A Midsummer in mid-autumn

Shakespearean comedy has been staged so many different ways, it offers actors creative freedom


Risa Darlington-Horta

Nick Bottom (junior Eliza Dean-Polacheck) has been transformed to have a donkey’s head but Titania the fairy queen (junior Sophie Knifton) immediately falls in love with him in spite of his strange looks because she is under a love spell. Photo by Risa Darlington-Horta.

Mia Terminella, staff reporter

As fall began, so did rehearsals for Mac Theatre’s fall straight play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Mac Theatre held auditions for the Shakespearean comedy immediately following the close of the fall musical Starmites. Monday through Friday after-school rehearsals for the show started the following week.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is being directed by both guest director Adam Miller-Batteau (see page 6) and assistant student director Javier Garcia. Joshua Denning, the director of MacTheatre, is tech directing the show. Junior Dexter Murphy talked about some of the changes that came with having a new director.

Risa Darlington-Horta
Hermia (sophomore Marlee Foster) and Lysander (junior Edward Fotinos) get ready to go to sleep in the forest after running away from the Athenian law.

“Every director has different ways of preparation for a show,” Murphy said “The actors were given a lot of freedom to add their own ideas and to create something original.”

Sophomore Magnus Bohls also said that the preparation for A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been very different.

“The preparation was interesting,” Bohls said. “Adam and Denning have different styles of rehearsing that each have their own unique aspects.”

Shakespeare’s comedy portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, the former queen of the Amazons. A courtier seeks the Duke’s intervention because his daughter, Hermia, will not agree to his choice of Demetrius as a husband: she’s in love with Lysander. The play’s storyline includes the adventures of four young lovers and a group of six amateur actors who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies inhabiting the forest.

Although A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a classic production, senior Matt Hernandez said that “this show is different, and the concept is totally different from any show we have ever done.” Hernandez plays the role of Oberon, king of the fairies. Hernandez said his favorite part of preparing for the show was working so closely with Sophie Knifton, who plays Titania, queen of the fairies: “Sophie is so sweet, talented and hard-working” Hernandez said.

Junior Dexter Murphy said the play is interesting because it has had so many interpretations on stage.

Midsummer is a very interesting show because it has been done many different ways before,” said Murphy, who plays the role of Egeus in the show. “I have had a lot of fun getting to create my character” Murphy said. “I was glad to be able to take my character to the fullest and find something that worked well for me.”

Risa Darlington-Horta
Pease Blossom (junior Julia Blackmon) stands onstage arguing with the mischievous Puck.

In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, there are many character groups such as the Athens, Fairy Land and the Mechanicals. The large cast of characters resulted in a fairly large cast of about 30 new and returning McCallum actors.

“I had fun meeting the new members of the Academy and being able to work closely with the cast,” Murphy said. During the two-hour weekday rehearsals, the cast had time to do character work. The actors were given freedom to develop the classic Shakespeare characters in their own unique ways.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream opens this Thursday Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Building Theater and runs through Sunday, Nov. 11. Following the closing of A Midsummer Night’s Dream MacTheatre is holding auditions for the spring musical 42nd Street on Thursday Nov. 12. To purchase a ticket for A Midsummer Night’s Dream or to sign up to audition for 42nd Street visit mactheatre.com.

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