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By New York Times News Service | March 22, 1993
NEW YORK -- It was about a month ago, George C. Wolfe recalled, that he was asked by the executive committee of the New York Shakespeare Festival's board if he'd be interested in taking over the reins of the institution from JoAnne Akalaitis. He was. Then they asked him what he'd do with it."I told them what I'm passionate about," he said in an interview. "I said you can't create an oasis for writers but you can create a home for them. You can say to someone, 'I like your play; I'm going to produce it.' And then when the play is falling apart in previews, you can say, 'I'm going to produce your next play.
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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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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic | August 5, 1994
In staging "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Cloisters Amphitheater as its inaugural production, the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival has chosen the Shakespearean play best suited to being performed outdoors on a summer night. And the fledgling theater company is taking full advantage of its open-air venue -- on the evening I attended, even a brief rain shower failed to interrupt the action on stage.But above and beyond the lovely, appropriate setting, the most interesting aspect of this solid production is that it isn't merely a light romp in the woods, as the play is often interpreted.
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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.
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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | July 15, 2002
Not unlike the handsome soldier who falls in love with a beautiful woman but doesn't know the words to woo her in Cyrano de Bergerac, the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival's production of Edmund Rostand's classic play is an effort whose ambition exceeds its abilities. It's a valiant effort and one that features a few strong key performances. But like its title character, this is a play that needs to be brimming with, to borrow Cyrano's word, "panache" and style. A number of factors countermand that in director Joe Brady's al fresco presentation in the Evergreen House meadow.
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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,sun theater critic | January 9, 2007
At a time when the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival was feeling the pinch of rising costs, the small, 13-year-old professional theater received a surprise, anonymous $1 million gift to create an endowment fund. "It gives us a kind of stability that we never would have had," said Marilyn Powel, president of the board of the nonprofit theater. The company currently produces four plays a year - three at its home at St. Mary's Outreach Center in Hampden and one in the Evergreen House meadow on North Charles Street.
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By Christopher Reynolds and Christopher Reynolds,LOS ANGELES TIMES | August 3, 1997
Behold the town a dead bard's plots sustain,Where stage and stores his words do decorate,Where green hills rise and sweet creek swiftly runs,And far-flung strangers do yearly subscribe,To gaze on spawn of two clans strangely wed,And wonder: How hath Hamlet fathered hamlet?The town is Ashland, perched on the edge of the Rogue River Valley opposite a gorgeous verdant hillside, roughly midway between San Francisco and Portland. On lazy afternoons, stray deer wander down its residential streets, while on the main drag, out-of-towners congregate in wistful pairs to peer at the window offerings of real-estate offices.
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By Laura Dreibelbis and Laura Dreibelbis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 3, 2000
William Shakespeare would have been in love all over again last week at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia. Students from six area middle and high schools performed in "Where there's a Will, there's a Play," the third annual Howard County Public Schools Shakespeare Festival. The performances celebrate the works of Shakespeare (who was born and died on April 23) by students and faculty members. Teachers Kelli Midgely-Biggs of Wilde Lake High School and Robin Russell of Glenwood Middle School coordinated the festival to expose students to Shakespeare.
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By Lorraine Gingerich and Lorraine Gingerich,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | July 5, 2001
It was Shakespeare under the stars last weekend as the National Players performed the comedy "Much Ado About Nothing" outside at Glenelg Country School. This was the school's second Glenelg Shakespeare Festival with the classical touring company from Olney Theater Center in Montgomery County. The professional actors also conducted acting workshops for teen-age students before some performances. "We're just warming up, just as any musicians or athlete would before a game or a concert," said Peter Wylie, who played Don John and the Sexton in the play.
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By Karin Remesch | February 8, 1999
Columbia Community Players. "The Heidi Chronicles" by Wendy Wasserstein. 7 p.m. today at Faulkner Ridge Neighborhood Center, 10518 Marble Fawn Court, Columbia. Needed are three men and seven women in their 20s to 30s. Call 410-461-3830.DC Regional Classical Auditions. Representatives from the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, International Renaissance Festival, the Keegan Theatre, Shenandoah Shakespeare Express, Richmond Shakespeare Festivals and Upstart Crow's New Dominion Shakespeare Festival to attend.
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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.
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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.
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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | November 24, 2010
Of all the monarchs who came under Shakespeare's scrutiny and poetic license, Richard III may be the least likable — and most riveting. Like some evil version of the hobbling, stuttering Roman emperor Claudius, Richard was "cheated of feature by dissembling nature, deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time into this breathing world, scarce half made up. " Where Claudius was too shy to seek the throne and turned out to be a fairly decent ruler...
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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.
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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.
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By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,Sun theater critic | June 25, 2008
As the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival prepares to celebrate its 15th anniversary with the production of Twelfth Night that opens Friday, it is grappling with major decisions that could change its fortunes. After a decade and a half, the company has yet to establish a real foothold in Baltimore. It continues to struggle artistically and, as a result, doesn't attract a large audience. Many productions have been emotionally remote, or earnest and plodding. Directors have cast skilled actors but have failed to make the best use of their talents.
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By J. Wynn Rousuck | April 18, 1991
Center Stage will host its first annual Shakespeare Festival for high school students on the Bard's birthday, Tuesday.Organized by the theater's education coordinator, Margaret Tocci, the festival will feature groups from seven area high schools performing scenes for an audience and panel of judges. The students also will participate in an acting workshop led by members of the cast of Center Stage's current production of "Twelfth Night."The general public may attend the student scenes at no charge; Elizabethan dress is optional.
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By Mary Carole McCauley and Mary Carole McCauley,Sun theater critic | April 9, 2008
The Winter's Tale may be the only work by the Bard that focuses on the travails and hard-won joys of an enduring marriage. In more than a dozen other plays, from Romeo and Juliet to Measure for Measure, Shakespeare brilliantly examines the dynamics of erotic longing. But only in this work does he explore the frozen silences that can afflict a long relationship, the arguments as unwinnable as they are bitter. When the hostilities die down and love returns, it can seem more miraculous than the first flush of passion.
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