1. Tell us about the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.
The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company began in 2002 with a small group of artists committed to "changing how people think about Shakespeare," by producing shows that allowed audiences to connect to classic works in whole new ways - ways that are fresh, innovative and sustainable. Most people first encounter Shakespeare's works in school, only on the page not the stage, only as "you should know this" doses of awful-tasting medicine. When audiences come to CSC productions, we hope they find themselves drawn into the stories. The actors will often speak directly to or interact with the audience members. The company is known for engaging and entertaining audiences in unique and intimate performance environments, and for making opportunities for conversations among audiences, artists and the wider community. www.chesapeakeshakespeare.com
2. What are you most excited about at the new Baltimore location?
We are completely thrilled with the opportunity to be part of the renaissance of this corner of downtown Baltimore. Our new location is in a part of downtown that is undergoing great change, with residential and commercial development nearby. As one of our trustees, Scott Helm, has said, we hope we are part of the renaissance that makes Baltimore's downtown an even better place to work, live and play. We plan to play a role "on the downtown stage" for a long time. We are excited about downtown's fantastic diversity of residents, tourists, hospital workers, lawyers, schoolchildren, small business owners, and more people of all walks of life. Here, we can walk to the Inner Harbor, to restaurants, to hotels, to waterfront parks, to the ball games. Here, we are also part of the larger theater community just blocks from our front door. Shakespeare performed for the mass audiences not just the royals. Our location is quite fitting.
3. How do you think CSC will benefit from being so close to other theatres in the area such as Everyman Theatre, Center Stage, the Hippodrome Theatre and Single Carrot?
We have received the warmest possible welcome from the other theaters in Baltimore. In fact, when we began looking for a place to build a theater, we talked with the directors of major Baltimore theaters. Every one of them urged us to come to Baltimore, and many have since assisted us with referrals to vendors and generous marketing trades. We are so grateful. We think that we are stronger together, and that the time is now for Baltimore to become better known for the strength of the theater community here. We plan to do our part. More is better.
4. If you had to pick one show for everyone to see this season, what would it be?
That would have to be our inaugural production, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's a play about unions, marriage and relationships. I chose it to be a kind of metaphor for our new relationship with Baltimore city. It seems like a perfect fit for this time in the life of the company. It's a play about dreaming and celebrating. It's a play about new beginnings and about how love can bind us together. It's really a story about the next chapter in CSC's life with the city of Baltimore as its companion. I also love that it is a play that reaches different people in difference ways. It is, perhaps, the most accessible Shakespeare play for children. The story, as some of your readers will know, connects the realm of mortals with the realm of fairies. It is also, perhaps the Shakespeare play that can remain interesting each time you see it. It remains fun.
5. What kind of feedback has CSC received so far from the LGBT community?
We've always had a very positive relationship with the LGBT community. We perform only Shakespeare's canon and other classics, stories that can be mined for universal themes that touch the heart and challenge assumptions. These are timeless stories of passion, power, family, relationships, magic, revenge, joy, and suspense. This season, for example, we are performing an original adaptation of A Christmas Carol setting the timeless redemption story in Baltimore instead of London. We are also producing Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, the quintessential comedy of manners. We tap powerful emotions and we try to create authentic experiences, which we think have appeal and meaning for the widest possible audiences. The beauty of theater is how it pulls us all in under the same sky or roof. Our resident company is diverse.
What's New in Baltimore
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
1525 Russell Street
Baltimore's first casino opened near M&T Bank Stadium and Oriole Park at Camden Yards in August. Horseshoe Casino Baltimore is the second largest casino in Maryland with a 122,000-square-foot gaming floor. The urban, two-story casino features video lottery terminals, table games and a World Series of Poker room. A 20,000-square-foot "Baltimore Marketplace" features authentic Charm City food outlets; premier restaurants by Guy Fieri, John Besh and Aaron Sanchez; and several bars and lounges for a variety of food and beverage offerings. www.caesars.com/Baltimore
Chesapeake Shakespeare Company
7 South Calvert Street
The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company opened its first indoor theater location in Baltimore in September. A 10-minute walk from the Hippodrome Theatre and Everyman Theatre and a 15-minute walk from Center Stage, the location will help create a "theater triangle" in downtown Baltimore. The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company will use the space to present a seven-month season of innovative, clear and vigorous productions of Shakespeare and other classic plays as well as smart and thoughtful educational projects. www.chesapeakeshakespeare.com
Baltimore Wicked History Tours
Baltimore Wicked History Tours plumbs the depths of Baltimore's underbelly. While exploring the pubs and taverns in town, you'll hear about times past when some struggled to survive and others thumbed their noses at authority. From speakeasies to underhanded villains to celebrated personalities who passed through these Baltimore streets, this is a Baltimore history tour like no other. Some might call it wicked. Come down to Fell's Point and hear tantalizing tales of the neighborhood's scandalous past. www.wickedhistorybaltimore.com
Baltimore Museum of Art 100th Anniversary
November 23, 2014
As the Baltimore Museum of Art turns 100 in November, they will unveil the reopening of the historic Merrick Entrance, the renovated American Wing, and the new presentation of the BMA's collection of American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts. This is only one phase of the BMA's multi-year renovation project expected to be completed in April 2015 with the reopening of renovated galleries dedicated to the museum's collection of African and Asian art. www.artbma.org
Special Events & Exhibitions
The Visionary Experience: Saint Francis to Finster
American Visionary Art Museum
October 4, 2014 – August 30, 2015
AVAM's 20th original exhibition celebrates the great dreamers and doers throughout history, exploring the astonishing visions of Hildegard von Bingen and Leonardo da Vinci to Nikola Tesla and Philip K. Dick and pays tribute to the ecstatic "Aha!" and "Eureka!" moments that propel discovery, leaps in consciousness and cultural renewal. The exhibition features never-before-exhibited cosmic drawings by Jimi Hendrix and examines the human impulse to forge a path out of darkness into illumination, as well as the duality and complexity of vision, from radical clarity to unfettered delusion, and the legacy of visionary experiences throughout time. www.avam.org
Free Fall Baltimore
October 1-31, 2014
Free Fall Baltimore celebrates its ninth year by offering wonderful free cultural activities. With more than 300 unique events anticipated, visitors will find an exciting activity on almost every day in October. During the citywide arts celebration, Baltimore city arts organizations present hundreds of free arts activities including dance, music and theater performances, art exhibitions, free admission to museums, walking tours, festivals, and workshops. www.freefallbaltimore.org
Game of Thrones Burlesque
October 4, 2014
Brace yourself. Game of Thrones Burlesque is coming to Baltimore. Your favorite characters from the hit HBO show have come back to life in an evening of delightful unsheathing. See performances from such regional stars as Bella La Blanc, Lily Liqueur and Moxie LaBouche. For the night is dark and full of rhinestones. Hosted by Ego Von Hubris, in the role of Joffrey Baratheon. www.creativealliance.org
Baltimore Black Pride
October 10-12, 2014
Black Pride brings the community together to embrace and celebrate diversity with a full schedule of events, including workshops and town hall meetings, entertainment, and the annual Cultural Affair and Fall Festival. www.blackpridebaltimore.org
Baltimore Running Festival
October 18, 2014
The annual running festival consists of a marathon, half marathon, team relay, a 5K and Kids Fun Run. www.thebaltimoremarathon.com
From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story
The Walters Art Museum
October 26, 2014 – April 17, 2016
The Walters Art Museum began as the private passion of two men, William T. Walters (1819–1894) and his son, Henry (1848–1931), but grew into a public mission to bring art to the people of Baltimore. Building a collection of staggering depth and scope, they assembled more than 20,000 items – the majority of the art objects that constitute the Walters Art Museum as we know it today. This reinstallation of the permanent collection explores their lives, times, tastes and legacy. www.thewalters.org
Mr. Maryland Leather
October 31 – November 2, 2015
The title of Mr. Maryland Leather is one of distinction in the leather community nationwide, and for the last 30 years, leathermen throughout Maryland have stepped up to compete for this very prestigious title. www.commandmc.org/mr-maryland-leather
Miracle on 34th Street
34th Street, Hampden
November 29, 2014 – January 1, 2015
One block in Hampden puts on a Christmas light display that is surely visible from space. Neighbors in this block of row houses string Christmas lights across 34th Street. Inflatable snow globes, musical trains and blinking angels adorn homes – and a few even allow visitors to peek inside! The lights are on every night from Thanksgiving weekend to January 1, including all night on Christmas Eve. www.christmasstreet.com
Baltimore's New Year's Eve Spectacular
December 31, 2014
Ring in the New Year alongside friends, family, live music and spectacular midnight fireworks in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Fireworks can be seen from downtown attractions, restaurants, hotels, residences and surrounding areas, including Fell's Point, Harbor East and Federal Hill. www.promotionandarts.org
Where to Stay
With more than 25 TAG-approved hotels and 10 IGLTA partner accommodations, choices range from quaint B&Bs and boutique hotels to larger upscale hotels and extended stay properties.
Embassy Suites Baltimore - Inner Harbor
222 St. Paul Street Baltimore, MD 21202
This convenient, downtown Baltimore hotel offers an ideal location in the heart of the arts district. Enjoy proximity to the famous Inner Harbor, National Aquarium, The Walters Art Museum, and find shops, dining venues, and the Mount Vernon Cultural District, all within walking distance.
Where to Dine
Baltimore's culinary scene is drawing rave reviews from around the globe. From the Inner Harbor to our trendy, historic and hip neighborhoods throughout the city, dining options in Baltimore have expanded in recent years to feature a veritable smorgasbord of cuisines and a range of stylish environments to suit every taste.
621 S. Montford Avenue Baltimore, MD 21224
Verde offers traditional Neapolitan wood-fired pizza, selected Italian wines and beers, wonderful salads, homemade appetizers and desserts.