“We like to say that we bring the theatre experience to our audiences back yards! Our t-shirt states: ‘We like to do it in the park!’ That gets a chuckle, and sometimes a raised eyebrow or two. But that is what we do. Nothing pretentious about CCTC theatre productions. We want our audiences to have fun, be moved, challenged, blown away or, at least, leave thinking about what they experienced.”
Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company was unofficially founded in the fall of 2004 when Mary Ann Baldwin, founder or the Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company, invited a group of friends/theatre artists to come together to read a play, Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw. Inspired by the outdoor theater she had experienced while pursuing a career in theatre in NYC they had a lively discussion about the viability of starting a company after the reading of the play. Arms and the Man ended up being the inaugural production of CCTC’s main program, ‘Free Theatre in the Parks’ program. Mary Ann applied for and received nonprofit 501(c)(3) status for CCTC in 2005. Other founding members are Paul Parente, Trice Baldwin-Browns, Joshua Browns, Mary Carlise, Eileen Harris and Jean Harris.
Commonwealth Classic Theatre Company is currently performing ‘Measure for Measure’. ‘Measure for Measure’ has a cast of 10 amazing actors, most are working professionals in the Philadelphia area. Robert Dondiego,(Duke Vincentio) graduated from Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, while J. Hernandez (Angelo) is a Texas transplant, and Alexandra Doman (Isabella) grew up in the Philadelphia area and has returned from New York City to work with CCTC this summer (all three pictured to the left) !
The age range of the actors for this play is early 20’s through 40’s. ‘Measure for Measure’ has a youthful energy that lends itself to the most contemporary feeling play in Shakespeare’s canon. Many of the actors take on more than one role. It lends such a nice immediacy and dynamism to the age-old issues and themes in Measure for Measure.
“We always strive to make our productions clear, fresh, and accessible and, we hope, exciting to our audiences. It is our intention, always, to enhance the quality of life in our community through our talents as theatre artists and through the connections we make with our audience—in their own backyards.” Mary Ann comments.
CCTC doesn’t do ‘just’ Shakespeare and that is on purpose. Performing outside can bring so much to the enjoyment of many different types of work. “Free Theatre in the Parks” has been the centerpiece of CCTC’s producing efforts for the past 14 years. CCTC performs in 11 venues throughout Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties this summer.
Mary Ann and the troupe look forward to performing in West Goshen every year. “We love West Goshen. It is like coming home. “ Be sure to check out Measure for Measure coming to the West Goshen Township Community Park on Saturday, July 20 at 7pm. Click here to learn more!