Mary Carole McCauley reports in the Baltimore Sun that the shift was driven by Kwame Kwei-Armah, Center Stage's new artistic director. "When my family arrived in Baltimore a year ago, one of our first days out was to walk up the hill to the Book Festival. We heard any number of brilliant speakers. When I came back, I asked my staff why Center Stage wasn't part of this wonderful celebration of the word," he said at a news conference.
McCauley reported that the "From Page to Stage," collaboration will include paintings on the Monument Street asphalt of costume designs from Center Stage's 50-year history, while actors in character will stroll through the festival, interacting with visitors. Festival-goers can also attend free performances by local musicians, poets, dancers and local theater troupes such as Fells Point Corner Theatre and the Baltimore Improv Group. At 4 p.m. Saturday, three staged readings will be held of the works of Baltimore native and horror icon Edgar Allen Poe.
On Saturday, the theater will hold its annual open house, allowing visitors to take backstage tours, listen to a storyteller and attend a workshop on stage combat.