For three weeks each summer New Pond Farm takes on a new level of energy thanks to the talented young actors and staff that make up our Summer Shakespeare Program. I watch in amazement as unfamiliar words in the script transition into meaningful and animated dialogue on stage, as shy actors embrace their characters and perform with freedom and joy, and as these terrific students from different schools and towns become a cohesive troupe. It is an experience that will never leave them and this gift is made possible thanks to our creative staff members who care deeply about each and every actor. I am so grateful for their constant devotion to this unique program.
Heartfelt thanks and congratulations go to our remarkable Director, Nancy Ponturo. Nancy, herself an accomplished actress, has set the perfect tone for the program for the past twelve years. She is both nurturing and professional, she expects a great deal from the actors and inspires them to perform at their very best, while having a fantastic time. Actress Julia Levo, former Education Director at The American Globe Theatre, is our Enrichment Director and passionately shares her knowledge of all-things-Shakespeare. Mary Brannan created the perfect costumes for our actors, and Julie Thome created an impressive ruff for the “Crab, the dog with the sourest of dispositions”. Three talented alumni of the program returned as our interns: Jim O’Rielly, as a production intern, Brynn Gilchrist as Stage Manager, and John Holden as our Musician.
The three outstanding performances of “Two Gentlemen of Verona” were dedicated to the memory of our founder, actress and environmentalist Carmen Mathews, whose love of the theatre continues to inspire the fortunate young actors in the program, and whose commitment to environmental education inspired her to create New Pond Farm Education Center.