A Midsummer Night's Dream
by Crystal Prawl, YC Panther Press
Every semester, the York Theater Department gets ready to put on several shows for the community. This semester is no different. While the department continues their work on Alice in Wonderland, this spring’s children’s theater production, they are also working hard on William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. John Baker is directing the show with Ben Krekel as the student assistant director.
Auditions for the show in the opening days of the semester with many students auditioning. The cast list was posted shortly after, announcing that this year’s cast would include Bethany Saylor (Hermia), Landon Roseberry (Lysander), London Ward (Helena), and Matt Ward (Demetrius). The Athenians are R.J. Roberts, Whitney Edwards, Dylan Ford, and Drew Leonard. The Mechanicals include Matt Carlson, Caleb Clark, Patrick Clark, A.J. Wharton, Samantha Dixon, and Parker Setistad. Rounding out the cast are the fairies who will be played by Jason MacDonald, Stephanie Studebaker, Caroline Gaudreault, Megan Eberle, Briana Van Deusen, Erin Florea, and Kayla Lawrence who will play the all-important role of Puck.
“I think audiences will love all the mix-ups and craziness that goes on,” says London Ward. “Even younger children, who may not understand the language or the plight of the lovers involved, will get a kick out of Bottom. The hijinks are a ton of fun to watch.” While the play itself may be fun to watch, there are certain aspects of the play that are more difficult for both the audience and the actors.
“This show is different because of the style of the language,” says Jason MacDonald. “Shakespeare sometimes is very difficult to memorize and understand [and because] it is Shakespeare, this show has been more difficult to get a hold of and understand the character. I really enjoy the challenges that A Midsummer Night’s Dream has placed on me though. It has really helped me grow as an actor.”
Faced with the challenge of the language, the actors had to have their lines memorized by February 7 with February 4 as the last day the cast could look at their scripts while at rehearsal. As the play has progressed, the cast is still working together well.
“I really like to act, but it is no fun if you don’t like the people around you,” says Caleb Clark. “I have a lot of fun because the people working on the production with me are my friends.” Many of the actors have been working together for some time, but there are still new actors popping up for the roles.
“This is my second show at York College,” Megan Eberle says. “This show is very different from last fall’s production because of its time period setting (Greece). Our cast for this show is also a bit larger than Heaven Can Wait. And while the last show had its comedic moments, this show is all comedy, and the fantasy element really makes the show unique.”
Shakespeare’s play is a fantasy romantic comedy. It is full of many different types of characters.
“There are characters of every caste and dynamic, from graceful fairies and mischievous creatures of the forest to passionate lovers and controlling parents,” says Eberle. “The story follows the confused romances of Helena, Demetrius, Hermia, and Lysander as they are affected by the scheming King Oberon of the fairies and his minion, Puck. This play gives a whole new meaning to the term “love triangle.””
But the actors are keeping their secrets about the production.
“My favorite scene is the last one,” Clark confides. “But you’ll have to come see the show to know what it is.”
Audiences can look forward to seeing the show the last weekend in February. The show will take place February 24, 25, and 26 at seven o’clock and February 27 at 2 PM. Ticket prices for adults are $6. Tickets for students and seniors are $4. All York College students, faculty, and staff can view the show for free.