Friday, August 14, 2020

Dates Announced for Shakespeare in the Park Bergen County 2020 

In February, The Black Box PAC
Shakespeare in the Park Bergen County team was preparing the lineup for 2020, their third season of free outdoor performances, before the pandemic hit. In the wake of COVID-19, the uniquely collaborative group of theater makers have revamped their annual summer festival. All involved have been closely monitoring the situation and given current guidelines BBPAC has been given the go-ahead to move forward with their third season - although it may look a bit different!

Following a successful online reading series, the actors are moving outside from late August and performing through the end of September as the ever-evolving situation allows. In these public venues (ranging from libraries and parks in Tenafly, Englewood, and Teaneck to a variety of private venues in the general area), The Tempest and Measure For Measure will be performed outdoors without fixed seating.

Audiences will bring their own chairs and will set up at a distance from other parties. Furthermore, audience will be asked to comply with current state guidelines and wear masks. Local officials will be in attendance to ensure distancing is taking place. BBPAC strictly follows all up-to-date health protocols as dictated by local, state, and national authorities. The safety of our patrons and performers is of the utmost importance. 

Due to capacity restrictions, most venues will require pre-registration. Opening night of The Tempest at The Teaneck Public Library, a new venue for this third year of Shakespeare, has already “sold out”—attendance is free, but reservations have already hit the cap of 100 attendees!

The Borough of Tenafly began an outdoor concert series mid July, led by Council President Jeff Grossman. The Tenafly Presents committee has been carefully planning the 2020 performance series in order to adjust to COVID-19 and social distancing concerns. They are excited to add Shakespeare to the lineup, with performances aat Huyler Park (intersection of Hillside & Piermont) and all audience members instructed to bring a chair and a mask. 

Additionally, this summer a selection of special private venues will be added to the lineup. Old York Cellars in Ringoes, NJ has been hosting a “Summer Wine & Music” series and “Wine & Comedy” nights in their outdoor tent. In August, Shakespeare is added to the mix! These performances require ticketed reservations through Old York Cellars, at

The evolving performance schedule—as of this writing—is as follows:

Audience is asked to check in with each venue for reservation information and their COVID-19 policy. Dates and locations are also posted to

This year, the Shakespeare in the Park Bergen County company is excited to mount these new productions of Measure for Measure and The Tempest in rep. The shows - directed by BBPAC's Artistic Director Matt Okin and Director of Shakespeare Programming Michael Gardiner - feature the talents of professional actors from NJ and NY including: Christina Cruz, Allen Garcia, Michael Gardiner, Cassandra Guglielmo, Kentrell Loftin, Danielle MacMath, Sean Mannix, Rachel Matusewicz, Bess Miller, Arthur Gregory Pugh, Ilana Schimmel, and Jacey Schult.

Black Box Performing Arts Center is a 501(c)3 non profit theater company. They are able to present free summer Shakespeare with the support of the Puffin Foundation, Arbor Terrace of Teaneck, Bauer Printing, Michael Pessolano of Freidburg Properties, and the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund.

For more information, please email and visit

Photo credit: Amy Lebovics Photography