Theatre@First is an all-volunteer community theatre based in Somerville, MA. Founded in 2003, we fill a vital niche in the vibrant Davis Square arts scene. We draw upon the talents and support of individuals and organizations throughout the community to provide opportunities for our participants and audiences to experience quality live theatre in a variety of local venues. For more, see our Press page.
Click on the show image for more details about each show!
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [Abridged]
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [Abridged] is a madcap race to perform all of Shakespeare's 37 plays in about 90 minutes. The Reduced Shakespeare Company, an ensemble of eight committed actors, will stop at nothing to achieve this feat... even if it kills them. (And a third of his plays were tragedies, so death is likely.) It's fast-paced fun for Shakespeare nerds and everyone who loves a laugh.
Performances: May 17–June 1, 2019
The Revenger's Tragedy
The Revenger's Tragedy, probably by Thomas Middleton, is a cynical satire of the revenge tragedies that were popular in the Jacobean era. The murders are violent and ridiculous, and the heroes are little better than the villains. This production will be set in a 1940s failing circus to enhance the performative nature of revenge (and also because it is fun!). The people in the story have lived and toured with each other for most of their lives, so this cast will be encouraged to form a real ensemble. The characters know each other much too well, and long-simmering resentments are about to boil over.
Auditions: May 20–21, 2019
Performances: September 13–22, 2019
His father dead. Ghosts walking. A new king and a hasty marriage. Foreign troops on the march. Old friends with new agendas. Interfering courtiers, old rivals, and a love outgrown. Violence. Madness.
Hamlet's greatest enemy may be his own doubt in this fast-paced production of William Shakespeare's finest play.
Auditions: June 3–4, 2019
Performances: November 15–23, 2019
Bare Bones: Woods
Bare Bones: Staged Readings at Theatre@First offers directors, casts and audiences the chance to explore a wide variety of plays in a spare, intense setting.
The Spring 2019 Bare Bones reading will be Woods, written and directed by Matthew Garland.
Auditions: Sunday, June 9th at 7pm
Performance: Friday, July 12th at 8pm
A talkback session with the playwright/director will follow the performance.
Skill Sharpening Workshops
Lighting Design 101
What's the difference between an ellipsoidal and a fresnel? How many instruments do I need to light a show? Why is contrast important? And what the heck is a "lumen", anyway?
Come find out all this and more at our workshop for lighting designers. Learn about the art and science of lighting design, and pick up some tips and tricks on how to design a show. No experience necessary — this lecture is intended for anyone interested in lighting design, from total novices to old hands.
Advance registration is encouraged but not required.
Workshop: Saturday, June 8 at 2:30pm
FirstWorks is Theatre@First's workshop program for new plays, an opportunity for Boston-area playwrights to hone their scripts with feedback from experienced directors, actors, and our engaged and enthusiastic audience.
The 2019 FirstWorks selection is What They Think We Are by Nick Malakhow. In this exciting new work two Latinx teens face the challenges of being "scholarship kids" at a majority white prep school.
Performance: Thursday, June 20th at 8pm
A talkback session with the playwright will follow the performance.
The mission of Theatre@First is to work together to provide a fun, friendly, and creative theater experience for cast, crew, and audience alike. We welcome volunteers at all levels, without regard to race, color, religion, ethnicity, ancestry, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, national origin, body type, age or disability. We encourage a supportive environment in which to work, play, grow, and explore new areas of the theatre arts. We offer affordable and eclectic performances to the community, aiming to surprise, delight, entertain, and educate our audiences.