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Young American Shakespeare Festival - 2021

Festival Program

Welcome to the 2021 edition of Commonwealth Theatre Center's Young American Shakespeare Festival. This year's festival signals the company's return to live theatre, with three plays by The Bard of Avon performed outdoors at CTC.

Much Ado About Nothing
Hamlet
The Comedy of Errors

Welcome Letter
from Artistic Director Charlie Sexton

I still remember March 12, 2020 like it was yesterday. Besides having to shutter our operations and being forced to temporarily lay-off several beloved employees, we had to make the equally excruciating decision to shut down what would have been our landmark production of A Streetcar Named Desire…. On opening night no less!! Since that time I have been so unbelievably awed and inspired by the determination and creativity of the CTC staff to keep the organization afloat during this terrible pandemic and to continue to provide wonderful and engaging programming for our students and families. By quickly adapting our programming to the electronic world we have dome more than just survive. We have explored challenging and exciting new vistas that can and will help push our programming to a newer and broader audience.

But during all the hectic, worrisome and challenging times of the past 13 months we have always had our eyes and thoughts set on a singular goal: to return our student and professional actors to the stage to present live theatre to our loyal and dedicated patrons. And now (I can’t believe I am saying this) that time has finally arrived! And it has arrived with an event that we are very well known for: The Young American Shakespeare Festival. And we are so pleased this year to present a rollicking comedy (his shortest play), a tragedy that sits at the very center of the Western Canon (his longest play) and perhaps his most romantic play. 

There are no words to describe my appreciation  for all the work and effort everyone at CTC has contributed to make this day a reality. That beautiful stage in the parking lot, next to a dumpster and an alleyway, might as well be Carnegie Hall or the Sydney Opera House. It’s that special to all of us and I hope you relish this experience of a return to live theatre!

How to Festival
(Info & guidelines)

Masks that cover mouth and nose must be worn at all times except when consuming food & drink.

Maintain distance between yourself and others.

Restrooms are located on the 2nd floor of the CTC building and in the portable restroom to the right of the stage. 

Pre-show entertainment begins 45 min. before the play. 

Food trucks arrive 90 min. before the play and operate through intermission.

Food & drinks are permitted, but please be considerate of performers and unwrap/open items before the show. Packaging is noisier than you think!

Chairs are provided by CTC. Please return chairs after the show.

Photography, video, and audio recording is prohibited.

About the Plays

Much Ado About Nothing
Hamlet
The Comedy of Errors

Bios for Casts and Production Team