Renovation of the historic Mercantile Trust and Deposit Co. building into a 250-seat theater-in-the-round gives the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company a modern Globe Theatre-style venue to explore the question "What makes Shakespeare so great?"

This intimate theater experience is set within the context of a grand historic bank building with corinthian columns and decorative, coffered ceilings and is intended to create a lively, contemporary interpretation of a classic Shakespearean theater.


  • Baltimore Heritage Historic Preservation Award
  • AIA Maryland, Design Award
  • Preservation Maryland, Phoenix Award

All The World's A Stage

Inspired by Shakespeare's Globe, intimate seating surrounds the stage on three sides and three vertical levels. The stage, inserted into the historic fabric, has clear and different vantage points from each seat enabling audience members to watch with excitement and interest. The renovation was awarded a Preservation Maryland Phoenix Award for the innovative adaptive reuse of a historic structure. 

Functional From Every Angle

The new design incorporates many of the building’s existing historic architectural elements, especially highlighting the ornate, brightly painted ceiling. Brightly lit dressing rooms in the basement were built directly into former vault space. Concessions on both the first and second floors are served from inviting cocktail lounges. 

There's 400 years of architecture in one building - an Elizabethan playhouse, a Victorian bank, and a 21st century theatre.

Ian Gallanar, Artistic Director, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

Shakespeare arrives in the heart of Baltimore 

Located just two blocks from the Inner Harbor, the new public entrance is on Calvert Street, a main arterial. The new marquee is a welcome addition to Baltimore's engaging skyline, attracting tourists and residents alike to the theater.