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Theater in the Open, recently selected as curators of the Gatekeeper’s House in Maudslay State Park, opened its summer season Saturday, July 8, with a production of Sophocles’ Antigone, playing in repertory with its production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which opened on July 22.

“This is an ambitious summer season for Theater in the Open,” says artistic director, Edward Speck, “and we’re really pleased to be able to offer these two productions free to our community. Sophocles’ Antigone is a tragic play about the power structure in Ancient Greece and it expresses the values and laws of that culture. Balanced against that work, we offer Shakespeare’s classic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so our audience sees two plots derived from the same mythological moment; two stories that use that mythology — in very different ways — to express cultural values.” 

Director Stephen Haley returns to Theater in the Open to tackle both plays, running through August 20. With a cast of 20 actors, Haley explores these two very different visions of the world of Ancient Greece. The titular Antigone, a woman guided by her own moral code to stand against the laws of Thebes, is presented in a production that incorporates dance with Sophocles’ classic text. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, humans and fairies descend upon the forest outside of Athens to connect with their true loves as Shakespeare explores the balance of power and themes of the masculine and feminine in his timeless comedy. 

In another first for Theater in the Open this season, there will be a theater festival the weekend of August 12-13, featuring four distinct offerings for the community beginning on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. with Family Hour in the Open, an interactive hour of creative exploration and performance. At 2 p.m. Theater in the Open will once again be staging its spring production, Snow White: A Through the Looking Glass Panto, then on Sunday afternoon, audiences can see A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 1 p.m. followed by Antigone at 4 p.m. All performances are free and open to the public. Fun, games and light refreshments between the performances on both days will be offered, so families are invited to pack up their picnic baskets, the dog, and their imaginations and join in for a weekend of inventive, exciting theater.

Antigone will be performed July 8, 9, 16, 23, 30 and August 13 at 4 p.m. 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed July 15, 22, 29, and August 19 and 20 at 4 p.m., and August 13 at 1 p.m. All performances free and open to the public.