The critically acclaimed PULSE ENSEMBLE THEATRE, now celebrating its 20th season, will begin its 5th season of HARLEM SUMMER SHAKESPEARE today, Thursday, August 6th with free performances of Shakespeare's "A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM" at the Countee Cullen Library. The company will perform in various venues all over Harlem during the month of August.
The company's Harlem tour begins August 6th at 6 PM and August 8th at 2 PM with performances at The Countee Cullen LIBRARY Auditorium, 104 W 136th Street in upper Manhattan.
On August 13th and 14th at 7 PM they will appear outdoors at St. Nicholas Park, 135TH Street & Nicholas Avenue.
At 7 PM on August 18th and 19th the company will perform at Morningside Park, 110th Street and Morningside Drive, and on August 21 and 22 at 7 PM they will return to Riverbank State Park, 145th & Riverside Drive, performing on the Mainstage in the upper area. On Friday, August, 28 at 7 PM they will perform at Adam Clayton Powell Harlem Office Building, 163 West 125th Street and on August 15, 16, 29 and 30 at 2 PM they will appear on GOVERNORS ISLAND, a 7 minute Ferry Ride from South Ferry.
To accommodate all the different venues the sets will be minimal and the production will utilize the physical aspects of the various performances spaces. Audiences are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to the free outdoor performances.
Artistic Director Alexa Kelly said: "Continuing our tradition of making Shakespeare a part of today's world, this show will be visually contemporary, whilst Shakespeare's language is kept intact. The goal of the Harlem Summer Shakespeare is to bring Shakespeare to new audiences. Following the tradition of the great Joe Papp, we bring live, multi-ethnic theatre, FREE, to families and young people who might not gravitate to or think that they would enjoy live theatre-especially not Shakespeare. We use familiar, contemporary visuals, motifs and sounds, to bring the audience closer to the story being told on stage. In A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, now set in New York City's Central Park, the young folk will be denizens of the upper east side, the ‘mechanicals' will be homeless people, and the Magical creatures will be part dog, part bird, and just for fun's sake, a hint of lion, with Titania's Fairies being more reminiscent of ‘Cat Women' than Tinkerbell."
The company's first four seasons included popular and critically acclaimed productions of TWELFTH NIGHT, THE TEMPEST, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM and ROMEO AND JULIET where Lord and Lady Capulet danced to Marvin Gaye and Romeo first spied Juliet as she danced to The Black Eyed Peas. The New York Times said of the company's 2005 production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream": "The audience - which did not resemble any audience I have seen at the Delacorte or any other mainstream Shakespeare venue-obviously loved it!" The 2007 production of THE TEMPEST, where Izod shirts replaced Elizabethan ruffs, continued the company's tradition of making Shakespeare immediate and accessible to audiences new to Shakespeare as well as to those familiar with the Bard.
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, directed by Alexa Kelly, will feature BrIan Richardson as Oberon, Michael Gilpin as Bottom, FrEddie Bennett (Puck), Laura Carbonell (Helena), Alvin Chan (Lysander), Bernardo Cubria (Demetrius), Mick D'arcy (Quince), Lolita Foster (Hermia), Maria Hurdle (Titania), Ryan F. Johnson (STARVELING), Warren Katz (Aegeus), Cara Maltz (Hippolyta), Ras Enoch McCurdie (Snout), Sean McIntire (Theseus), Burt Grinstead (Flute) and Erica Swindell, Chivonne Michelle Floyd and Melanie Gretchen as Fairies.
Costume design is by Kristine Koury with supplemental lighting by Emma Rivera and sound design by BrIan Richardson.
"A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM"
August 6 @ 6; August 8 @ 2 Countee Cullen Library Aud.
August 13 & 14 @ 7 PM St. Nicholas Park (lawn seating)
August 18 & 19, @ 7 PM Morningside Park (lawn seating)
August 21 @ 7; 22 @ 6 PM Riverbank State Park
August 28 @ 7 PM Adam Clayton Powell Harlem State Bldg.
August 15, 16, 29, 30 @ 2 PM Governor's Island (lawn seating)
For additional information, go to www.pulseensembletheatre.org or call (212) 695-1596.