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By Tim Smith and Baltimore Sun reporter | April 6, 2011
From Clef Notes & Drama Queens: The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, a significant force in the local theatrical community, is closing after 17 seasons. "This is a very difficult decision that was made by our Board," marketing and development director Chris Pfingsten wrote in an email I received Wednesday. "Needless to say, [artistic director] Michael [Carleton] and I are very disappointed. ... Neither Michael nor I will be making any official statement regarding this decision other than to say we are very sad, but also extremely proud of the work that was created by our artists on the BSF stage.
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By Mike Giuliano | July 5, 2011
When the financially stressed Baltimore Shakespeare Festival recently ceased operations, it meant the end for its summer tradition of doing Shakespeare outdoors in the meadow at Evergreen Museum and Library in north Baltimore. Well, the tradition essentially continues, thanks to another Shakespeare-producing organization. The Frederick-based Maryland Shakespeare Festival has included Evergreen on its touring circuit this summer. Its festive production of “As You Like It” occupies the same spot on the Evergreen lawn as the Baltimore company claimed for so many years.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 8, 2010
Even during a nagging heat wave, the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival provides two awfully good reasons to embrace the elements — kinetic outdoor productions of "The Comedy of Errors," by the ensemble's namesake; and "Scapin," by Moliere. Both plays, performed on a meadow behind the Evergreen Museum and Library and running through Aug. 1, feature the same ensemble of finely honed actors. The Moliere farce from 1671 concerns the knavish title character, whose inventive schemes help two pairs of lovers — Octave and Hyacinth, Leander and Zerbinette — achieve their marital plans despite paternal objections.
NEWS
April 12, 2011
We come not to bury the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, but to praise the outstanding job it did keeping the Bard's work alive for Baltimore audiences for 17 seasons. Parting is such sweet sorrow when the departed one has so entertained, educated and delighted local theatergoers for so long. The company announced last week it was closing due to financial troubles it had been experiencing for nearly a decade and that were exacerbated by the recent recession. Though there has always been an enthusiastic audience here for Shakespeare's enduring masterpieces, they have never been cheap to produce.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley and Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 6, 2011
The cash-strapped Baltimore Shakespeare Festival is closing its doors after 17 years in operation. The demise of the small troupe, effective immediately, reduces the number of the city's professional stage companies from three to just two: Center Stage and Everyman Theatre . "Everyone is devastated," Peter Toran, the president of the festival's board of directors, said Wednesday. "The decision to close was not made lightly by any means. I've known since I became board president almost two years ago that there were systemic budget issues that we needed to address.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | April 20, 1999
On the surface, the Victorian era was a time of repression and strict morals. But surfaces can be misleading. In the case of the Victorians, there was often considerable eroticism lurking underneath.That disparity is at the heart of "Twelfth Night," which may be why director Christopher Marino has chosen a Victorian setting for the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival's production of this Shakespearean comedy."Twelfth Night" is the festival's first public production in nearly two years and also its first to toy with the time period of one of Shakespeare's plays.
FEATURES
By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,mary.mccauley@baltsun.com | May 26, 2009
Something might be rotten in the state of Denmark, but the future is looking brighter for Baltimore Shakespeare Festival. The festival, which has a new artistic director, a revamped mission and - in its current production of Wittenberg, a modern day "prequel" to H amlet - one of the strongest shows the troupe has mounted in years. For much of the year, the troupe has taken a performing hiatus, while it tended to administrative matters, such as hiring Michael Carleton as the artistic director to replace the departing James Kinstle.
NEWS
By Karin Remesch and Karin Remesch,CONTRIBUTING WRITER | January 7, 1996
Andre Braugher, an acclaimed Shakespearean actor who portrays Detective Pembleton on television's "Homicide: Life on the Street," will lead the first student actors workshop to be sponsored by the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival.The workshop, Feb. 3-4, is geared to high-school students who have an interest in the theater but no professional acting background.The two-day workshop, made possible through a grant from First Maryland Bancorp Trust Group, will immerse the local teen-agers in a variety of activities presented by nationally prominent experts in various fields of the theater.
NEWS
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Theater Critic | May 6, 2007
The year isn't half over, but it's already a banner one for the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival. In January, the small professional theater company received an anonymous $1 million donation. Last month, on Shakespeare's birthday, it chalked up its first National Endowment for the Arts grant. The $25,000 matching grant from the NEA's Shakespeare for a New Generation Program put the Baltimore festival in good company. Among the 34 other theaters honored with this round of grants were the Tony Award-winning Oregon and Utah Shakespeare festivals as well as Washington's Shakespeare Theatre Company.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley and Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | April 6, 2011
The cash-strapped Baltimore Shakespeare Festival is closing its doors after 17 years in operation. The demise of the small troupe, effective immediately, reduces the number of the city's professional stage companies from three to just two: Center Stage and Everyman Theatre . "Everyone is devastated," Peter Toran, the president of the festival's board of directors, said Wednesday. "The decision to close was not made lightly by any means. I've known since I became board president almost two years ago that there were systemic budget issues that we needed to address.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | December 2, 2010
Given recent talk of "Second Amendment remedies" to advance certain political agendas, the kind of bloodthirsty, power-hungry machinations in Shakespeare's "Richard III" don't seem so terribly far removed from our own time. That point is underlined in the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival's energetic updating of the epic play, where the man who would stop at nothing to be king makes his entrance at what looks like a political rally, camera crews hanging on his every insincere word. In this version, conceived and directed by Michael Carleton, the dark-suited Richard moves with rapid speed toward the throne — even faster here, given textual trims and some condensing of characters — all the while feigning lack of interest in higher office, like many a politician does today.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 8, 2010
Even during a nagging heat wave, the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival provides two awfully good reasons to embrace the elements — kinetic outdoor productions of "The Comedy of Errors," by the ensemble's namesake; and "Scapin," by Moliere. Both plays, performed on a meadow behind the Evergreen Museum and Library and running through Aug. 1, feature the same ensemble of finely honed actors. The Moliere farce from 1671 concerns the knavish title character, whose inventive schemes help two pairs of lovers — Octave and Hyacinth, Leander and Zerbinette — achieve their marital plans despite paternal objections.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 1, 2010
Shakespeare and the out of doors go together naturally — not surprising, given that many Elizabethans got their first exposure to his plays in an open-air amphitheater. For the better part of 15 years, Bard fans and fireflies have taken in the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival's al fresco season on the meadow behind the Evergreen Museum and Library. And, for nearly a decade, the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company has celebrated the greatest English-language playwright with performances given at the ruins of the Patapsco Female Institute on a hilltop above Ellicott City.
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By Mary Carole McCauley | mary.mccauley@baltsun.com and Baltimore Sun reporter | March 5, 2010
The 19th-century British actress Fanny Kemble was among the most influential women in America and simultaneously one of the least powerful. She argued politics over dinner with a U.S. president and inspired such seminal literary works as Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" and Henry James' " Washington Square." She wrote plays, poetry and memoirs, and became an abolitionist. And yet, she was kept away from her two daughters for most of their childhoods. "She had a phenomenal life filled with contradictions," says Tom Ziegler, whose two-character play "Mrs.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Carole McCauley | December 20, 2009
I n 2009, Baltimore's theatrical larder was, if not exactly bare, then less full and tempting than it usually is. Local troupes economized by staging fewer shows with safer and less challenging fare. Subscription series at both the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center and Rep Stage in Howard County were cut by one, and for the first time in several years, the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival didn't mount a major fall production. In addition, duplication abounded. The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival and Rep Stage mounted identically cast productions of "Wittenberg" in June and August, and there were other examples.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith | tim.smith@baltsun.com and Baltimore Sun reporter | December 8, 2009
I n a city where tradition still counts for a lot, it's worth taking an extra look at the Handel Choir of Baltimore. This weekend marks its 75th annual performance of "Messiah," the most famous oratorio by the ensemble's namesake. In 1935, there probably wasn't a great deal of competition at holiday time for the choir. "This year, there is a landslide of 'Messiahs,' " says Melinda O'Neal, the choir's artistic director and conductor. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra alone is responsible for three versions - last week's annual complete performance of the work, a gospel version this weekend, and a mix of the two for a community singalong on Wednesday.
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