SALEM — Performances in the park are coming back big in August and September.

Four local theater and music companies will put on free public performances every Saturday and Sunday from Aug. 7 to Sept. 12 in Forten Park on Derby Street, the Salem Willows Band Shell, and Derby Square outside of Old Town Hall. The full lineup and schedule was announced by city officials Wednesday.

The schedule drops after the COVID-19 pandemic kept people away from gatherings and public performances last summer. But parks were still places for community — especially so in the current stage of the pandemic, Mayor Kim Driscoll said.

"Live performances and the ability for people to come together safely outdoors is so good for the soul — balm for the soul," she said. "So many of us were missing each other, and in a community like Salem, we're used to having a festival a month."

The lineup announced Wednesday establishes free entertainment every weekend until the middle of September. It includes two theater companies — Olde Salem Stage Company and Third Citizen Theatre Company — putting on performances of William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" and "As You Like It" respectively. 

The lineup is rounded out by Salem-based drum performers Drumatrix, with two weekends of performances planned for Charlotte Forten Park, and "the Ridiculous Project" will hit Derby Square throughout the final two weekends for an immersive presentation of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

The program pushes families to "bring your own shade and seats," a picnic-styled format explored with this year's Salem High School graduation on the Common. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic

With the picnic style of each event, they become "a community celebration — not just a graduation or art in the park," Driscoll said. "It's where people make memories or where major milestones are made. We want to celebrate these greenspaces."

For more on each, visit oldesalemstagecompany.comsubscribepage.com/drumatixsalemthirdcitizentheatre.org, or ridiculousproject.com.

 

THE FULL SCHEDULE, WEEKEND BY WEEKEND

Saturday, Aug. 7 and Sunday, Aug. 8

6:30 p.m.: Olde Salem Stage Company performs William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing," at Charlotte Forten Park, 289 Derby St.

Saturday, Aug. 14 and Sunday, Aug. 15

6:30 p.m.: Olde Salem Stage Company performs William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing," at Charlotte Forten Park, 289 Derby St.

Saturday, Aug. 21 and Sunday, Aug. 22

2 p.m.: Drumatrix performs "Rhythm Delivered," Charlotte Forten Park, 289 Derby St.

Saturday, Aug. 28 and Sunday, Aug. 29

2 p.m.: Drumatrix performs "Rhythm Delivered," Charlotte Forten Park, 289 Derby St.

6 p.m.: Third Citizen Theatre Company performs William Shakespeare's "As You Like It," Salem Willows Band Shell, 165 Fort Ave.

Friday, Sept. 4 and Saturday, Sept. 5

6 p.m.: Third Citizen Theatre Company performs William Shakespeare's "As You Like It," Salem Willows Band Shell, 165 Fort Ave.

7 p.m.: The Ridiculous Project performs "Dream, Love, Escape," Derby Square, 32 Derby Square.

Sunday, Sept. 6

6 p.m.: Third Citizen Theatre Company performs William Shakespeare's "As You Like It," Salem Willows Band Shell, 165 Fort Ave.

Saturday, Sept. 11 and Sunday, Sept. 12

7 p.m.: The Ridiculous Project performs "Dream, Love, Escape," Derby Square, 32 Derby Square.

||||

Trending Video

Recommended for you