Like some other Baltimore theater troupes this week, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company opened up its doors for a free performance to help provide an artistic response to a stressful Baltimore after days of unrest related to the Freddie Gray case.
The Shakespeareans, who typically have music with their productions, sent the musicians outside the theater at 9 a.m. Friday morning to wave at passersby. The doors opened a short while later to let anyone in to the free 10 a.m. performance of "Romeo and Juliet." (The company's scheduled evening performances this weekend have been canceled because of the citywide curfew.)
Here's a report, from Chesapeake Shakespeare communications manager Jean Thompson, on what happened next:
"We welcomed residents and tourists and home-schoolers and families. One woman wept, and said she just needed a diversion from the stress she and many people are feeling. We gave her a hug and brought her inside. The arts have healing power. We're glad to do our part."