STP Preview: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

by Kristen Farley

Jeremy Smith will perform his senior theater project, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” at 8 p.m. on Feb. 23.

When given freedom to choose his senior presentation, Smith decided on this Shakespearean comedy for the challenge of performing a lyrical play.

“Our freshman year, we did Cyrano as one of the main stages, and that was written in verse, but we were freshmen, so we had smaller roles,” Smith said. He wanted to challenge himself and others, and so decided on another lyrical production.

The play is peppered with zany antics and a few laughs. One scene has the actors perform a play within a play towards the end.

“One of the last scenes is a lot of fun. I’m glad it’s at the end because it helps to leave the audience on a high,” Smith said. “We get to put on that play and it’s really, really bad. And so we just get to act really, really badly and really over the top.”

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ features 19 characters, and the STP cast size is limited to only six people.Each actor will have to play multiple roles and — in the style of Shakespeare — no one leaves the stage to change characters.

Hunter Johnson will play the lively Puck, as well as four other characters, Francis Flute, Philostrate, and Egeus. While happy to be playing his favorite Shakespeare character, Johnson has to borrow some sprightly speed from his character to make his quick changes.

“There are two specific scenes where I have to play Huck and Flute, and I go back and forth. I have to change very quickly and leave, then two seconds later come back as another character,” Johnson said.

Nathan Robertson noted that while this style of acting is a challenge, it also draws the audience into the story with the constant transition.

“We have chairs set up on the back of the stage and all of our costumes are sitting there, so the audience will get to see us switching characters and moving into new scenes,” said Robertson. “That will be a really unique perspective for an audience to say, ‘Oh! This character that I really liked is about to come back on!’”

Whether you need a study break, a good laugh, or to get lost in the woods for a while, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be performed in Alford Auditorium on Feb. 23. Admission is free to the public.

Kristen Farley is a junior English major and an Art and Entertainment writer for Cedars. She enjoys puppies, puns, people, and alliteration. And occasionally sleep.

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