about us

Mission Statement

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.

Artistic Statement

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.

 
 

THE COMPANY - FOUNDING ARTISTS

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Joshua Browns
Founding Artist/Producing artistic director

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.

MARY ANN BALDWIN
FOUNDING PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Mary Ann spearheaded the company's development and oversaw the company’s direction while conducting the day-to-day business. Mary Ann is an active founding artist with CCTC. is a theatre administrator and a professional actor with membership in Actors’ Equity Association.  She has experience in both the commercial and not-for-profit theatre having worked in New York City for 15 years as an actor and as an administrator.  As an actor she has had the pleasure of performing on some of the smallest stages of New York City and the most beautiful theatres in Northern Europe (Germany, Norway, Sweden and Finland). As an Administrator she has worked on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theatre, Off Broadway at The John Houseman Theatre Center and with the multi-Obie Award winning company, New Group Theatre.  She has also been a producer, manager and actor with many smaller organizations that make up the New York City theatre community.  Originally from Chester County, PA, she returned to the Philadelphia area with the intention of pursuing a more family-centric lifestyle while continuing her work in the theatre.  She spent her first few years back in the Philadelphia area as General Manager of The Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival before beginning CCTC.  Her husband and teenage son and much of their extended family live in the communities of Delaware, Chester and Philadelphia counties.

PAUL PARENTE
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.

TRICE BALDWIN
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).

JEAN HARRIS
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.  

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Mary Ann Baldwin, President/Treasurer

Jean Harris, Vice President/Secretary

 Joshua Browns

 Mary Carlisle

 Eileen Harris

 Renae Dinerman

ADVISORY BOARD

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)