2015) – Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s new school matinee program opens today with busloads of students arriving downtown to see Romeo and Juliet.  The first two participating schools are Oakland Mills Middle School from Howard County and Cesar Chavez Prep from Washington, D.C.

From April 7 to May 12, more than 5,500 students and their teachers will attend morning performances to experience Shakespeare’s work on the stage, not just the page. Each performance will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the actors. In addition, more than 2,200 students will receive pre-show or post-show workshops to unlock the magic of Shakespeare’s words and explore the themes of the classic romantic tragedy.

*The City of Baltimore has temporarily restricted parking on the east side of Calvert Street between Redwood and Baltimore streets to give school buses a safe drop-off and pick- up lane. No parking from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays in the right hand lane on weekdays through May 12.*

Romeo and Juliet is the 50th production mounted by Chesapeake Shakespeare Company since its founding in 2002. Celebrations will take place at matinee and evening performances on William Shakespeare’s birthday, Thursday, April 23, 2015.

Through May 12, public, private, and home school students from Baltimore City, the Washington, D.C., area, surrounding counties, and Pennsylvania will attend the matinees. Chesapeake Shakespeare Company began inviting schools even before completing construction on its Calvert Street theater last fall.

“This is one of the key reasons we built this theater — to have a resource like this for the schools in our region,” said Ian Gallanar, director of Romeo and Juliet and the theater company’s founding artistic director. “We can’t wait to fill this theater with students and plant the seed for future lovers of Shakespeare, theater and language.”

For many students, the Romeo and Juliet tickets, transportation and/or workshops will be free, funded by generous supporters including the Kenneth S. Battye Charitable Trust, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Wells Fargo Cultural Excellence Program, Legg Mason, The Baltimore City Foundation championed by Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Goldseker Foundation, and Morris A. Mechanic Foundation.

“Studies, teachers, and our own experiences tell us repeatedly that exposure to live productions of Shakespeare is the best possible way to introduce students to the most important and influential writer in the English language,” said Lesley Malin, the theater company’s managing director.

The 90-minute school matinee of Romeo and Juliet is a condensed, muscular, and fast-paced version of the play, which will be performed in full for regular audiences on weeknights and weekends beginning this Friday, April 10. For evening and weekend performances, ticket details can be found at and at the Box Office, 410-244-8570.

By:  William Shakespeare
Director:   Ian Gallanar   
Education Coordinator:   Ron Heneghan
Education Director:  Kevin J. Costa

Participating schools include:

Oakland Mills Middle School
Cesar Chavez Prep
Clarksville Middle School
St. Stephens Christian Academy
Friends School of Baltimore
Odyssey School
Perryville High School
St. Ignatius Loyola Academy
Lime Kiln Middle School
Balt. Leadership School for Young Women
St. Louis Parish School
Coppin Academy
Randallstown High School
The Harbour School
The Bryn Mawr School
The Park School
City Springs Middle School
North East High School
The Boys’ Latin School
Holy Child School
St. Paul’s School for Boys
Eleanor Roosevelt High School
Quince Orchard High School
Augusta Fells Savage High School
Sparrows Point High School
Roland Park Middle School
Severn High School
Loyola Blakesfield
Towson High School
Mount Royal Elementary-Middle School
Midtown Academy
Frederick Douglass High School
Roland Park Country School
Baltimore City College High School
Cambridge School of Baltimore
Grace Brethren
North Harford High School
Baltimore Design School
Sisters Academy of Baltimore
Children’s Aid Society
Silver Oak Academy
Empowerment Academy
Milford Mill Academy
Francis Scott Key Middle School
Hereford High School
Meade Middle School
Home School Students from the region

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company
Ian Gallanar, Founding Artistic Director
Lesley Malin, Managing Director

MEDIA CONTACT:  Photos are available

Jean Thompson, Communications Manager
410-244-8571, Ext. 106 (office)

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company Sets 2015-2016 Season

From The Baltimore Sun Artsmash blog, March 20, 2015

By Tim Smith

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, which has been enjoying a well-received inaugural season in its comfy downtown Baltimore digs, will offer the light and dark sides of the Shakespearean canon during its second season there.

A late-18th-century comedy and a revival of the company’s Baltimore-centric version of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” which was unveiled this season, are also on the 2015-2016 lineup.

“I like the variety, with lots of different stuff going on,” said Chesapeake Shakespeare Company artistic director Ian Gallanar.

The season will open in September with “Much Ado About Nothing” in a staging that updates the action to the World War I era. “It will appeal to Shakespeare fans and ‘Downton Abbey’ fans,” Gallanar said. 

He will direct the bloody “Titus Andronicus,” opening in October. The production concept can be described as “rock ‘n’ roll by David Lynch,” the director said. “It’s not for the kiddies. We like to do family-friendly shows, but there’s no way to make mutilation and gang rape family-friendly.”

Rounding out the Shakespeare side of things will be “Macbeth,” opening in April 2016. No details yet on how it will be staged.

In addition to the holiday offering of “A Christmas Carol” in December, the company will present a 1791 comedy by Irishman John O’Keeffe, “Wild Oats,” in March 2016. It’s about a troupe of strolling players headed by a fellow who speaks in quotations by Shakespeare and others. READ MORE HERE

Subscriptions to Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s 2015-2016 season go on sale May 31.

International Shakespeare Conference Coming to Baltimore and CSC

From The Baltimore Sun Artsmash blog, January 12, 2015

The Shakespeare Theatre Association, with an international membership of more than 100 companies, will hold its annual conference in Baltimore early January 2017.  Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, which inaugurated its acclaimed Baltimore home in a renovated bank building last year, will host.  By Tim Smith. Read more here.


From The Baltimore Business Journal, January 12, 2015

Chesapeake Shakespeare Co. promised donors that building a new theater in downtown Baltimore would draw international attention to the city’s theater scene. And now, the company is making good on that pledge. By  Sarah Meehan. Read more here.