William Shakespeare’s most popular classic comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will close out the Rhodes 101 Stops and Commerce Bank 2016-2017 Theatre and Dance Series April 21-29 in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.
Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. April 21-22 and April 26-29, and 2 p.m. April 23 and 30. High school matinees are planned for 10 a.m. April 27-28. Southeast’s Department of Mass Media will live stream the April 27 performance at 7:30 p.m. at ovcdigitalnetwork.com. Visitors should then search for the event, “SEMO-Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Dr. Kenn Stilson, chair of The Conservatory of Theatre and Dance, said, “‘Midsummer’ has been the most popular Shakespearean comedy for more than 400 years. Filled with love, comedy, conflict and lots of magic, this play will delight audiences of all ages.”
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” directed by Bart Williams, assistant professor of theatre, is set in the 1920s in New Orleans and Storyville. In one of the most famous literary love quadrangles, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” tells the tale of Hermia, Demetrius, Lysander and Helena — four misguided lovers whose journey into the woods lands them in even more trouble, as members of the fairy kingdom decide to use them as veritable pawns in their own love games.
The balance of nature shifts through an argument between the King and Queen of the Fairies, and the impact is felt throughout the mortal world. Blind passion, rejection, humiliation and unrequited love rear their heads with the meddling of mischief-maker, Puck. As Shakespeare himself says, “The course of true love never did run smooth.”
Costume designer for the production is Amber Cook, assistant professor of theatre. Josh Harvey, instructor of musical theatre, is serving as music director for the performance and has composed original music exploring various aspects of ragtime, Dixieland and jazz. Stage designer is Nick Hart, a senior theatre major from St. Louis, Missouri.
Main cast members include Ryan Adolph, a theatre major, acting option, of St. Louis (Oberon); Emmani Cunningham, a theatre major from St. Louis, Missouri, (Titania); Jay Wade, a theatre major, acting option, from Florissant, Missouri (Demetrius); Emily Hooks, a theatre major, acting option, from Nashville, Illinois, (Hermia); Ellen Carr, a theatre major, acting option, from Collierville, Tennessee, (Nic Bottom); and Bethany Whitehouse Sr., a theatre major, musical theatre option, from O’Fallon, Missouri, (Helena).
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” also has partnered with The Humane Society of Southeast Missouri for this performance. Beatrice, a wire terrier/griffon bichon mix, is a rescue dog that will be a part of the comedy. The Humane Society of Southeast Missouri will host numerous puppy adoption corrals at the performance.
Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (573) 651-2265, or online at RiverCampus.org/a-midsummer-nights-dream.