University Playhouse Presents A Midsummer Night's Dream
Freshman, Callie McGovern, in the role of Hermia and graduate student, Jacob Layton, in the role of Demetrius, as they rehearse A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Commerce, TX – The Texas A&M-Commerce University Playhouse continues the 2013 season with William Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Performances are February 19-23 at 8:00 PM and February 24 at 3:00 PM. For reservations, call 903-886-5900, or e-mail email@example.com.
This rollicking comedy is directed by Dr. Jim Al-Shamma, and this is his first production at A&M-Commerce.
Shakespeare’s time and place settings are somewhat fluid, so designers and directors often choose imaginative times and places to set the action. Dr. Al-Shamma says, “I started with the idea of carnival, because the world of the forest is one in which the normal rules do not apply. In our interpretation, the people of the court are also the people of the forest, in disguise, so that the nighttime dream world is a fantastical reflection of the daytime world.”
“Costume designer Samantha Grace and I were researching carnival from various time periods, and both became captivated with Venetian Carnival for its elegant and opulent appearance. We have set the play during the Rococo period, during the late 1700s, because the style of that time complements that of Venetian Carnival. In our interpretation, the forest becomes the back canals of Venice.”
Dr. Al-Shamma says of his direction, “I have taken a highly physical approach to the acting, which the actors have embraced with great enthusiasm. For example, when the lovers quarrel in the woods, they actually physically tangle. We are also taking a theatrical approach to the staging – scene changes take place in front of the audience and actors address the audience directly. The goal is to pull the audience viscerally into the experience of the play.”
Actress, and assistant costume designer for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Stephanie Goudy, a senior from Burleson, Texas says of the design elements, “The choices have been really freeing to me as an actor and as a designer. We get to create our own world inside Shakespeare’s play.”
Speaking of the body of Shakespeare’s work, Dr. Al-Shamma says, “Shakespeare is produced so often because his characters and language are incredibly vital, despite the words having been written some 400 years ago. I am gratified that the cast and production team have tackled this project with tremendous energy and enthusiasm.”
Tickets for A Midsummer Night’s Dream are $3.00 for students with an ID, $8.00 for senior citizens and $10.00 for non-student adults. The play is suitable for all ages. Early reservations are highly recommended.