Cumberland Theatre collaborates with Maryland Entertainment Group

The Cumberland Theatre is proud to once again be presenting free Shakespeare in the Park to local residents. This year, the theatre has partnered with Maryland Entertainment Group of Hagerstown to embark on three-week tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The show opened last weekend with three performances in Hagerstown and will continue its run this weekend in Waynesboro, PA on Saturday, June 19th and at the Grantsville Town Park on Sunday, June 20th at 6:00 pm. The tour will conclude in Cumberland in the garden of the Gilchrist Gallery on Washington Street for two performances on Friday, June 25th and Saturday, June 26th beginning at 7:00 pm. Admission is free and residents are encouraged to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most recognized, celebrated and produced comedies. Theseus and Hippolyta, about to marry, are figures from mythology. In the woods outside Theseus’s Athens, two young men and two young women sort themselves out into couples—but not before they form first one love triangle, and then another.

Also in the woods, the king and queen of fairyland, Oberon and Titania, battle over custody of an orphan boy; Oberon uses magic to make Titania fall in love with a weaver named Bottom, whose head is temporarily transformed into that of a donkey by a hobgoblin or “puck,” Robin Goodfellow. Finally, Bottom and his companions ineptly stage the tragedy of “Pyramus and Thisbe.”

The cast features a diverse group of actors including several veterans from both CT and MEG, as well as some newcomers to the region. The four lovers are played by Western Maryland residents Bailey Hovermale (Helena) and Jacob Reese (Demetrius), and Adam Marino (Lysander) and Alexandra Shephard (Hermia) who currently reside in New York, NY.

Appearing as the residents of the Fairy Realm are Sam Little (Artistic Director of MEG) as Oberon, Kimberli Rowley (Co-Artistic Director of CT) as Titania and Seth Thompson as Puck.

The merry band of mechanicals are lead by Sean Besecker of Chambersburg, PA as Bottom and include Andrew Shifler (Quince), Andrew Payne (Snout), Adam Wennick (Flute), Jacob Waeyaert (Starvling) and Richie Dobson (Snug).

The cast also features Emily Haworth (Hippolyta), McClairen Eisenhour (Cobweb), Madeleine Davis (Peasblossom), Jillian Dugan (Mustardseed) and Maverick McKee (Egeus).

In the true spirit of collaboration, the creative team features key personnel from both companies. The show is under the direction of Little with assistance from Rowley. Bekah Brown serves at the stage manager. The design team consists of Robin Shaner (costume design) and Jennifer Clark (props design and assistant costumer) with set design by Rhett Wolford and David DiFalco.

The show is performed with one short intermission and is appropriate for all ages.

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The Cumberland Theatre will continue its Stars of Tomorrow youth performer program this year with the musical A Year With Frog And Toad. The program was created in 2019 and is intended to feature actors ages 5 – 20 years old, giving them a chance to produce a full-length musical in a professional setting. The program was dark for 2020; however, the scheduled production of Cats (which had to be cancelled due to COVID-19) is being rescheduled for spring of 2022.

“For the safety of our young actors and audiences, as well as financial reasons, we felt that a smaller cast show was a better way to bring our Stars of Tomorrow program back,” said a theatre spokesperson. “Next year, we will be in a better position to bring a larger show like Cats to the stage. We hope to that our patrons bring their families and enjoy ‘Frog and Toad’ and look forward to putting on a good show!” The Stars of Tomorrow program was created with assistance from the Halmos Fund of the Community Trust Foundation. The theatre received a grant this spring to help continue the program in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Year With Frog And Toad is based on Arnold Lobel's well-loved children’s books following two great friends – the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad – through four fun-filled seasons. Waking from hibernation in the Spring, Frog and Toad plant gardens, swim, rake leaves, go sledding and learn life lessons along the way. The two best friends celebrate and rejoice in the differences that make them unique and special.

The show features the talents of Connor McCabe as Frog and Brendon McCabe as Toad. Also starring in the show is Trevor McCabe, Oliver Nau, Alice Wecker, Lexus Middleton, Emma Class and Caleb Friend. The show is under the direction of Chris McCabe with costume design by Jennifer Clark, set design by Brendon McCabe and lighting design by Xander Mulder.

Performances are June 17th, 18th, and 19th at 7:00 pm and June 19th and 20th at 2:00 pm. Tickets are available online and group pricing is available by emailing

Masks are required inside the theatre and lobby area.

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CT continues 33rd Season with dark comedy

The Cumberland Theatre will continue its 33rd Season the weekend with the dark comedy The House of Yes by Wendy MacLeod. The show will have its official opening this Friday, May 14th at 8:00 pm and continue through May 23rd with Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances at 8:00 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm.

The House of Yes premiered in San Francisco in 1990, and had its Off-Broadway debut in 1995; a feature film adaptation was released in 1997 starring Parker Posey, Tori Spelling and Freddie Prince Jr. Since then, it has become a favorite in regional theatres throughout the country and lauded for its quick witticisms, dark humor and ability to alternate between crass satire and dark comedy with ease.

The play follows the Pascals, a wealthy family in McLean, Virginia, and the conflict that ensues after oldest son Marty surprises the family with news that he is engaged. There is a strange connection between Marty, his twin sister Jackie-O. (was recently released from a psychiatric hospital), the Kennedy Assassination and their missing father, and the imminent hurricane on its way to their home – which just happens to be next door to the Kennedy compound.

MacLeod has stated that The House of Yes is about "people that have never been said no to," and that she wished to depict the "insularity I see in the upper classes, people who have cut themselves off from the rest of the world and are living by the rules they've invented." The play was inspired by a house MacLeod saw in a wealthy suburb of Washington, D.C., while its title came from a piece of bathroom graffiti seen by MacLeod that read "we are living in a house of yes."

The show features Kimberli Rowley and John Barker as the twins, Jackie-O and Marty. Rowley is the Co-Artistic Director of the Cumberland Theatre and recently appeared as Myrtle Wilson in The Great Gatsby. Other recent appearances include Lucy in Dracula and Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire. Barker’s most recent CT appearances have been as Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby and as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire.

Playing their younger brother Anthony will be Seth Thompson, who made his CT debut last fall as Officer Larkin in American Son. Other regional appearances include George in Of Mice and Men and Mortimer in Arsenic and Old Lace. Nicole Halmos will return to play Mrs. Pascal, the matriarch of the family. Halmos was last seen in the musical Assassins as Sara Jane Moore and has also recently graced the CT stage as Mama Rose in Gypsy and Nat in Rabbit Hole.

Performing for the first time on the CT stage will be Caitlin Cremins as Lesly, Marty’s fiancée. Cremins is originally from Hagerstown but now hails from Boston, MA. Regional theatre credits include Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Dawn in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

The show is being directed by Jennifer Clark, who recently directed last month’s production of The Great Gatsby and also serves as CT’s resident costume designer. The creative team also includes Rhett Wolford (set and sound design), Matthew Georgeson (lighting design), Hayden Kline (stage manager) and Ebony Gennes (assistant stage manager).

Tickets are available at or by calling 301.759.4990. Thursday shows are currently buy one ticket, get the second free. The VIP star box is also available for bookings which include food, beverage and balcony seats for eight people.

COVID protocols are in place which include temperature checks for patrons when they enter the theatre and mask requirements. The theatre staff reserves the right to alter seating assignments to comply with social distancing guidelines.

The House of Yes contains strong language, sexual situations and violence including live gun fire. It is not intended for younger audiences.

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