CSC announces updates to Much Ado About Nothing, summer camps, online programming

BALTIMORE (May 19, 2020) – Chesapeake Shakespeare Company announces online summer camps and classes, YouTube programming, and the cancellation of Much Ado About Nothing, originally scheduled for this summer at PFI Historic Park in Ellicott City.

Much Ado About Nothing at PFI Historic Park in Ellicott City

With Friday’s announcement that Howard County Parks and Recreation have canceled any large events and gatherings through at least July 1, and with performing arts events falling squarely in the third and final phase of Gov. Hogan’s plan to reopen Maryland, CSC has decided to cancel its summer production of Much Ado About Nothing, originally scheduled to open June 19 at the PFI Historic Park in Ellicott City.

“We are heartbroken about not being able to perform outdoors in Ellicott City for the first time since 2003, our very first outdoor performance,” says Ian Gallanar, CSC founding artistic director. “But we’ll be back to share outdoor theater with our friends and neighbors as soon as it’s possible.”

Ticket holders have received electronic communication from the organization regarding options for future use. CSC is researching different options for alternative performances that include increased social distancing and health and safety measures. No decisions have been made yet.

Summer Education Programs

Due to COVID-19 regulations and guidelines issued by both state and local officials in Maryland, all summer programming will be hosted virtually. CSC will re-evaluate in-person sessions as new guidelines are released. CSC is offering programs for three different age levels: Summer at the Studio (2nd through 9th grade), CSCorps and High School Ensemble (7th through 12th grade) and Play Analysis (adults).

Summer at the Studio (2nd-9th grades) Sessions will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 22-Aug. 28. Each hour of the day will focus on a different activity to engage students such as arts & crafts, scene study, scene/film review, interactive games, theatrical warm-ups, movement, music, and much, much more! CSC Teaching Artists will lead these age-appropriate activities—in both group and age-based breakout sessions—in a non-competitive, virtual environment. No audition is required. Packages are available starting at seven hours a week. Registration begins May 22.

CSCorps and High School Ensemble (7th-12th grades) Sessions will be July 6 -Aug. 14. Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s High School Ensemble and High School Corps programs will join forces online this summer. Students practice performance, textual analysis, language, history, and ensemble building as they rehearse and perform in our virtual “rehearsal room.” No audition is required. Students must commit to the full six-week program. Registration begins May 22.

Adult Courses will be offered throughout the summer. Courses include “Play On!” (critical analysis, July 13-Aug. 17), “Speak the Speech” (classical monologue practice, July 14-Aug. 18), “An Introduction to Shakespeare and His Contemporaries” (July 16-Aug. 20), and “Why Do You Keep Alone?” (Shakespeare scene study for military and veterans in partnership with the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Easterseals, May 27-July 29).

CSC is still working with schools to provide virtual content to students studying Shakespeare’s works in a virtual classroom setting, including scene study, textual analysis, and insight from theater artists.

Additional Online Programming

CSC has created two YouTube series during the nationwide “pause.” For “Sequestered Shakespeare,” which launched in April, CSC resident actors and company members are self-producing videos featuring soliloquies and sonnets. The “Past is Prologue” series, introduced May 15, features a new conversation each week between Ian Gallanar and members of the global Shakespeare community. Conversation topics will include the role of theater in education, gender and Shakespeare, race in Shakespeare and the “right” way to update Shakespeare.