STEUBENVILLE, OH— The Franciscan University Theatre Department mainstage production presented A Midsummer Night’s Dream to audiences in the fall of 2011.
Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a play about the trials of romantic love, the joy and pain it brings us and the crazy things it can make us do. This particular production is a 1960s Beatles” HELP! album inspired production. That era and that music open up the play for me in fun and interesting ways, and I think it will do the same for our audience. I’ve no qualms with moving this play in time because Shakespeare already plays fast and loose with time throughout the play. For instance, he sets this play in Athens, at a time when Theseus walked the earth, but within the same play he plops down English Renaissance craftsmen in the form of the play’s Rude Mechanicals. In many of his plays, Shakespeare employs anachronisms as a device to bring the world of the play closer to his audience. I see our setting of this play as an elaboration on Shakespeare’s own practice, and that he has given us in Midsummer a music-filled play allows us to play even more with ways to make this production great fun for our audience.
We held auditions on August 30 and conducted our first cast meeting on Sept. 1. We will rehearse Monday through Thursday evenings until the show opens in November. Our production dates are Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 4-5 and 11-12 at 7:00 PM and Sundays, Nov. 6 and 13 at 2:00 PM. Tickets will go on sale through the Faculty Secretary’s office in late October. There will also be two dress rehearsals that will serve as free performances on Thursdays, Nov. 3 and 10, at 7:00 PM. Performances were held in Anathan Theatre, on the ground floor of Egan Hall.
Tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for students and seniors. Admission is free for clergy, religious, and children under 12. Tickets may be reserved by calling 740-283-6245, Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:00pm, or bought at the door on a first come, first served basis.
This production features 22 actors from several majors, as well as a band of musicians who will play throughout the performance. Original music for the production is being composed by FUS graduate Peter Lee, and most of the show’s design is the creation of current FUS senior drama majors. Designing the set is Julian Curi; costumes are designed by Clare Schroeder and Anna Szyszkiewicz, and the lighting designer is David D’Andrea. Designing props is technical director Mr. Dale Prey, and assisting with choreography is junior drama major Melissa Redfield.