Robin Goodfellow (better known as Puck) and a host of magical creatures will come to life when the St. Ignatius Catholic School opens its production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on Nov. 19.
With a cast of more than 50 students, the rehearsals have been intense, but they have been balanced by a good deal of fun and enjoyment, according to Melanie McNie, subject leader for drama at the school.
After months of learning lines, blocking and really understanding the characters’ motivation, the players are ready to take to the stage for the family-friendly production.
“It’s highly entertaining,” says McNie, “as there are musical numbers, beautiful choreography created by past and present students, and highly expressive classical acting.”
“The cast has worked hard to create an interesting interpretation of this Shakespearian comedy. Kiron Dunn (Year 8) plays Egeus and Peter Quince for some of the performances, and has recently expressed how enjoyable he has found the whole experience. He wasn’t expecting to enjoy a 500 year old play so much!”
‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
Three parallel stories are interwoven in this tale of love, magic and mayhem.
It all begins in Athens, at the court of the renowned Duke Theseus, four days before the wedding to Hippolyta. Hermia and Lysander want to marry, but Hermia’s father refuses to allow her to marry anyone other than Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander decide to elope and leave Athens. They tell Helena of their plans. Helena is desperately in love with Demetrius and Demetrius is in love with Hermia.
Demetrius and Helena follow the fleeing couple into the enchanted wood.
In another part of Athens, a group of tradesmen decide to perform a play in honor of Theseus and Hippolyta’s wedding. They decide to rehearse their play in the wood, which unbeknown to them is no ordinary wood; it is the home of Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the fairies.
The natural world is in turmoil because Oberon and Titania are arguing. Oberon commands his mischievous servant, Puck, to squeeze the juice of a magical plant into Titania’s eyes. This enchantment makes Titania fall in love with the first creature she sees when she wakes up.
While Oberon waits for Puck to return with the flower, he witnesses a scene between Helena and Demetrius. Taking pity on Helena, Oberon tells Puck about the “sweet Athenian lady” who is “in love with a disdainful youth” and tells him to use some of the flower juice to make the young man fall in love with her.
With the magical interference of the fairy kingdom, the confusion, mayhem and comedy begins.
The working men arrive in the same enchanted wood and Puck stumbles upon them. Puck selects Bottom and changes his appearance to that of an ass. This terrifies the other tradesmen. Titania becomes infatuated with Bottom, until Oberon and Puck realize their enchantment has turned everything upside down. Everything is finally resolved and harmony is finally achieved in the mortal and ethereal worlds.
The cast is a diverse one, and in order to allow many St. Ignatius students to share their range of acting skills and abilities, different actors will play parts in different performances. Members of the cast span Years 5 through 12.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be performed at the school Nov. 19-21, with 7 p.m. performances nightly, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 21.
Tickets are $25 for VIP, $15 for adults, $10 for students, and $50 family pass (two shows). There will be a $5 discount on all tickets for the Thursday night and Saturday matinee performances.
For more information, call the school at 949-9250 or purchase tickets from the school office on Walkers Road.