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After a year of virtual shows, Maryland Ensemble Theatre will close out its 2020-2021 Season of Surprises with a brand new, in-person, outdoor production: “Midsummer: A Most Rare Vision.”

Teaming up with ThorpeWood to host the show at an outdoor space, MET’s return to in-person programming will be a literal breath of fresh air. Directed by MET associate artistic director Julie Herber, “Midsummer” will tour audience members through the grounds at ThorpeWood for an immersive experience inspired by William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The show runs June 10 to 18.

“Midsummer” invites the audience, in guided groups, to journey through the beautiful, natural landscapes at ThorpeWood. Herber describes the show as a cross between street theater, promenade theater and site-specific, immersive theater. Who doesn’t want to see theater in a tree, on a boat or in a barn? The fairy ensemble will guide the audience in spaced-out groups from scene to scene. Each audience group will have its own unique performance depending on the path they are guided through.

The show brings an eclectic mix of song, drama, movement, dance, aerial arts and more, culminating in a socially-distanced communal gathering that will give many audience members an experience they have been missing for the past year.

Herber has teamed with playwrights and poets Joy Campbell, Matt Lee, Jessica McHugh and Reiner Prochaska to draw inspiration from Shakespeare’s writing to create standalone experiences that will occur all across the grounds at ThorpeWood.

The show features original compositions by Meryl Cullom, Michael Perrie Jr., Colin Schultzaberger and Noah Sommer and art installations by Joann Foltz and Milee McDonald.

With additional production design by Doug Grove and Tabetha White and the guidance of stage manager Shayden Jamison, this production, influenced by Shakespeare’s timeless classic, will rouse both the spirits of the forest, and the audience in a most contemporary way.

ThorpeWood is at 12805-A Mink Farm Road, Thurmont. Performances will occur at 7 p.m. June 10, 13, 17 and 18, 1 p.m., June 12 and 2 p.m. June 13. Audience members are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes. MET requires masking for all unvaccinated individuals and social distancing per local Health Department guidelines. Tickets are $24. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit marylandensemble.org/midsummer.

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