Making Theatre An Affordable Necessity
Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company is dedicated to the principle that theatre is a vital component in a civil society. It is the mission of Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company to produce classic and contemporary works that bear witness to the rich variety and commonality of human experience and enhance the appreciation of theatre as a humanizing art form through live performances, workshops, readings and educational programs for the community.
While the heart of CCTC will be classic plays, we will also look to produce contemporary and new works that have something important to say that is universal in theme. Our work will emphasize the power of language, delivering characters and stories that lead our audience on a compelling journey into the now of the play. Our goal is to create theatre that encourages our audience to contemplate the complexity of the human experience, celebrating individuality while recognizing and enhancing what is common in the human condition. But, most importantly, we wish to entertain, to engage and to inspire our audience through the communal experience of theatre.
MARY ANN BALDWIN
PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Mary Ann has led CCTC from its inception in 2005 until 2016. She will be stepping back into the role of Producing Artistic Director for the 2019 season to produce one of her favorite works by William Shakespeare. As an actor, she performed in numerous off-off Broadway productions in NYC and has had the pleasure of performing on some of the most beautiful stages in Europe before realizing her passion for producing. She has worked as an arts administrator for OBIE award-winning, The New Group; Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre and Off-Broadway’s The John Houseman Theatre Center. After a few seasons as General Manager of Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, she founded CCTC with like-minded artists. A proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, she is grateful and humbled to provide creative platforms for artists that inform, entertain and delight audiences in their own backyard.
Founding Artist/artistic associate
Josh is a Philadelphia-based actor, director and educator, and a member of Actors’ Equity Association. For CCTC, he directed the 2009 Free Theatre in the Parks production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2006’s Much Ado About Nothing, Love’s Labors Lost (4-wall MPiRP co-production with Drexel University), and the inaugural “Cool Classics” production of Macbeth in 2013 and most recently, The Lion in Winter in 2016. He holds an M.F.A in acting from the University of Delaware’s Professional Theatre Training Program. As an actor, Josh has performed both locally (White Pines Productions, Curio, Lantern, Hedgerow, Walnut Street Theatre and as Sergius in CCTC’s inaugural production of Arms and the Man, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, LaFleche in The Miser, and the title role in Richard III), regionally (Maine Shakespeare Festival, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), and for audiences across the country on two national tours of Romeo and Juliet for Theatreworks/USA.
FOUNDING ARTIST/LITERARY MANAGER
A member of Actors’ Equity Association and Dramatists Guild of America, Paul is an educator teaching high school English and Drama in Chester County. As a playwright, his most recent work, Rage of Achilles, received a full production as part of CCTC's Cool Classics program in 2015. Rage of Achilles also received a workshop presentation at Austin Shakespeare festival and Droit Du Seigneur was produced by CCTC at the 2010 Live Arts and Philadelphia Fringe Festival. His play, Two and Twenty, is published by Samuel French and has been produced nationally and internationally (well, Canada.) His written work has received numerous productions and readings including those by The Acting Company, Salamander Repertory Company and Stillwater Theatre Company in New York City. As an actor he has performed leading roles at the Zachary Scott Theatre (Nominee: B. Iden Payne Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama 2003), The National Shakespeare Company, Hedgerow Theatre, Classic Works Theatre, American Shakespeare Repertory, New Stagecraft Company etc. With CCTC he has performed the role of Bluntschli in CCTC’s Arms and the Man, Hortensio in The Taming of the Shrew, Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Clarence in Richard III, the Stage Manager in Our Town, and most recently, Orgon in Tartuffe.
FOUNDING ARTIST/CASTING COORDINATOR
Trice is a Philadelphia-based professional actor who has worked with many local companies including, The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, Curio Theatre Company, Luna Theater Company and Peoples Light & Theatre Company. Trice is the company’s Administrative and Artistic Associate and Casting Coordinator. For CCTC, she has performed the roles of Louka in Arms and the Man (2005), Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (2006) Kate in The Taming of the Shrew (2008), Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town (2012) and Lady Macbeth in the inaugural “Cool Classics” production of Macbeth (2013).
FOUNDING ARTIST/ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Jean is a marketing professional with experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit worlds. In addition to her work for CCTC, she was the Marketing Director at The Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival and worked as a marketing consultant for other theaters in the area. Currently she works for Culture Quest Tours which provides educational and cultural travel experiences for High Schools, Colleges and Adults.
Mary Ann Baldwin, President/Treasurer
Jean Harris, Vice President/Secretary
Terry Byrne, General Manager, The Westside Theatres, NYC
Ann Ciccolella, Artistic Director, Austin Shakespeare Festival
Brandon Doemling, Teacher/Director, Bloomfield High School, NJ
Joel Leffert, Co-Artistic Director, Salamander Repertory Co., NYC
Anthony Naylor, Actor (most notably with the RSC)
Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company is proud to present the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Free Theatre in Parks program. This year’s production of MEASURE FOR MEASURE by William Shakespeare, will reach over 2,500 audience members in 12 communities throughout the Greater Philadelphia area.
The city is adrift in moral decay. The Duke decides to go undercover as a holy man, leaving his holier than thou deputy, Angelo, in charge to harshly enforce the strict morality laws of the city. Angelo begins his rule by making an example of Claudio, sentencing him to death for getting his fiancé with child. Claudio’s sister Isabella, a young novitiate, pleads for his life. Hypocritically, Angelo agrees to spare Claudio but at great cost to Isabella. She has an impossible choice to make. Give up her innocence or give up her brother for execution.
In Shakespeare's bawdy and witty, dark comedy, questions of mercy, justice, corruption of power, and religious hypocrisy are explored in a thrilling story line seemingly made for today. What are the human consequences of power in the wrong hands? How can the scales of justice and mercy be leveled fairly and humanely? Join us in exploring the questions that lay at the passionate heart of William Shakespeare's timeless and timely work.
**Parental Discretion Advised: While we are sensitive to the family nature of outdoor performance and welcome all ages, CCTC is not a children's theatre company. Shakespeare's play deals with mature subject matter that you may not consider appropriate for your younger children.
Check the directions link/address for the venue you're planning on visiting on the schedule. All the information we have will be available on the website in the weeks before performances begin. We expect that many of our audience members live or work near one of our Philadelphia venues. We encourage you to walk, bike or take mass transit if you can. Philadelphia City also has metered and garage parking for those of you who plan to drive into the city. All of our suburban venues have either free lot parking or street parking around the venue!
Seating is not provided at the parks and venues at which we perform. Please bring blankets and beach chairs with low backs. Those with Lawn chairs and high-backed chairs are asked to be considerate and set up in areas a little farther back. We want you to get as close as you can to the performance area but please stay on the other side of the ‘footlights’ and watch small children around electrical equipment and hot lights.
We encourage bringing a picnic to enjoy before or during the performance. Please be sure you've checked out any posted rules and regulations for the park you're attending, as many do not allow alcoholic beverages or beverages in glass containers. And always take out what you bring in. Help keep our public places clean!
Rain, rain, go away…The safety of our company and our audience is paramount. If weather is wet or threatening, we may not be able to perform outside. Many of our locations will either have an indoor location provided for such occasions or may have a rain date on the schedule. Please check our website or voicemail on the day of the performance if weather conditions are iffy. We attempt to make a final call by 5pm on show days.
Unfortunately, if we are caught out in the rain or a thunderstorm, the performance will be halted. A short soaking rain or lightning that continues will cancel the performance. The final call will be made by CCTC’s Production Manager and the venue leader. We encourage you to come to another parks performance later in the run if we are not able to continue.
I can’t hear you! While we do have some enhanced sound, we do not provide hearing aids or other personal hearing devices. Our actors are professionals and there are some microphones placed near the performance area and speakers place out and around the audience seating area. While we can’t turn the sound up, we do invite you to tune in and ‘actively’ listen! It is worth the effort!
Stop bugging me! Mosquitoes, ants, and other insects may not like theater but they do like people…and food. Please take precautions.
I can’t find my purse – and where did the kids go! We want you to enjoy the experience of outdoor theatre but please be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your personal property and younger children.
2005 – Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw, directed by Jessica Richards
2006 – Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare, directed by Joshua Browns
2007 – The Game of Love and Chance by Marivaux, directed by Aaron Cromie
2008 – The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare, directed by Damon Bonetti
2009 – A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, directed by Joshua Browns
2010 – The Miser by Moliere, directed by Kathryn MacMillan
2011 – Richard III by William Shakespeare, directed by Dan Hodge
2012 – Our Town by Thornton Wilder, directed by Allen Radway
2013 – Complete Works of Wm. Shakespeare, Abridged, directed by M. Craig Getting
2014 - Twelfth Night, Or What You Will by William Shakespeare, directed by Paul Parente
2015 - The Tempest by William Shakespeare, directed by Allen Radway
2016 - Tartuffe by Moliere, directed by Allison Heishman
2017 - Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, directed by Kathryn MacMillan
2018 - The Complete History of America (abridged) by Adam Long, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, directed by Kristen Schier
2013 – Macbeth by William Shakespeare, directed by Joshua Browns
2014 - The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, directed by Joshua Browns
2015 - Rage of Achilles by Paul Parente, directed by Damon Bonetti
2016 - The Lion in Winter by James Goldman, directed by Joshua Browns
2005 – Two and Twenty by Paul Parente
2006/2007/2008 – “A Reader’s Theatre presentation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Caroladapted and directed by Kathryn MacMillanfor use as entertainment at multiple fundraisers and free entertainment before the Love Park Philadelphia Tree Lighting.
2007 – Love’s Labors Lost by William Shakespeare, produced as part of the Drexel University MPiRP (Mandell Professionals in Residency Program): Resident Director and Artistic Associate Joshua Browns directed a cast of 5 professional actors working as principal performers and mentors to a cast of 13 Drexel University students.
2008/2009/2010 – Reading Series: Rage of Achilles, Droit du Seigneur and No Entrance by Paul Parente; The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare.
2010 – Droit Du Seigneur by Paul Parente, produced as CCTC’s first production in the Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe at Lantern Theater Company: Philadelphia-based free lance director Aaron Oster directed a cast of 4
2012 – Reader’s Theater Series: Rocket to the Moon by Clifford Odets (directed by M. Craig Getting), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee (directed by Joshua Browns), and A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller (directed by Joshua Browns
2013 – Reader’s Theater Series: Goodnight, Desdemona (Good Morning, Juliet) by Anne-Marie MacDonald, (directed by Charlotte Northeast), Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief by Paula Vogel, (directed by CCTC Artistic Director Mary Ann Baldwin), and Richard and Anneby Maxwell Anderson, (directed by Leonard Kelly).
Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit. Because the overwhelming majority of our 'Free Theatre in the Parks' performances are provided at no cost to the audience, we rely on the support of individuals like you to bring professional classic theatre communities each summer. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support theatre in your backyard!
Are you a leader in your community and want to find out if a performance in possible in your 'backyard'?
Are you a business owner interested in becoming a sponsor?
Are you a community member interested in helping us out at one of our performances?
Call or email Producing Artistic Director Mary Ann Baldwin
CCTC accepts submissions from interested actors, directors and designers year-round. Auditions for each season of 'Free Theatre in the Parks' generally occur in February/March.
Hard Copy submissions to:
COMMONWEALTH CLASSIC THEATRE COMPANY
PO BOX 971
MEDIA, PA 19063-0971
Please contact Producing Artistic Director Joshua Browns at:
Do you have a question about an upcoming performance, how to get involved with CCTC, or anything else? Please contact us below.