The Department of Theatre is pulling from one of the greats this week, presenting a young perspective on an old play for a production that is almost entirely run by students.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare will premiere Friday at the Drake Performance and Event Center. The play is directed by Kevin McClatchy, an associate professor in the Department of Theatre.
“It’s one of his famous comedies. It follows three stories: one of four lovers who fall in love with each other, one of handymen who decide to put on a show for these weddings and the story of the duke and duchess of this realm who are having their own love problems,” Kylie Logan, a second-year graduate student in theater and Peter Quince in the show, said.
She said the five-act show will have two sections and an intermission and will last roughly two hours.
Erin Parsons, a graduate student in theater, is playing Puck — a mischievous fairy who wreaks havoc throughout the show.
Parsons said the play will present Shakespeare in a way all students can appreciate.
“It is Shakespeare, of course, so we are using classic text, but we are bringing it to life in a really colorful, imaginative way,” Parsons said. “I think in the theater, or in art specifically, a lot of the times we dig deep into stuff inside of us that is important and scary and vulnerable, which is amazing and wonderful, but this is an escape from your everyday life — you just see like a really playful bright fun world that we create.”
Parsons added that the intricate, hand-painted set will help the world of the play come to life. There will be magical and realistic Athenian sets used throughout the play, she said.
Logan said the show’s set is one of the most impressive she’s ever seen and was completely designed and built by master’s and undergraduate students, respectively. She said that in addition to the student-run set design and production, the entire cast and most of the production crew are graduate and undergraduate students.
“It shows what students are capable of on this campus, and people are gonna go out into the real world trying to do this kind of thing,” Logan said.
Parsons said some of the undergraduate students are enrolled in classes taught by their graduate student peers in the play, leading to collaboration and learning in and out of the classroom.
Putting on Shakespeare is no easy task, but Logan said having master’s students — as well as a director — who specialize in Shakespeare helps.
“It’s an opportunity for all of us to sort of dive into that high language in a really hysterical way, so I’m excited to see what everybody is capable of, if that makes sense. I’m excited to see us rise to the occasion,” Logan said.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will run Friday through Nov. 22 at the Drake Performance and Event Center’s Thurber Theater. Tickets can be purchased at the Drake’s box office or by calling 614-292-2295. They will also be available online through Ticketmaster.