A Shakespearean production has not graced the stage at Brown County High School in 10 years.
The streak was broken last weekend when students debuted “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Shows continue this weekend.
“Shakespeare is tough to do, but you learn so much,” said Laurie Godfrey, the head of the theater department.
“The acting is comedic, but still, you have to have character or it doesn’t work.”
Story continues below gallery
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” revolves around the marriage of Duke of Athens Theseus to warrior queen Hippolyta, whom he captured in battle.
While preparing for the wedding, two young lovers, Hermia and Lysander, are brought to Theseus by Hermia’s father, who is insisting she marries Demetrius.
Hermia and Lysander decide to elope and run off into the woods, followed by Demetrius and Helena, who is in love with Demetrius.
Both couples are then set up by fairies, who are also in turmoil. Then there’s the addition of six workers who are rehearsing a play for Theseus’ wedding, who also fall into the chaos.
“These four lovers get involved with these fairies in a way they don’t know what is happening, but the fairies are trying to make Demetrius fall back in love with Helena, and it doesn’t quite go as planned,” Godfrey said.
And the audience will have to watch to find out what happens next.
Godfrey had avoided doing a Shakespearean play, especially during the fall, because that play is also what they perform at regional competition.
“All of the judges will have directed this show. They all have their own viewpoint on how it should be done,” she said.
The regional competition will be Dec. 6 at the high school. Six schools will compete with two moving on, Godfrey said.
This requires Godfrey to cut down the nearly two-hour production to fit in 40 minutes, including moving sets on and off the stage.
But last school year, some of her theater students read “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in their English classes and wanted a chance to perform it on stage.
“As I was trying to decide what the next show would be for fall, they kept on coming up with this,’” Godfrey said.
“I finally looked at my final choices and said this would offer a lot of opportunities, and yeah, it’s time.”
This fall’s cast is young. Only two of the 30 are seniors.
“We’ve been pushing them. This is a very young, young group of actors and we all pushed them very, very hard, so I want to see how the show goes when the audience is there,” Godfrey said.
Some cast members have played supporting roles and have been chorus members in past productions.
Others are making their stage debut, she said.
“I want it to be seen by an audience, because the actors always find much more in the story when they know somebody is watching,” Godfrey said.
Theseus: Noah Hostetler
Hippolyta: Sarah Stoll
Egeus: Caleb Brock
Philostrate: Logan Crum
Demetrius: Jacob Landry
Lysander: Jarrod Warren
Hermia: Adri Fonseca
Helena: Lilee DeLoach
Quince (prologue No. 2): Caleb Hayes
Bottom (Pyramus): Cole Lewis
Flute (Thisbe): Joey Drew
Snug (Lion): Chris Miller
Snout (Wall): Jaylen York
Starveling (prologue No. 1 and Moonshine): Ben Dwyer
Starveling understudy: Evelyn Pool
Oberon: Noah Guinn
Puck: Julita Cridlin
Titania: Maya Rockhold
Titania understudy: Vera Wagler
Titania’s fairies: First Fairy, Rachel Bessire; Peaseblossom, Kacee Kleindorfer; Mustardseed, Penny Simmons; Cobweb, Olivia Brown; Mote, Vera Wagler; Caly Rice; Meghan Cassiday
Oberon’s Fairies: Marissa Gonzalez, Kara Payne, Evelyn Pool, Delaney Hobbs, Tori Akles, Grace Richardson
What: Brown County High School theater production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
When: Nov. 4 to 6. Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows start at 7 p.m., and Sunday shows start at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $5 for students, $7 for adults at the door.