A ‘Midsummer’ Confusion

Caroline Clayton
News Editor

12916084_1145410455510171_7140100977047958203_oUniversity Players put on a performance of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a comedy written in 1786 about the events around the adventures of four lovers.

The LHU students who performed in the play were Julia Jackson, Alex Jones, Melanie Pratt, Shaun Donohue, Grace Monroe, Maxi Estrada, Karlita McCarty, Stuart Harsch, Rachel Marra, Mia Mormando, Ronerlie Noel, Mary Beth Ruggiero, Judeaa Wright and Tyler Shertzer.

A huge congratulation goes out to the entire cast for putting together the play because as we know Shakespeare is not that easy to understand, let alone to perform.

Personally though, the show was a bit confusing and a little bit of a let down. This isn’t my first time at the “Midsummer’s” rodeo, but there were a few details added in the show that threw me off.

12928255_1145409885510228_8994970657596526692_nThe first one being the costumes of Demetrius (Donohue), Lysander (Estrada), Hermia (McCarty) and Helena (Monroe). They were wearing almost “preppy” school kid clothing. In the past, the shows I have seen have always had ancient Greece costumes, like togas, since the play is set in Athens, Greece.

More specifically, Helena’s skirt was way too short and it was almost distracting for the audience. One thing you need to remember is that the audience is not seeing everything from the level you are standing; we are looking up at you.

Something else that really threw me for a loop was the iPad that Lysander used. I wasn’t really sure if the iPad was being used as a map or what, but I wasn’t very fond of it.

I don’t know if the way they approached the play was more modern, but I felt like during the whole show they jumped from modern to something else that I can’t put my finger on.

As for the set, I felt that it was very well-constructed. The trees and the bushes for the forest scenes looked very realistic and added a different dimension to the scene. I thought the light-up moon was a nice touch as well!

12976912_1145227688861781_5534651382921093450_oDue to having a small cast and crew, everyone had to pitch in with transitioning scenes as long transitions are expected. I felt like the entire cast and crew did a great job at keeping a nice flow throughout the entire show with lighting and props.

Now for the acting. I always look forward to a show here at LHU that has Stuart Harsch in it. He really puts his all into every part that he plays and he doesn’t disappoint.

The scene where Bottom and his crew of craftsmen — Peter Quince, Francis Flute, Robin Starveling and Snug — perform a small play for Hippolyta and Theseus was absolutely hilarious. Harsch did a wonderful job at stabbing himself and “dying.” It had me in tears!

As I stated before, the University Players did a good job at performing this play as any Shakespeare play is a challenge. There were just some things that really confused me and threw the play off the tracks. Maybe there was something that they were trying to portray and hoped the audience would understand it. Either way, the cast put their all into it and seemed very dedicated to their roles. Being generous due to the difficulty of the play, I give it a 3 out of 5 eagles.

Photos: Alyssa Gregg


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