Review: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Recently I had the pleasure of seeing one of William Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” performed wonderfully in Wood-Mar Auditorium at George Fox University (GFU).
A play about the interactions of human and fairy kingdoms, four lovers lost in the mix of comedic confusion, and a second storyline about a band of peasants creating their own play: this production was well worth the night out.
“I was struck by the inherent class structure and division of labor within the play,” Luedtke wrote in the play’s program. “In addition, I was struck by Titania’s (Sarah Aldrich) description of a world filled with contagious fogs, floods, and rheumatic diseases.”
To Luedtke, it then made sense to combine both ideas to create the imaginative set in “an industrial world that feels like an abstract version of Victorian England.”
At the play’s start, one of the four lovers, Hermia (Hannah Strawn), is told that she must marry Demetrius (Karsten Montgomery) with whom she is not in love, but who is in love with her. Because of this ultimatum, Hermia and her love Lysander (Reid Arthur) make plans to flee from their problems and be wed in another town.
Helena (Oliva Stuart), Hermia’s unfortunate friend, is completely in love with the man who is wooing Hermia, who of course wants nothing to do with Helena.
Between the acts of the four lovers, the hilarious story of Bottom (Travis Cox) and his band of friends develops. They rehearse the making of their own play, about the tragic deaths of Pyramus and Thisbe, which they plan to perform in front of the king.
The friends each are eventually assigned their roles, yet Bottom, in his enthusiasm to display his passionate acting skills, continues to suggest himself as the actor for each simultaneously.
In addition to the outstanding acting skills displayed by each, Heather Nunn managed to create costume designs that matched the set amazingly well. Each lover has their own vivid color to distinguish between royalty and working-class.
Clearly hard work and countless hours went into forming such a production.
As the play drew near the end, it was wrapped up nicely in such a hilarious manner that the audience could not help but respond in laughter. Bottom and his friends produced a ridiculous play of their own about a lion, a prince, the moon, and Princess Flute (Trevor Braskamp), while the four lovers, the king, and his queen looked on.
Overall, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was definitely a play worth seeing.
The Theatre Department will be putting on two more productions this school year: The winter drama “Tongue of a Bird” by Ellen McLaughlin, directed by Audrey O’Farrell, will be showing in late January. The spring classic “Our Town,” by Thornton Wilder, directed by Cristi Miles, will be showing in mid-April.
Do not miss out on a chance to come support our very own students in the coming months!
Reported by Jacks Whitehurst
Photographed by Jessica Holder