Newburyport’s Theater in the Open celebrates 39 years

Newburyport’s Theater in the Open celebrates 39 years

This summer Theater in the Open (TITO) is celebrating its 39thseason of community theater with an expanded Summer Arts Workshop and top-notch performances ranging from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Sophocles’ “Antigone” to “Snow White: A Through The Looking Glass Panto.”

Myths in the forest at Maudslay

Myths in the forest at Maudslay

The setting’s trees reflect Antigone’s nature — wild, solid and grounded. The setting’s wall reflects her nemesis — an unyielding, constricting and imposing local power structure. These timeless forces play out in the Greek tragedy “Antigone,” said Aisha Delilah, the 21-year-old Haverhill actress who plays the title character. Theater in the Open, the drama company in residence at Maudslay State Park for 30 years, is presenting Sophocles’ “Antigone” and Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in July and August.

Newburyport group wants show to go on at state park

Newburyport group wants show to go on at state park

The pastel walls inside the gatekeeper’s house at Maudslay State Park tell the four-decade story of Theater in the Open. Posters from past shows — “Mother Goose,” “The Wind in the Willows,”

“Alice in Wonderland ” — hang above the old theater seats that rim the living room where the company rehearses.

Known as the Forester’s House, it’s an enchanted home for Esme, the toddler daughter of artistic director Edward Speck and his wife, Cailin McFarland. Since the late 1980s, when then-governor Michael Dukakis established the state park here, Theater in the Open has made its home at the gateway to the former Moseley estate, with an office and a residence for the artistic director under the same roof in the 1903, two-story residence.