July 2, 2013

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Partners with NEC to Incorporate Live Music in Shakespeare's "Two Gentlement of Verona"

Colin Thurmond, DMA candidate, is Music Director for Free Performances of "Shakespeare on the Common"

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company is partnering with New England Conservatory to incorporate live music into this summer’s production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, July 6 - 28, 2013. Guitarist and composer Colin Thurmond, a New England Conservatory DMA candidate, will music direct. The free performances take place on the Boston Common. To learn more, click here.

From Director Steven Maler: “Last fall when I first considered directing Two Gents, as it is fondly known, I was immediately inspired by Rat Pack-era Las Vegas as a stand-in for Milan, the big city full of temptations where a couple of buddies could have an adventure, where friendship and loyalty would be put to the test. This period has such elegance and such a rich visual and musical palette. As I worked throughout the spring with our extraordinary design team and—thanks to an expanded relationship with New England Conservatory this year—our music director Colin Thurmond, the play transformed into a musical. Today, the production features a jazz band integrated into the narrative of the play, performing standards inspired by the era, including I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Fever, and Witchcraft. During the course of Two Gents, the actors will sing and play along with the band, telling the classic Shakespeare story with a twist.”

Traditionally NEC has provided world-class music as a prelude to the main CSC production, entertaining the thousands of people who camp out on the Boston Common before the show, said Music Director Colin Thurmond, who is Director of Music for TouCh Performance Art, the creative team that masterminded the wildly popular AcousticaElectronica multi-media show that has played repeat performances at Cambridge’s Club Oberon and New York’s Poisson Rouge and Santos Party House. “This year the partnership has deepened and will take the music to a whole new level. We think the musical setting will bring new meaning to the line ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,’” Thurmond added.

The NEC musicians for the production include Colin Thurmond as Music Director, Evan Allen (’13) on piano, Henry Fraser (’14) on Bass (Sub: Dorsey Bass ‘13), Nick Neuburg (’14) on Drums (Sub: Ethan Parcell), and Jake Novak on Trombone.

About Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (www.commshakes.org), best known for its annual free performances on Boston Common, is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 dedicated to bringing the works of William Shakespeare in vital and contemporary productions to the people of Boston and to educating Boston’s youth not only about Shakespeare but about their own potential for creativity. In addition to the annual Boston Common productions, CSC presents a summer “Tour of the Parks” program that tours Shakespeare-inspired programming designed for families to Boston neighborhood parks. Throughout the year, CSC regularly performs as a part of First Night Boston and also presents a free series called American Voices featuring script-in-hand readings of classic American plays. CSC fulfills its educational mission through its Summer Academy with programs for both high school students and pre-professional actors and throughout the year by partnering with area high schools and Boys and Girls Clubs to provide in- and after-school theatre training to inner-city youth. Recent productions include Coriolanus, All’s Well That Ends Well (2012 Elliot Norton Award-winner for Best Production, Large Theater), Othello and The Comedy of Errors.

About New England Conservatory
A cultural icon approaching its 150th anniversary in 2017, New England Conservatory (NEC) is recognized worldwide as a leader among music schools. Located in Boston, Massachusetts on the Avenue of the Arts in the famed Fenway neighborhood, NEC offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world. Half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty. The only conservatory in the United States designated a National Historic Landmark, NEC presents more than 900 free concerts each year. Many of these take place in Jordan Hall (also a National Historic Landmark), world-renowned for its superb acoustics and beautifully restored interior, and one of five performance spaces on the NEC campus. Programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz, contemporary improvisation, and opera scenes. NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top, a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.

CSC Press Contact Joanne Barrett
617-834-6021 jbpr@comcast.net
NEC Press Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
617-585-1143 ellen.pfeifer@necmusic.edu


IT'S LIKE AN ACT OF MURDER; YOU PLAY WITH INTENT TO COMMIT SOMETHING. DUKE ELLINGTON