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Shakespeare's 'Dream' opening

On January 29, 2020

Photo courtesy of Detroit Mercy Theatre Company

 

BY KAELYN JOHNSON / VN STAFF WRITER

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the classic comedy by the renowned William Shakespeare, will be performed by the Detroit Mercy Theatre Company, beginning Thursday, Jan. 30, and continuing through Feb. 9 at the Marlene Boll YMCA Theatre.

The classic from the 16th century is one of Shakespeare’s most-performed plays out of the 37 he wrote in his lifetime.

The production, directed by Damian Torres-Botello, S.J., the outreach and audience development coordinator for the company.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” has fairies, kings, queens, love, nature and magic potions – and, like most Shakespeare plays, is filled with chaos.

The fantasy takes us on a whimsical journey into an enchanted forest with events that occur under the moonlight.

This will be the first Shakespearean play performed by Detroit Mercy in almost ten years.

The cast is excited for this new adaption of the play, which was last performed on campus in 1972.

For most of the cast, it will be the first time performing a Shakespeare production.

Students may have preconceived notions about attending a Shakespeare play because of the early modern English language that is used. However, this play is the most comprehensible and the language won’t as so difficult to understand.

Andrew Guay is a senior at Detroit Mercy majoring in theatre.

“Shakespeare can sound boring because you know that the language is really tough, but with the cast and their knowledge of Shakespeare it won’t be hard to understand,” said Guay, who is playing the role of Nick Bottom.

For freshman Mason Modzelewski, this will be his first time performing on the Marlene Boll stage.

Modzelewski will be playing the king’s henchmen fairy, Puck.

“I’ve had a lot of fun exploring the physicality of my character,” he said. “He is very expressive with high energy.”

This adaption of “Midsummer” adds many twists and turns to the Shakespearean classic.

Torres-Botello wanted the show to have a modern twist, so be prepared to witness some gender-switching on stage.

“I find a Midsummer Night’s Dream to be misogynistic,” the director said. “I wanted to take that out so our world would be able to comment on it to make it relevant.”

There was a time in history when men and women weren’t allowed to perform on stage together.

During some eras, most of Shakespeare’s plays featured all-male casts.

James Hardy, a first-year theatre major, will be returning to the main stage for a second time after his performance in “Silent Sky.”

Hardy will play Robin Starveling.

“There are so many funny moments in the show because of the gender-bend that makes it unforgettable and fantastic,” said Hardy.

The company is hosting a Detroit Mercy night on Jan. 30, where tickets for faculty and staff will be $15 and student tickets will be $5 with a student I.D.

The second Thursday, Feb. 6, will also have $5 student tickets.

For more information, call 313-993-3270.

Director Torres-Botello is promising an enjoyable time.

“Our students have made some great choices as actors,” he said. “They have developed themselves as artists.”

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