A new twist on a classic story, ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’

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Kaitlyn Doyle

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This is everything but your boring, typical Shakespearean play. Director Haeri Tollefson has applied a new twist to an old classic. The play is grounded in comedy, but has a unique spin that takes an epic story from an outdated plot to a modern day theme. Prepare to be entertained by Midsummer’s Night Dream with an exotic setting.

Midsummer’s Night Dream, written by Shakespeare, originally takes place in the woodlands of Athens, but Tollefson modernizes the setting to present day Tokyo. Although the theme, love is blind, remained in the heart of the play, it is more relevant to to our times.

Tollefson is inspired by Tokyo when he was introduced to the culture of Japan. He thought it was a good match because arranged marriages are still a part of their culture today.

Tollefson said, “The premise of the whole show in the beginning is arranged marriages.” But the play turns to comedy when other people get involved. We soon learn that love is blind.

Junior Grace Baldwin, an actor in a past Midsummer’s Night Dream at Stillwater High School, played Puck. She shared that this first version was different from the upcoming production in that it was set in India and used old English language.

“The premise of the whole show in the beginning is arranged marriages.”

— Haeri Tollefson

Baldwin’s states her favorite part of the “Bollywood dancing which was new for me and really fun.” This play inspired her to do further research into India’s culture.

Junior Mackenzie Moroney states cast members spend multiple hours after school practicing there role for the production. All the actors meet four to five times a week practicing and perfecting a part in the play. The cast also does a lot of memorizing of the script outside of drama club meetings.

“It’s kind of like a lot of extra homework,” explained Moroney. Often times, students will have to do extra research to become familiar with their part so they can get into their character better.

Tollefson is engaged with the students to help them better portray their roles. His favorite part of this play is all the comedy and the play within the play at the end.

“What makes it so funny is that they are so bad,” Tollefson said. He refers to the mechanicals who have their own show in the play.

Most plays that you see are in modern time somewhere in the United States, but director Tollefson wanted to make Midsummer’s Night Dream different from the rest. The play will debut at Stillwater Area High School auditorium coming this Oct. 24.

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