Brownwood High School’s Theatre Department will present the William Shakespeare comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” — Shakespeare’s most produced comedy, theatre director Shannon Lee said.
Show times in the Dorothy McIntosh Fine Arts Center at Brownwood High School are:
• 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17d
• 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18
• 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20
• 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21
Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students.
Lee explained the premise of the play. It is a “frolic through a Midsummer wood” and includes eloping lovers, a play within a play and fairies and their king and queen, Lee said.
“It is Shakespeare’s most produced comedy and it’s hilarious,” Lee said. “There’s a lot of mistaken identity. Puck, which is Alyssa Salazar’s character, gets everything wrong and causes a lot of trouble, but in the end fixes it all because it’s Shakespeare and all’s well that ends well.”
The set, costumes, props, hair and makeup are student designed, and the lights are mostly student designed, Lee said.
“Our students have a lot of ownership in every production that they do, but this is the one that we’ve done that has been 90 percent student designed,” she said.
The play is not a musical, although it does have some music. “There are a couple of times that the fairies sing within the show and there’s some dance incorporated into it.”
Lee said her students were, at first, nervous about performing Shakespeare and worried the play would be difficult to understand.
“In order to combat that, I actually adapted the script myself to take out some of the more difficult words that we don’t have an equivalent for, and replaced them with an equivalent that still matched the iambic pentameter that Shakespeare writes in,” Lee said.
“Hopefully it’s a lot more simple to understand, but what it all boils down to is the way that they deliver the lines. If the actor understands what they’re saying, the audience will understand what they’re saying.”
Lee said her students have caught on to the Shakespearean dialogue, although their initial reaction was confusion.
Students would read a line and say “I have no idea what this guy is saying,” Lee said.
It became a matter of breaking down the line and walking through it, and students would say “oh, he’s saying ‘you’re my homie,’” Lee said. “Once they tget down to what the heart of the line is about, then it’s easy to act it after that.
“I’ve got 13 kids that are about to graduate from my program that need to have a classic under their belt. That’s one major reason why I did it, so that they could have experience this before they go on to college or conservatories and things like that, so that they’ll at least have experienced what this type of theatre is like.”