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 pm matinee and last for approximately 25 minutes, or up to 1 hour for special panels. Please join us!


Dates for Julius Caesar conversations:


Sunday, November 19, 2017:This was Woman.”

Keja Valens, Associate Professor of English, Graduate Coordinator of MA in English, and Faculty Fellow for Diversity, Power Dynamics, and Social Justice at Salem State University will engage members of the cast in a discussion around ASP’s all-female approach to Julius Caesar. Instead of having women play men, Director Bryn Boice chose to tell the story in a female world. What does experimenting with gender roles do to this typically male-dominated story? How does this connect to our understanding of gender identities and roles today? Moderated by Mara Sidmore, Director of Education Programs, Projects, and Partnerships.


Sunday, November 26, 2017: Women in Power Panel

Extended Post-Show Special Event: 4:30-5:30 PM

By choosing to do an all-female Caesar, ASP is inherently exploring what happens when women are warring against each other for power in the context of a masculine heteronormative political structure. In this post-show panel, we examine the themes, stereotypes, and questions associated with women in leadership/power roles.  How do we interpret an all-female world of Julius Caesar through this lens? How does this connect to the politics of our current country?  

Panelists include: 

Leena Akhtar, Lecturer in Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality at Harvard University

Bryn Boice, ASP Julius Caesar Director

Sonia Chang-Diaz, Massachusetts Senator, 2nd Suffolk District

Tina Packer, founder of Shakespeare & Company and author of Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays

Moderated by Mara Sidmore, Director of Education Programs, Projects, and Partnerships

Free admission.

Seating limited; RSVP required. RSVP to lindsay [at]


Sunday, December 3, 2017: “Establish Caesar as a Queen”

Michael Jaros, Associate Professor of English at Salem State University, will engage Director Bryn Boice in a conversation around her vision for an all-female alternative universe in Julius Caesar. Taking inspiration from the realm of science fiction, ASP’s Caesar team set out to create a world that is, for reasons unknown, devoid of men. How does this interpretation and the design of the play enhance this all-female realm? How does such a vision for the play inform the text, and vice versa? Moderated by Lindsay Williams, Education and Project Associate.


Sunday, December 10, 2017: “This Our Lofty Scene”

Salem State University Professor of English and Shakespeare scholar Jeffrey Theis will present a brief overview of the difference in Shakespeare’s version of Roman history versus actual events in Caesar’s time. He will then facilitate a discussion on the Romans’ reactions to the various political figures in the play, and how we as citizens are moved by various types of people in power. Moderated by Lindsay Williams, Education and Project Associate.


Sunday, December 17, 2017: “Did This In Caesar Seem Ambitious?”
Julius Caesar is sometimes thought to be a play with no true villain. Join members of the cast on their closing Sunday as they discuss whether, from their perspective, there is a villain in the story, and how the intents behind characters’ actions are justified.



Dates for Exit the King conversations:


Sunday, September 17, 2017: HOW DO WE MEASURE A MAN?


King Berenger’s reign has resulted in ruin. But does that matter as death comes calling? One man’s tyrant is another man’s hero. Doesn’t every man, therefore, deserve to be treated with dignity when facing the end? Join Director Dmitry Troyanovsky and members of the cast to discuss how to grapple with Ionesco’s despot and whether that despot truly faces a downfall in death. Facilitated by Mara Sidmore, Director of Education.


Sunday, September 24, 2017: SHUFFLING OFF THIS MORTAL COIL


“It’s not natural to die, because no one ever wants to. I want to exist.” (King Berenger) Join the cast for an interactive conversation on how the characters in Exit the King either help or hinder the King’s final exit. How do they, in the 90 minutes prior to his death, help him best cope with crossing the threshold? And in our age-obsessed society, is there anything we can learn here? Facilitated by Mara Sidmore, Director of Education.


Sunday, October 1, 2017: IONESCO AND THE ABSURD


Actors’ Shakespeare Project had yet to tackle Ionesco, or his contemporaries, until this, our 14th season. Join Artistic Director Chris Edwards and members of the cast to discuss the process of working on Ionesco, and how making this play differs (or doesn’t) from the process of making Shakespeare. Facilitated by Chris Edwards, Artistic Director.


Sunday, October 8, 2017: THE WORLD OF ASP’S EXIT THE KING
At ASP’s first rehearsal for Exit the King, our design team spoke of a wonderfully specific and compelling world, the remnants of a grand party with “pops of joy amidst sadness,” and then brought that vision to life. After our very last performance, dive deeper into the visual/aural elements of the piece with members of our Exit the King team. How did design choices inform actors’ performances, and vice versa? What are the challenges of creating and bringing to life a world for an absurdist play? Facilitated by Lindsay Williams, Education and Project Associate.