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Free Shakespeare in the Park in Somerville's Davis Square Fundraiser
Theatre @ First, Somerville's own community theatre company, has brought you Shakespeare, original musicals, crowd-pleasing favorites and obscure gems. Now, we want to bring the Shakespeare in the Park experience to Davis Square!
We are planning to produce As You Like It, one of the most enduring and popular comedies of Shakespeare. My vision for this production is a modern one, where the Forest of Arden is the woods of New England, and the resident farmers and eccentrics encounter the Burning Man artists, MIT engineers, and other anarchic creatives who flee the city after a hostile business takeover.
We have plans to involve SCUL, the bicycle gang; members of the burlesque community; visual and light artists of Burning Man fame; original electronic music by The Pluto Tapes; and of course, the acting talents of our fantastic Theatre@First community - and hopefully some new faces.
The resultant extravaganza - if this project is funded - will be produced for free in Seven Hills Park, behind the Davis Square T Station. Theatre@First is a nonprofit, and all funding for our shows comes from ticket sales and the occasional grant. In order to offer this show to our community, we will need to raise enough money to rent a stage, lighting and sound equipment, and all of the necessary expenses of a show.
Fundraising page can be found here:
More About Seven Hills Park
Tucked behind the Davis Square T station on Holland Ave., this petit park pays homage to Somerville's seven hills—including the two that were hauled away. A tree-lined promenade runs along one side. Making up the rest is a triangle of open grass, which forms a soft carpet for the outdoor concerts and movie nights held here. But what makes the park unusual are its seven towering poles each topped by unlikely figures like a cherry tree, a fish or a big Jersey milk cow.
Each pole represents one of the city's seven hills: Cobble, Spring, Winter, Clarendon, Ploughed, Prospect and Central. The figures depict a symbol from the hill's past. The fish atop the Clarendon Hill pole, for example, recalls the days when hill residents fished at Alewife Brook and exported their dried catch to the West Indies.
A plaque at the base of most poles (two are missing), tells each hill's history including the sorry fate of Ploughed Hill, which was dug up and used for landfill. The same fate befell Cobble Hill, also known as Asylum Hill because it was the site of Mclean Asylum (now Mclean Hospital in Belmont). Today, the Cobble Hill area is the flat industrial park at Innerbelt Road.
And that cow? It turns out Spring Hill was great grazing ground for milk cows in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Their milk was delivered via Milk Row, which today is Somerville Ave. Get the rest of the scoop the next time you visit the park.