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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Summerville’s winter play cast prepares for the showcase.
SHS’s new performing arts director, Sabrina Jenson, directs Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare.

Summerville High School’s theatre program is having it’s spring play starting next week on Feb. 22, 23, and 24. The Thursday and Friday shows are at 7:00 P.M. whereas the Saturday show has a 2:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. The cast will be performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy about four Athenians who run away to the forest only to have Puck, the fairy, make both of the boys fall in love with the same girl. The four run through the forest pursuing each other while Puck helps his master play a trick on the fairy queen. In the end, Puck reverses the magic, and the two couples reconcile and marry.

Summerville’s director for this year’s spring play is familiar with the school, having worked as an assistant director for High School Musical and graduated from Summerville. Director Sabrina Jensen finds this work is different from any other job she’s done.

“It’s definitely a learning curve, but also a lot of fun because of the excitement the cast has. What makes a show fun is the process of putting something together that is new and fun to present, but also a lot of fun for people to perform,” noted Jensen.

Choosing this particular play came easy to Jensen, as she is interested in Shakespeare. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a play that works well with a modern adaptation.

“It has a lot of leeway and is much less constrained in terms of casting, blocking, and costume than certain more contemporary choices would have. It allows less rigid choices for the actors, but also challenges them in making the language understandable to any audience member without a live translation. The addition of the fact that it’s a comedy makes it more of a challenge for actors while also more enjoyable for audience members,” said Jensen.

To make this play work, Jensen had the task of  choosing the cast. Because of the talent many brought to the table, it could be difficult to choose the right fit for some of the principal roles.

“It wasn’t necessarily a hard process…but definitely difficult when an actor may be suited to two parts perfectly, or two actors both do the part very well in very different ways,” stated Jensen.

The play manager, Sailor Tomley, finds helping with the plays exciting.

“My role helps with what is going on behind the scenes, it’s a fun position to be in,” stated Tomley.

One of Tomley’s tasks as play manager is blocking. Blocking is the positioning of actors and actresses during a scene. In a musical, it is not as significant as many of the responsibilities of placing people around the stage fall onto the choreographer.

“Being the stage manager in a straight play is a lot different than a musical, there are many different tasks including [blocking],” noted Tomley.

One of the actors, Benjamin Diamond, shared who he is playing and what he thinks of playing in a straight play, rather than a musical.

“I play Demetrius and Francis Flute. I like to play Demetrius because he has a strange relationship with his lover,” stated Diamond.

Unlike High School Musical, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a straight play. Essentially, a musical centers around singing and dancing to tell its story, whereas a straight play relies on speaking scenes. Diamond prefers musicals because of the opportunities they provide for singing and dancing.

“It’s a little bit different from being in a musical. I like it a little less than I like musicals because with an actual play there is no singing and dancing,” Diamond said.

Everyone is very excited to be a part of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Beyond the Cave wishes the cast the best of luck.

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Josie Berg, Reporter
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