The first meeting of the 124th season of the Rockland Shakespeare Society will be held Monday, Oct. 7, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Friends Community Room of Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St.

The group meets every other Monday, early fall through the spring, to read and discuss the works of William Shakespeare, with holiday breaks, an annual Christmas banquet, spring dinner and summer picnic. For 2013-14, “Antony and Cleopatra” will be the reading in October, November and early December, with “Cymbeline” the subject for January, February and March.

Each member participates throughout the year, reading roles that range from royalty to witches to young lovers or memorable figures from history. The plays also offer a fascinating insight on many aspects of life in past centuries, from the underlying psychology of the plot to unraveling the meaning of Shakespeare's Elizabethan language; or the relationship of the play to the history of England, all of which may become the subject of presentations during the year. At the end of each season, RSS members often leave the 16th century behind to produce a short modern play for their own enjoyment and occasionally join for an evening theater party in the Midcoast area.

The group, created in Rockland in 1889, is one of the oldest of its kind in the United States. It will celebrate a century and quarter of continuous existence in 2014. Meetings are open to interested visitors, and new members are most welcome this year. For more information, call 594-4101.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or