ELKINS — William Shakespeare’s classic comedy of magic and mistaken love, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” will be brought to life as the D&E Division of Creative Arts presents a totally radical, 1980s version that reimbermagines one of the most loved works in the Bard’s oeuvre. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8, 9 and 11, and 4 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Boiler House Theatre on the College campus.
Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for D&E faculty and staff, and free for D&E students. Reservations are suggested. Tickets can be purchased at www.dewv.edu/arts-entertainment.
A pair of complicated lovers, a gaggle of bickering fairies and a “show that must go on” are all thrown into chaos when that mischief-maker extraordinaire Puck introduces a love-inducing flower to try to make the night better. The best intentions have the worst consequences as misdirected love abounds, and everything must be set right before the sunrise comes.
Assistant Professor of Theatre Bridget Esterhuizen directs the production and is excited to bring the Bard to the D&E stage.
“‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is one of Shakespeare’s most produced plays – for good reason – it’s a huge crowd-pleaser,” Esterhuizen said. “Directing this play is a joy – our students dove into to the process of figuring out this challenging language and quickly became an awesome team of 30-plus actors, designers and crew from various majors and interests across campus. We are excited to do it for an audience. We have some fun originality and surprises in our version set in the 1980s with lots of recognizable ’80s songs and dances. It’ll be a good ride and I’m very proud of our entire team.”
Freshman Tobias Sears of Crab Orchard, West Virginia, makes his theatrical debut playing Lysander, one of the mistaken lovers.
“Theatre is a really fun time, especially for someone who has never done it before,” Sears said. “I really enjoy the new experience. College can be difficult, and theatre, while challenging, is also rewarding.”
Other students are also embracing the chance to attack the often challenging language of Shakespeare’s plays.
“This experience has been really different and challenging,” said senior Megan Augustine of Dallas, Georgia, who plays fairy prankster Puck. “It was exciting to work with my theater friends because I barely get to see them with my schedule as a student-athlete. Shakespeare was initially challenging because it was like a different language and I had to learn what he was saying. I’m sort of grasping it now with the class I’ve been taking and this show. My favorite part about being Puck is my costume.”
The Davis & Elkins College Theatre Program offers courses in theatre and theatre production designed to provide students with knowledge of and experience in an art form which has played a key role in cultural history and contemporary society, and prepares them for the demanding job market of theatre and film. The Bachelor of Arts in theatre art provides for concentration in acting or directing, plus a unique opportunity to pursue accreditation in theatre education.