Every summer, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company sets up camp atop Patapsco Female Institute Historic Park in Ellicott City and puts on an outdoor production amid the atmospheric ruins there. The show will go on for the 16th year — the recent flooding did not affect the park or the main road leading to it — but not before the company pitches in to raise money for flood relief.
“So many of our business partners on Main Street, patrons, neighbors and friends are devastated,” said Chesapeake Shakespeare communications director Jean Thompson. “We are heartbroken.”
Net proceeds of ticket sales for two preview performances of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” at 8 p.m. June 20 and 21, and all donations received at those performances, will be given to the Howard County Community Relief Fund of the nonprofit Community Foundation of Howard County.
Patron Manager, the ticket vendor for Chesapeake Shakespeare, will waive its processing fees in support of the fundraising.
Chesapeake Shakespeare was based in Ellicott City for its first 12 years and developed a loyal audience for its outdoor stagings at PFI Historic Park. Although the company’s principal venue has been a downtown Baltimore theater since it opened in 2014 in a renovated 19th-century bank building, the summer season in Ellicott City has been maintained.
“We love returning every summer, so we are shattered by this devastation coming only 22 months after the last flood,” the company’s managing director Lesley Malin said in a statement. “Everyone in our company is anxious to help ... We also hope that by getting folks from outside the area back to Ellicott City, they will remember what a charming and lovely place it is and be more inclined to help.”
After the benefit preview performances, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will open June 22 and run until June 29. For tickets, call 410-244-8570 or go to chesapeakeshakespeare.com.