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 (cont’d)
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.Learn More