Pre- and Post Show Conversations

Discussions with cast members either precede or follow each Sunday matinee. In addition, some shows will feature panels with special guests to engage in a conversation on relevant themes or our unique artistic approach. Post-show conversations take place in the theater immediately following each Sunday 2 or 3 pm matinee and last for approximately 25 minutes. Please join us!


Dates for A Midsummer Night’s Dream conversations:


Sunday, May 14, 2017

“Is all our company here?” – Quince, Act I, Scene 2

As they conclude their Opening Weekend, join A Midsummer Night’s Dream cast members as they reflect on the process of bringing the play to life. Enjoy a conversation guided by the audience’s questions, ranging from the discoveries made in rehearsal to the integration of the design elements during technical rehearsals and previews.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

“I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream past the wit of man to say what dream it was.” – Bottom, Act IV, Scene 1

Discover the vision behind A Midsummer Night’s Dream with director Paddy Swanson. Paddy has described this most popular of Shakespeare’s plays as a tiered wedding cake, with ever deeper and more disturbing layers, and notes that “at the end, Shakespeare strips it all away” to ask, “Are we the dreamers, or are we being dreamed?” Explore this question, and bring your own for our director!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

“If you will patiently dance in our round / And see our moonlight revels, go with us.” – Titania, Act II, Scene 1

Join design team members and members of the cast to discuss the magic and mischief in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and how the artistry of this particular production unfolded from design to execution. Explore the production’s specific vision for the fairy world, use of puppetry, and more with those responsible for the magic on stage and off.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

“Every man look o’er his part.” – Bottom, Act IV, Scene 2

In the context of a play that hilariously and poignantly addresses the art of acting itself, hear cast members reflect on the unique doubling of ASP’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. What are the challenges and discoveries inherent in playing both a lover and a mechanical and thus inhabiting two distinct worlds of the same play?



Dates for Edward II conversations:


Sunday, February 26, 2017: Cast of Edward II

As they conclude their Opening Weekend, join Edward II cast members as they reflect on the process of bringing the play to life. Enjoy a conversation guided by the audience’s questions, ranging from the discoveries made in rehearsal to the integration of the design elements during technical rehearsals and previews. Moderated by Mara Sidmore, Director of Education.


Saturday, March 4, 5-7:30 p.m.: ASP Open House at “Stages of Intention” Photography Exhibit, StoveFactory Gallery


Sunday, March 5, 2017: David R. Gammons and members of the cast

Speak with Director David R. Gammons about his vision for this piece and the unique experience of working on Marlowe as opposed to Shakespeare. Gammons describes his and ASP’s interpretation “of our Edward II [as] a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of past and present.” What elements of past and present are in tension and what elements are working in harmony? Moderated by Mara Sidmore, Director of Education.


Sunday, March 12, 2017: James Lopata, Editor of Boston Spirit Magazine, Director David R. Gammons, and members of the cast

Inspired by the bathhouse culture of the 1980’s, at the height of the AIDS crisis, Edward II designers transformed the Charlestown Working Theater to reflect a specific moment in history, a lens through which to approach the play’s complex themes. Join Editor of Boston Spirit Magazine James Lopata as we discuss the evolution of gay rights and normalization of/lack of normalization of same-sex relationships in our society, particularly in light of our current political climate. How are the themes first raised centuries ago reflected in and challenged or reinforced by this production’s choices? Moderated by Director David R. Gammons.


Sunday, March 19, 2017: Thomas A. King, Associate Professor of English, Brandeis University, and members of the cast

Join special guest Thomas King from Brandeis University, historian of sexuality and gender, to explore the intersection of sex and power in the play, particularly the question of whether the play is critiquing Edward’s love for Gaveston as a homosexual relationship or one of primarily a difference in class. We’ll also examine the historical difference between the erotic relationships of Marlowe’s time and those of our own: how and where the relationships in the play relate to our modern ideas of homosexuality and heterosexuality and how and where they differ. Moderated by Mara Sidmore, Director of Education.


Dates for The Tempest conversations:

  • Sunday, December 4
  • Sunday, December 11
  • Sunday, December 18
  • Sunday, January 8


Dates for Hamlet conversation series: Hamlet Fault Lines

Sunday, October 16, 2016 (2 pm performance)

Community Fault Lines

We have the unique privilege of performing Hamlet in The Church of the Covenant’s sanctuary. How does the church inform the play and the play inform the church? What themes in Hamlet speak to both theater audiences AND church communities today? Mortality, faith, the afterlife, race and racism, sexual repression, violence, ghosts … the list goes on. How do those communities engage with one another around those themes? Join Hamlet director Doug Lockwood, Church of the Covenant’s Reverend Julie Avis Rogers, and other invited guests as they examine how our roles as theatre-goers and church-goers overlap and diverge.


Sunday, October 23, 2016 (3 pm performance)

Family Fault Lines

Decay, disease, and corruption abound in Hamlet’s home and family. Join Shakespeare scholar and Salem State University professor Jeffrey Theis as he facilitates a discussion with members of the cast on these themes in Hamlet. What happens when growth and restoration are compromised as family members seek different desires?  Examine the family fault lines in the play through the lens of ecological and domestic decay.

Sunday, October 30, 2016 (3 pm performance)

Gender Fault Lines

Shakespeare is famous for playing with gender. While there are no cross-gender roles as written in Hamlet, there has been a great deal of conversation about the role of the masculine and the feminine in the play. What are the fault lines that exist between the gender roles and their social constructs in Hamlet? Shakespeare scholar Coppelia Kahn, Professor Emerita of English at Brown University, will share her thoughts, joined by cast members and the audience exploring masculine vs. feminine identity in Hamlet.


Sunday, November 6, 2016 (3 pm performance)

Psychic Fault Lines

Psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, author, and theatre/film consultant Phillip Freeman will facilitate a discussion with members of the cast on the psyches of Hamlet, Ophelia and other characters in the play. Are they experiencing a descent into madness, or are there greater forces at play?  Where is the line between one person’s reality and another person’s madness? Can psychic fault lines be healed?