The Rochester Community Players

The Shakespeare Players of Rochester

A program of the Rochester Community Players

In 1994, RCP created the Shakespeare Players program as a program of the Rochester Community Players.  The program was founded by Peter Scribner, and the first production was Twelfth Night, November 19, 1994.  Through the summer of 2011, RCPO's Shakespeare Players has staged 34 Shakespeare productions. Each July, we stage a free Shakespeare at the Highland Park Bowl; indoor productions are staged at MuCCC.

                                            Next UP

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

This year's FREE Summer Shakespeare in the Park OPENS July 5th!

One character, two actors: a cast of thirty two actors, half voice actors, half signing ASL (American Sign Language) will present Shakespeare’s favorite comedy July 5 to 19, nightly performances (except Mondays and Thursdays) at 8:00 PM. In this production, unprecedented for a regular Shakespeare company, we have cast two actors for every role: one voicing the character, the other signing ASL. 

The human characters in the play are, of course, unaware that there is a world of fairies all around them. In fact, each human has been assigned a ‘guardian fairy’ at birth. These guardians, like all fairies, communicate by sign language, and channel both the conscious and sub-conscious speeches, thoughts and emotions of ‘their’ humans. And, in turn, the fairy characters themselves, portrayed by signing actors, have their speeches and inner thoughts simultaneously presented by voicing actors. So, for example, as Fairy King Oberon thunders in gesticulating signs to his servant Puck, Oberon’s imagination is simultaneously visualized by another Oberon actor thunderously voicing his speeches to an Puck’s imagination actor. Due to the magic of live theater, these dramatic conventions are quickly understood by the audience, and we get to see a wildly lively presentation of this great play.

This production is co-sponsored by the Monroe County Parks Department and is made possible by a New York State Council on the Arts grant administered by the Arts and Cultural Council of Rochester, and by support received from the Law Firm of Boylan, Code.