Shakespeare for All

Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina has a new long-term program, “Shakespeare For All,” that will present productions based on adaptations of William Shakespeare’s plays intended to make the plays more accessible to a general audience. A full production of the adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be performed on July 13 and 14, 2018 at Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting Street in Charleston, with performances at 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday evenings, and a matinee on Saturday at 3:00 pm. SC Humanities supported “Shakespeare for All” with a Major Grant.

There will be a free South Carolina Humanities seminar event for the public offered following the matinee on Saturday, July 14, from 4:45 to 5:45 pm in the Sanctuary. It will include participation from scholars, Dr. Amy McCandless, Clarence Felder and Alexia Helsley, commenting on the value of the poetry, philosophy and humor of the new adaptation text and of Shakespeare’s works in general.

Dr. Amy McCandless taught undergraduate and graduate courses in British History and special topics classes on Elizabethan England and developed College of Charleston’s British Studies Minor. As an actor, Mr. Felder has performed thirty-six characters in twenty-six of Shakespeare’s plays in fifty-five productions in the US and Canada and has been studying the works for thirty years. He has directed Shakespeare and the classics throughout his career, as well as being a playwright and poet. Alexia Helsley is a professional author and historian, who has taught courses in Classical Mythology, Birth of Europe and Ancient History.

“Shakespeare For All”: Accessible Texts by Clarence Felder, is the first phase of a ten year project of Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina. ATSC will also hold seminars in four counties on the topic of Mr. Felder’s adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. The company will hold free public events in Orangeburg, Calhoun, Charleston and Dorchester counties.  The first of these events is a seminar on Mr. Felder’s adaptations and the cultural importance of Shakespeare that is scheduled for Monday, September 17th from 6:00 to 7:00 pm with Mr. Felder and scholars Dr. Amy McCandless and Alexia Helsley, in the auditorium of the Charleston County Library at 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston 29401.

For more information and for ticket information for the performances on July 13 and 14, please visit

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 20-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

Image: costume design rendering of Bottom’s donkey head by Francy Walsh