“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is Shakespeare’s playful look at the mechanics and short-circuiting of love. According to the Folger edition of the play: “Theseus and Hippolyta, about to marry, are figures from mythology. In the woods outside Theseus’ Athens, two young men and two young women sort themselves out into couples—but not before they form first one love triangle, and then another.
“Also in the woods, the king and queen of fairyland, Oberon and Titania, battle over custody of an orphan boy; Oberon uses magic to make Titania fall in love with a weaver named Bottom, whose head is temporarily transformed into that of a donkey by a hobgoblin or ‘puck,’ Robin Goodfellow. Finally, Bottom and his companions ineptly stage the tragedy of ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’ before all plot threads tie neatly and happily together in the end.” The Players’ production is set in the early 19th century, the Romantic period, and its incidental music is drawn from Playford’s 17th-century dances arranged by Leland & Gray music faculty Tom Walters and the production’s assistant director Addie Mahdavi, ’14. Instrumentalists include Carl Judd-Wright, ’15, Fraser Query, ‘14, Ethan Abbott, ‘19, Kayla Williams, ‘14, Genevieve Darling, ‘14, and Sam Dutton. ’15, as well as Walters and Mahdavi.
The cast of primarily middle and high school students includes Alexa Litchfield, Puck; Zoe Soule, Hermia; Madison Cannella, Helena; Nathaniel van Osdol, Lysander; Tino Benson, Demetrius; Gabrel Vanni-Phillips, Oberon; Nicole Winot, Titania; Jesse Cannella, Bottom; Sean Kiziltan, Theseus; Mehram Zain, Hippolyta; Patrick Hauer, Egeus; Evan Reilly, Philostrate; Aiden McCormick, Theseus’ attendant; and the mechanicals: Rebekah Winot, Adam Culver, Sam Thibault, Arik Clark, and Patrick Hauer; sprites Adam Culver and Vinnie Ferrizzi joined by Christian Cannella, Nicolas Tolbert and Andrew Tolbert from Jamaica Elementary. The cast is rounded out by fairies played and sung by Julia Barton, Oly Gurik, Fairen Stark, Sarah Anderson, Mehram Zain, Natalie Cullen, Yachne Nilges, and Rebekah Winot and, from Newbrook Elementary, Sylvia Stark and Veronica Stevens.
Tino Benson is graphic and costume designer; Madison Cannella is scene designer; Grant Cullen and Sage Hall run sound; Nate Laning and Stephen Scott run lights with Nastia Stevens, Kenny Cashman, and Anna-Cate Harrison. Oly Gurik has created signage and parent Dale Stevens is tech assistant.
Numerous adults have helped, including Tim Soule, Rob Cramp, Mitch Cashman, Kim Soule, Bonnie Cramp, Kristina Barker, Cheryl Cullen, and Vera Gervais.
Running crew captain is Genevieve Darling with Olivia Reilly, Jacob Bush, Kayla Williams, Fraser Query, and Rachel Spence as crew. Costumier and production assistant is Abby Wicker, ’02; assistant director is Addie Mahdavi.
The production is full of belly laughs, spectral surprises and poignant moments of ill-fired romance. Taking time with the text, the Players have uncovered the marvelous laughs, subtle innuendos, and opportunities for high physicality.
Performances are Thursday, May 15, at 7 pm; Friday, May 16, at 7:30 pm, and Saturday, May 17, at 3 and 7:30 pm. Group rates are available.
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