WHS Theatre Arts will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare in the Carpenter Family Theater from March 30–April 1.
The show will be unique in that it is set in the 1920s instead of the traditional Shakespearean era of the production.
“I am very excited [because] we are going to do it 1920s style, so it will feature the Roaring ‘20s and the effects of the Roaring ‘20s, and we’re making … Shakespeare’s words applicable to a different time frame,” said director Dede Burke.
In order to capture the true essence of the 1920s, theatre made adjustments to its costumes and set.
“We have a lot of flapper dresses and accessories,” said co–head costumer Autumn Wagner ‘17. “Many of the women’s costumes are masculine to characterize the feminism movement.”
The iconic story is about four lovers tangled in an extremely complicated “love triangle.”
The play is beloved by many for its comedic nature and entertaining storytelling, which are common aspects of Shakespeare’s writing.
“[In the show, there are] three different worlds happening at the same time,” said Alexa Kasparian ‘18, who plays the role of the hopelessly romantic and desperately jealous Helena, “so the leads ... are all equal.”
In the story, there are four main lovers: Demetrius, Lysander, Helena and Hermia.
At the beginning of the story, Hermia and Lysander love each other and Helena loves Demetrius.
However, Egeus, Hermia’s father, wants Hermia to marry Demetrius, who is in love with her. Things get complicated when Puck, a mischievous fairy, gives Lysander “love juice” and makes him fall in love with Helena.
One of the most iconic characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is Bottom, the clumsy weaver whose head is turned into that of a donkey when he is put under a spell. Bottom provides comic relief throughout the show.
“[Bottom is] very dramatic and theatrical,” said Josh Sobotka ‘17, who plays Bottom. “I enjoy playing him because I’m also a dramatic person, and being able to be dramatic onstage is very fun.”
The show includes double casting, when two people are casted for the same role, for the first time this year in the WHS theater program.
“We’re double casting in order to get more people involved in the show and to let students gain experience of what it’s like to be part of everything,” said Burke.
In preparation for the show, the cast and crew typically rehearsed two to four hours a day for a month and a half.
“Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse … It’s a concentrated rehearsal schedule … and that’s really difficult for Shakespeare,” said Burke.
Due to the difficulty of Shakespearean language and plot and the sheer scale of the show, the cast had to overcome many obstacles to perfect their performance.
“English is not my first language, so that’s already a challenge, and Shakespearean English is even more challenging, so vocabulary [was] the main challenge [for me],” said Pierre Depre ‘20, who plays Lysander.
Despite these obstacles, the cast looks forward to the show and feels that all the hard work invested will pay off.
“It is a bit overwhelming, but overall it is very fun,” said Jason Juarez ‘20. “I’m playing a Lord, which is a pretty small part, but the people and the overall experience is very fun.”
Pre–sale tickets are available online. The cost is $12 for general admission and $10 for senior citizens and students. Tickets will be available at the door for $15 and $12.
For more information, visit the theatre website at http://www.conejousd.org/whs/Academics/Departments/English/Burke/PerformingArts.aspx