Chesapeake Shakespeare Company announces the long-awaited return of outdoor Shakespeare to the Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park in historic Ellicott City for the 18th summer. The company will present The Adventures of Pericles, a family-friendly, 90-minute version of William Shakespeare’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre, directed by CSC Resident Director Matthew R. Wilson.
The Adventures of Pericles runs from June 30 through August 1, 2021, with previews June 30 and July 1 and press night on July 2. Tickets are still free for children under 19 (one free ticket per adult ticket purchased by reservation), and Sunday Family Fun Days will also return with preshow activities, including story time and crafts.
Like many performing arts organizations, CSC was temporarily forced to close its doors in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Managing Director Lesley Malin notes that “this is our first live performance in over 15 months and it seems fitting that we should return where our roots are deepest—at the PFI Historic Park. Right now, outdoors is the safest way we know to perform. In light of COVID, we have made many necessary changes to our standard outdoor operating procedures, but we are confident that the energy and excitement of performing at The Ruins will be as robust as ever and that we can give all our patrons a magical, theatrical experience.” (See below for health and safety updates for this production.)
In this abridged version of the play, the ever-changing sea tosses Pericles from one fantastic journey to the next, as he encounters tyrant kings, riddles, shipwrecks, friends, and pirates. He eventually finds—and then sorrowfully loses—a family. Only a miracle can bring them together again, but in Shakespeare’s sweeping fairy tale there is a joyous reunion and a renewal of life.
Generally regarded as a comedy, Pericles is big on action and adventure and, as director Matthew R. Wilson puts it, “[it’s] the story of adventure through disruption, friendship through misfortune, and the unexpected joys of getting back what once was lost. I can think of no better play to celebrate reemergence from the pandemic, like cicadas emerging from the ground.”
Coincidentally, Wilson was one of the last performers to grace the company’s stage when the pandemic forced The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) to shutter less than two weeks into the run last March.
Another “coincidence” was pointed out by CSC Planet Shakespeare podcast guest and Founder of Globe Education at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, Patrick Spottiswoode, about the timeliness of the play choice: “Pericles …. was the first Shakespeare play to be revived in the Restoration  after 18 years of no theatre. I like to think that it was chosen as it is about the new generation breathing and singing life into the old.”
For CSC, this “new generation” includes Deimoni Brewington, DJ Horne, Lolita Horne, Chania Hudson, and Elizabeth Ung making their company debuts alongside veteran CSC performers Jose Guzman, Steven Hoochuk, and Molly Moores.
Visit ChesapeakeShakespeare.com/Pericles for more information.
IMPORTANT HEALTH AND SAFETY INFORMATION
Chesapeake Shakespeare Company will continue to follow all Howard County and Maryland state regulations and restrictions, as well as health and safety guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control. Visit ChesapeakeShakespeare.com/know-before-you-go prior to purchasing tickets or attending a performance for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 procedures and precautions being taken. Please note the following for Summer 2021 performances at PFI Historic Park:
- Gates and ticket tent open 90 minutes prior to curtain.
- There will be no intermission during the performance.
- Seating capacity has been reduced at PFI Historic Park in order to maintain social distance.
- Guided seating with a volunteer or staff usher will be used to ensure that social distance is maintained. We ask that all patrons wear masks in the ticket tent area and until seated.
- As determined by Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, due to COVID-19 the vans that normally take patrons from the courthouse parking lot to the PFI will not be available this year. The walking distance is approximately .2 miles (comparable to other area outdoor venues like Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia or Wolf Trap in Virginia). There will be designated passenger drop off and pick up at the Ticket Tent.
- No food vendors will be onsite; no cash sales will be accepted onsite.
- Full production programs will be made available digitally. Printed cast lists will be available onsite upon request.
- All Chesapeake Shakespeare Company staff and artists have been vaccinated.
As in past years, we welcome (and encourage) patrons to bring their own picnics (including wine and/or beer) and blankets to enhance their enjoyment of the evening. Standard seating and picnic tables will be available.
The Adventures of Pericles
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Matthew R. Wilson
CAST MEMBERS (in alphabetical order)
Elizabeth Ung* * – Chesapeake Shakespeare Company mainstage debut
Matthew R. Wilson – Director
Sarah Curnoles – Production Manager
Ali Januzzi – Assistant Director
Grace Srinivasan – Music Director
Dan O’Brien – Scenic Designer, Technical Director
Kristina Lambdin – Costume Designer
Kaydin Hamby – Sound Designer
Mollie Singer – Props Designer
Lauren Engler – Stage Manager
Rebecca Kleeman – Assistant Stage Manager
ABOUT THE PLAY:
Come back with us to the enchanting PFI Ruins and rediscover the magic of Shakespeare under the stars! The ever-changing sea tosses Pericles from one fantastic journey to the next, as he encounters tyrant kings, riddles, shipwrecks, friends, and pirates. He eventually finds—and then sorrowfully loses—a family. Only a miracle can bring them together again, but in Shakespeare’s sweeping fairy tale there is a joyous reunion and a renewal of life.
WHERE: The Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park is located at 3655 Church Road, Ellicott City, MD 21043. Parking for the Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park is located at 3691 Sarah’s Lane, Ellicott City, MD, 21043. Gates and ticket tent will open 90 minutes prior to curtain. In order to safeguard the health and safety of our audience, artists, and staff, shuttle service will not be offered from the parking lot to the Ruins this year. Passenger drop off will still be available at the ticket tent. For more detailed information about directions, parking, and public transportation, visit our website.
DATES AND TIMES:
Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at 8:00 pm PREVIEW
Thursday, July 1, 2021 at 8:00 pm PREVIEW
Friday, July 2, 2021 at 8:00 pm OPENING NIGHT
Saturday, July 2, 2021 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, July 4, 2021 at 6:00 pm
Friday, July 9, 2021 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, July 11, 2021 at 6:00 pm
Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 7:30 pm
Friday, July 16, 2021 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, July 17, 2021 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, July 18, 2021 at 6:00 pm
Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 7:30 pm
Friday, July 23, 2021 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, July 25, 2021 at 6:00 pm
Thursday, July 29, 2021 at 7:30 pm
Friday, July 30, 2021 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, August 1, 2021 at 6:00 pm
Please note that seating will be limited in order to preserve social distancing. We highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased by calling 410-244-8570, ordering online at ChesapeakeShakespeare.com, or visiting the Baltimore Box Office in person. Tickets range from $19 to $48, with discounts available for groups of ten or more, active-duty military, seniors, and anyone age 25 or younger. Tickets for preview performances are just $16 each for all ages, no discounts available. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
ABOUT CHESAPEAKE SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
Chesapeake Shakespeare Company is the leading classical theatre company in Maryland, offering vibrant performances since 2002 that blow the dust off of Shakespeare and delight its patrons. One of the six largest theatre companies in the state, CSC serves diverse audiences with funny, moving, rousing mainstage seasons, a vigorous education program that serves over 16,000 students annually in both theatre and the classroom, and a growing community engagement effort. In 2012, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company acquired the Mercantile Safe Deposit and Trust Company building in downtown Baltimore, renovating it into a modern Globe Theater for indoor performances, while continuing to produce outdoor Shakespeare every summer at the PFI Historic Park in Howard County.