Travel into the enchanted forest with Lake Park Theatre's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
Lake Park High School Theatre explores the themes of the irrationality of love, desire, friendship, possession, jealousy and magic in their fall play, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," on Nov. 10-12.
According to director Erik Uppling, the classic Shakespeare comedy takes place just before the marriage of the Duke (Phillip Howlet) to Hippolyta (Kacie Cooper), but there are several subplots that make the play so much fun.
Four lovers (Mia Manella, Caroline Bisceglie, Akul Sharma, and Grant Gordon) succumb to the trickery of a fairy named Puck (Lauren Troutman), and fall in love with the wrong person. Meanwhile, the Fairy King (Luke Thomas) and Queen (Arianna Alvarez) are having problems in their relationship, and lastly a group of blue collar workers aim to present a play before the Duke at his wedding.
Rounding out the cast are a host of fairies who bring this magical piece to life!
Performances will be at 7 p.m. Thursday to Saturday in the East Campus Dice Auditorium, 600 S. Medinah Road in Roselle.
Tickets may be purchased at the door. Adult admission is $5, non-Lake Park students are $3, and senior citizens and Lake Park students with ID are admitted free.
The Daily Herald checked in with director Erik Uppling to learn more about this production.
Q. Why did you choose "A Midsummer Night's Dream" for Lake Park High School's fall play?
A. This is one of my favorite Shakespeare comedies. Well, we haven't produced a Shakespeare play here for a number of years -- it's about time.
The last Shakespeare play I directed was Macbeth, so I wanted to do something lighter.
"Midsummer" is one of my favorites, and it is one that I just love the mayhem in it. So many fun subplots and magic, and comedy and it ends with a play within the play that just cracks me up every time!
Q. For those who aren't familiar, please describe the plot.
A. The play takes place just before the marriage of the Duke to Hippolyta, but there are several subplots that make the play so much fun.
There are four lovers who fall into the trickery of a fairy named Puck, and fall in love with the wrong person. Meanwhile, the Fairy King and Queen are having problems in their relationship, and lastly there is a group of blue collar workers aiming to present a play before the Duke at his wedding. The play is a comedy and explores themes of the irrationality of love, desire, friendship, possession, jealousy and magic. I love it!
Q. How many students are involved with the production?
A. There are 27 students in this production.
Q. How will your play differ from the original? Well, I am producing the original play, and I couldn't tell you what the show was like when it was first produced. We are not setting in traditional Shakespearean attire, but a bit more modern. In regards to everything else, the play is as Shakespeare intended.
Q. What were the most challenging aspects of getting this production together?
A. Well, getting students comfortable speaking Shakespeare heightened language.
I have a lot of training and background in performing and reading Shakespeare. I have no doubt the kids will be ready.
Once they are comfortable with the rhythm and the musicality of the dialogue, they will be singing Shakespeare before they know it!
Q. What did you find most rewarding?
A. Seeing students enjoy a play that is over 400 years old. Also, watching them go from fear of speaking to full embrace of their character and dialogue.
Q. What were some of the best moments in putting together this production?
A. So far, it has been a treat to explore the characters with the students. We are only a few weeks in (as I type this), but I love exploring new material with kids -- well, material that is new to them.
Also, working with our new costumer, Robyn Cotter, and our new tech director, Ethan Goldspiel, has been great too!
Q. What do you think audiences will enjoy most about this play?
A. I think they will enjoy the fun that is being had on stage. Their fun will create fun for the audience; that's the magic of theater!
Q. What do some of the performers have to say about the show and their role in it?
A. I can tell you what they have said -- many expressed their nerves at performing Shakespeare.
They have this thing about him -- they think of him as a foreign language, when really he speaks and wrote just like you and me.
Yes, there are those silly "Doths" and "Dost thou" and "Os" that we do not use, but once they know what it means, they just love filling those words with meaning and energy.
Q. Anything else you'd like readers to know about this show?
A. Not really other than this is a labor of love, and we hope that you leave the theater having been able to follow along and laugh along with us.