HUDSON – Whether someone is in the mood for a comedy, romance or trickery, they will find it all in the fall play at Hudson High School.
The Drama Club will take on William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" for its fall production at 7 p.m. on Nov. 16 and 17 at the Hudson High School auditorium.
Written in the late 16th century, the play will move forward through time to 1989 Athens High School in an adaption by director Bob Russell, faculty member at Kent State University's Department of Theatre and Dance. The choreography is coordinated by Hudson High School senior Caitlin Dyer.
"I wanted to make it more accessible for a younger audience," Russell said. "The students have handled the language very well."
The actors spent two weeks of rehearsals reviewing the original language and the play’s themes, Russell said.
For some audience members, 1989 will be nostalgic with memories of bold styles, colors and silhouettes — including lots of permed hair. Clothing included ripped tights, leather, oversized blazers with padded shoulders, leg warmers, huge earrings, fingerless gloves and the spandex mini skirt. Costumes weren’t available Nov. 2 but will reflect the 1980s. When the play concludes, the audience may recall Shakespeare's words, "Are you sure that we are awake? It seems to me that yet we sleep, we dream."
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is a romantic comedy surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the principal of Athens High School, portrayed by senior Lucas Barton and Ms. Hippolyta, the gym teacher, played by sophomore Ruby Corpus. Trouble ensues as the day of the wedding nears.
In the play, Hermia loves Lysander and Helena loves Demetrius — but a spell cast by the mischievous fairy, Puck, causes the couples to become confused about the target of their affection. Hermia is portrayed by junior Hallie Fritsch; Lysander by sophomore Mitchell Adkins; Helena by senior Amanda Bellish; and Demetrius by senior Karsen Guldan. As a further complication, Egeus, portrayed by junior Aiyannah Peeples, is the father of Hermia who demands she date someone who meets his approval.
Hermia is the spunky, flirty popular girl who is good friends with Helena in the adaptation.
"There's a lot of music from the 80s decade and ought to bring memories back for our parents," Hallie said. "For the students, it's a good introduction to Shakespeare."
Karsen agreed that it was a good starter show with a lighthearted and funny plot. He said Demetrius is dating Hermia but for the wrong reason.
"He's a player," Karsen said, "and kind of a jerk."
Helena is intelligent and a bit nerdy, Amanda said.
"She's madly in love with Demetrius," Amanda said. "I've seen that love drama at high school."
In addition, a group of six school employees are controlled and manipulated by the spunky fairies in the school.
The six actors include janitor Nick Bottom, portrayed by freshman Dan Jordan; audio/video room operator Patricia Quince, portrayed by freshman Elliott Aszkler; teacher Francis Flute portrayed by freshman Jack Luadi; lunch lady Tonya Snout, portrayed by freshman Caroline Hervey; drama instructor Robin Starveling portrayed by sophomore Sam Blackmore; and crossing guard Snug, portrayed by senior Hunter Norman.
The King of the Fairies Oberon is portrayed by junior David Jordan and the Queen of the fairies Titania is portrayed by senior Catherine Cushwa. Other fairies include Cobweb by sophomore Quinn Sullivan; Peaseblossom by senior and dance captain Megan Sullivan; Moth by freshman Darby Wilson; and Mustardseed by freshman Katie Heckroth. Puck is played by sophomore Sophie Greenbaum.
Many of the actors have read Shakespeare in English class and appreciated this anachronistic way of learning about his plays.
"It has something for everyone," Darby said. "This play is completely fun to watch with crazy costumes and '80 moves in the dances."
Each fairy has a different personality. Moth is shy and demure; Mustardseed is fun and spunky; Peaseblossom is ditzy.
"She just wants to have fun," Megan said about her character.
The punk fairies idolize the queen of the fairies.
"We love her and will do anything for her," Megan said.
"It was a fun era," added Katie.
The production includes behind the scene work by junior Em Masi, senior Jack Lehman, sophomore Ryan Westerback, sophomore Meaghan Hill as well as Technical Director Richard Kiovsky with assistance from senior Bridget Sciartelli on sound and junior Al Hervey on lighting. Drama Club Advisor Jacob Moore and Costume Mentor Sarah Russell, assistant professor of the University of Mount Union, with assistance from senior Emma Huston added their talents to the production.
Tickets for Hudson High School’s production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" are on sale at http://hudsonmidsummer.brownpapertickets.com or you can purchase them in person by visiting the High School bookstore the week before the show between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and at the door of the auditorium an hour before the production starts. All tickets are $10 but any tickets purchased online will be assessed a $1.35 processing fee.
Reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or firstname.lastname@example.org