Next Tuesday, my wife Jill and I are headed up to gorgeous Kent Island to take in a little Shakespeare. The Eastern Shore lovers in us are especially excited about the fact that this particular production of the comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is going to be performed al fresco, right out on the Matapeake Beach waterfront while the sun sets in the distance behind the actors.
This little theatrical gift comes courtesy of the Boston-based Brown Box Theatre Project, with support from a bunch of local nonprofit groups and county arts councils. One of the founders of Brown Box, Kyler Taustin, was born here on the Shore, in Berlin, and he’s been working his tail off to build up a regular series of performances around Delmarva in non-traditional spaces. In fact, Brown Box has already announced plans to return to the Shore in December with another production.
The troupe is built around the idea that top-notch professional theater performances should be available to all kinds of people in all kinds of places, not just to the so-called cultural elite in a handful of big cities with fancy theater districts. Here’s how Brown Box sums up that mission: “Like the traveling medieval troupes that brought their shows from the cities to the villages on the back of a wagon, we load up our truck and bring theater to the people.”
Brown Box has seven more performances scheduled hereabouts over the days between today, Sept. 11, and next Saturday, Sept. 21. They’re in Easton on Wednesday, Sept. 11; Berlin on Friday, Sept. 13; and Salisbury on Sunday, Sept. 15. Then comes that show on Matapeake Beach that we’ll be watching on Kent Island; it’s on Tuesday, Sept. 17. Their tour of the region closes out with shows in Rehoboth Beach on Thursday the 19th; Pocomoke City on Friday the 20th; and Lewes on Saturday the 21st.
All shows start at 7pm. All are free. You can find your way to the specific locations on the Brown Box website, under “2013 Season.” And you can also follow Brown Box on Facebook. That’s where I stole these photos from–hope they don’t mind!