No one understood better the idiocy that romantic love brings to mortals -- and fairies, for that matter -- than William Shakespeare, and nowhere does he portray it more enjoyably than in "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
Minot Central Campus drama director Chad Gifford is turning his young actors loose on the show, opening tonight at the Minot Central Campus Auditorium.
"Essentially 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' tells of four teenage lovers who run off to the woods to escape from their manipulative parents' plans," Gifford said.
Terry J. Aman/MDN - - From left, Clare Super, Jacob Borja, Keagan Wyatt and Linnea Maxfield as the Lovers Helena, Demetrius, Lysander and Hermia strike a pose during the opening prologue of the Minot High School-Central Campus production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Terry J. Aman/MDN - - Katie Abrahamson as Puck, right, laughs while Stefan Wolf as Nick Bottom prepares a role in the Minot High School-Central Campus production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Terry J. Aman/MDN - - Tiffany Dostert as the Fairy Queen Titania attends to Stefan Wolf as her suddenly beloved Nick Bottom in the Minot High School-Central Campus production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Terry J. Aman/MDN - - Back row, from left: Zach Burkart, Krista Mathistad, Jessica Yeomens and Haley Jefson, and front row, from left: Erin Bliss, Rachel Petersen and Stefan Wolf prepare their roles in the Minot High School-Central Campus production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
"It's their bad luck is that a troupe of terrible actors are also in the woods, rehearsing a play for an upcoming wedding, and a band of fairies playing magic pranks are there, too," he said. "With the woods that crowded, chaos and hilarity ensue."
The young lovers are Lysander, played by Keagan Wyatt; Demetrius, played by Jacob Borja; Hermia, portrayed by Linnea Maxfield; and Helena, played by Clare Super.
Nick Bottom, played by Stefan Wolf, is the Athenian craftsman who leads the theater troupe. His crafters-turned-actors include Polly Quince, played by Jessica Yeomans; Francis Flute, played by Zach Burkart; Robin Starveling, portrayed by Krista Mathistad; Tina Snout, played by Haley Jefson, Pit, played by Rachel Petersen, and Snug, played by Erin Bliss.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" takes the stage today through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Minot Central Campus theater. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students. No reservations are needed.
Much of the planned merriment in Athens is due to the approaching marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, played by Connor Huston, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta, played by Hannah Wollenzien.
Fairy royalty are Oberon, played by Miranda Fenner, and Titania, portrayed by Tiffany Dostert. Katie Abrahamson plays Puck, Oberon's mischievous servant.
Their followers, led by the irrepressible Puck, are responsible for magic potions that change the form of people or make sleeping people fall in love with the first object they see on awakening.
Fairy queen Titania orders several of her servants to tend to Bottom, including Amanda Kraft, Annika Kraft, Mary Carlson, Torriro Ma-koni and Elysia Taniguchi. There are more fairies: Cassidy Haider, Kacie Hamm, Jasmine Christenson and Rebecca Raabe.
The cast also includes Miranda Fenner as Egeus, Rachel Petersen as Pit and Kendra Wright as Philostrate.
"We left 'Midsummer Night's Dream' in the original Shakespearean language," the director said, "though we did shorten some of the long monologues to make it more accessible. Our production is five acts long with one intermission, but it moves pretty quickly. Our goal is to make everyone aware that Shakespeare can be fun and related to modern audiences."
"Costuming is set more in the late 1800s than in Athens where Shakespeare set it, so no togas," Gifford said. "Maddie Thompson and Tessa Buch had charge of costumes."