Midsummer Night's Dream Has Harlem on Its Mind in Free Staging Aug. 4-28

News   Midsummer Night's Dream Has Harlem on Its Mind in Free Staging Aug. 4-28 Pulse Ensemble Theatre will conjure fairies, sprites and lovers to Harlem, at Riverbank Stage Park, with a free outdoor staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream Aug. 4-28.
Nicole Bowman and Cornelius Bates in A Midsummer Night's Dream
Nicole Bowman and Cornelius Bates in A Midsummer Night's Dream Photo by Tuvia Richardson

The staging will be set in today's Harlem and use "Harlem's rich cultural and musical heritage including Caribbean folklore, West Indian calypso and the all-American Blues to compliment Shakespeare's delightful and mystical comedy."

The Off-Broadway theatre company, headed by artistic director Alexa Kelly, will present a fully-staged, professional production of the Shakespeare comedy at the park at 145th Street and Riverside Drive on Manhattan's Upper West Side."

"We are bringing a professional theatrical production to the community and bringing the community into our production," Kelly said in a statement. "We have invited eight young members of the Harlem community, ranging in age from 9 to 22, to join the multi-ethnic cast of seasoned actors."

The free performances play 8 PM in the open air amphitheatre in the Northern Playground in Riverbank State Park, next to the elevated West Side Highway.

The Harlem Summer Shakespeare Project also includes free drama workshops for children and teenagers in the Harlem community. The includes Brian Richardson (Puck), Michael Gilpin (Bottom), Steven Lloyd (Oberon) and Shirine Babb (Titania) with Rajesh Bose, Cornelius Bates, Sarah Zorn, Charles Roby, Cassandra Ruiz, Lawrence Merritt, Nicole Bowman, Christiane Amorosia, Andre Stanford, Robert Bellsey, Terrence Kirkland, Michael Marrinaccio, Darnell Mcgee, Sarah Zorn, Nailah Pressley, Courtney P. Lugo, Tiffany Danielle O’Bannon, Alyssa Ashley and Phylicia Ashley.

The lighting design is by Zhanna Gurvich, set design by Ruben Arana Downs, Costumes by Katherine Rohe and sound design by Louis Lopardi.

Kelly created Pulse Ensemble Theatre in 1989 "to present socially significant theatre."

The performance schedule is Thursday through Sunday at 8 PM. For additional information call (212) 695-1596 or visit www.pulseensembletheatre.org.

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