A Midsummer Night’s Dream

MIdSummerPosterCropped

Full Cast
 

Shakespeare is Alive and Well at Sturgis!

Congratulations to the cast, crew, musicians and directors of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play received rave reviews and experienced 3 sold out houses. 

Anna Botsford, Theatre – East

Directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been a career highlight.  Working with Diana Young – a dream come true.  The rehearsal process was fun and edgy with surprises, twists and turns.  It was refreshing to be able to delve into Shakespeare again – a focus in my graduate school work.  My thesis was on physicality in King Lear, so being able to work the physicality in this piece was like going home.  I cannot wait to direct another Shakespeare play – Cape Cod and Sturgis communities – watch out for the Botsford-Young dream team!

Diana Young, Theatre – East

Photo Credit: Meaghan Borowski BroPhoto

Dress Rehearsal

Midsummer was such a wonderful experience for me.  It was my first show directing at Sturgis, and I couldn’t have been happier to have Anna as a co-director.  Our personalities mix very well together and we both felt similarly about the play and I think it really made for a cohesive vision for the show.  And the students were rock stars – right away in September some of them were close to fully memorized, and many were already gaining a deep understanding of Shakespeare’s language.  I was really struck by this cast’s support of each other.  Whether someone was having a bad day, making a mistake, or the one time we had a huge can of paint spill all over a ton of important costumes/set pieces, they were always able to come together and fix a problem, lend a helping hand, and make the whole show come together.  Today we hear a lot of negative things about “those annoying/selfish/immature/etc” teenagers, that it’s really so wonderful to feel so positively and warmly towards my students.

An Interview with the Directors

Teachers Anna Botsford and Diana Young chat with Town of Barnstable Arts & Culture Coordinator Melissa Chartrand about the theater club and upcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Published Nov 13, 2014)

Stephanie Dorfman as Nameless, a mute character

Stephanie Dorfman as Nameless, a mute character

Reflections from the Cast and Crew

Stephanie Dorfman, Class of 2015 – West

Let it be known that this is what Nameless shall be contributing to this wonderful article you speak of, considering he has nothing of the verbal sort to contribute.

Ella Hunt, Class of 2015 – East

JCSolo

Ella Hunt

I was so glad that I got to do this as my last show with STAGE. We really worked well as a cast and I had so much fun doing the show. We really made the magic of the play come to life with how excited we were about performing and working together.

Mackenzie Langan, Class of 2015 – East

Midsummer was an experience like no other, I learned a lot about myself and met some of my best friends, it truly changed my life for the better.

Anna Rohlf, Liam Prendergast and Peter Keefe

Anna Rohlf, Liam Prendergast & Peter Keefe

Diana Milkey, Class of 2015 – West

Working with such a wonderful cast and crew was an amazing experience. As my last STAGE production, I was honored to work with such a talented group and help to put on such an amazing show!!!

Molly Nemes,  Class of 2017 – East
JCSouzacouple

Tyler Baylis and Dan Souza

I gotta say, I absolutely loved Francis Flute played by Tyler Baylis. I was hysterically laughing and cooing at him the whole time. His flirty facial movements and his hands on the hip, he had some serious attitude. It was beautiful, he had a new funny facial expression every time. If it was a sad moment he’d be sad times a thousand.  He played two characters too, and he and Dan played so well together. I think we all need to take a class from him on facial expressions – he did an amazing job. Everybody did an amazing job. You really couldn’t have asked for a better cast; everybody contributed so much, it was like a dream.

 

Dan Souza, Class of 2015, East

JCSouzaSword

Karen Stewart, Ethan Piers and Dan Souza

After being in six shows for STAGE, I would like to say that Midsummer was easily the strongest out of all of them. Last year, I think that Fiddler was about showing the ability of the program, and how STAGE had the strength to put on a huge production. But this year, I think that Midsummer was about taking a huge production, and knocking it out of the park. As soon as I saw the cast list posted on the wall last spring, I knew that this show was going to be nothing short of excellent, and we certainly did not disappoint.

Karen Stewart, Class of 2016 – West
I played a Mechanical in the show, and I loved Midsummer because it was the first play I’ve ever been in where the directors and the actors worked so well together. The rehearsal process was honestly always enjoyable and I really appreciated the experience. Also, from the point of view of a high school student, this play was instrumental in the social aspect of school. The sense of ensemble among the cast members not only made the rehearsal process enjoyable, but showed onstage and made our performances that much better.
Claire Thomas, Class of 2015 – West

Claire Thomas

Something I noticed in the last two weeks of rehearsals was that everyone in the cast was thrilled to perform.  Often times, everyone gets panicked and feels like the show will not be ready in time.  What made these last rehearsals particularly enjoyable was that everyone had a great attitude.  We got better and better with each rehearsal, and everyone’s positive energy only made each rehearsal stronger than the last.

The first show was especially exciting because opening night is always fueled by both nerves and excitement.  There is nothing like an opening night show.  It was almost relieving in a way, because we all realized how spectacular the show was. Of all the shows and plays I have been in, this one has been by far the best one ever.
Johnny Travers, Class of 2016 – West
Everyone did their very best: with pomp, with triumph, and with REVELLING

Reflections from the Audience

JC PuckwithGirlsShawna Baacke – Tremendous amount of dedication and work by the actors!!!!!! Learning the lines to Shakespeare play is the equivalency of learning a foreign language!! Kudos to the outstanding cast and directors!

Laura Germani Caton – The show rocked!

Ann J. Forget – It was an amazing show with talented actors, musicians and directors and don’t forget all the behind the scenes work that was excellently executed! I was blown away!

Jen H-W Outstanding! Excellent job, everyone!

Courtenay Harrington-Bailey Bravo to cast and crew! Outstanding performances by all. We couldn’t stop smiling and laughing!

JC20141122-DSC00759Lisa Hassler – Truly wonderful performance! Kudos to the actors, musicians and tech crew! Thank you Ms. Botsford and Ms. Young

Hannah McLaughlin So amazing ! Congrats to all!

Jeanne Prendergast The show was an achievement! Tremendous performances, direction and FUN! Saw 3 performances, the consistancy was admirable! Cannot say enough about this production!

James Rohlf Truly fabulous and talented shows and a great time was had by all. Bravo!

Jean Theirrien The show was terrific!!!!!!!!!!

Diana Puccio Young Wow! Thanks everyone for the kind words! So grateful!

Essays and Articles

Dan Souza, Class of 2015, East    College Essay

Dan Souza

Dan Souza

I have always had difficulties looking people in the eyes. There is something unsettling about how easily people can tell from your eyes whether you’re vulnerable, or sad, or whether you’d actually rather not be talking to them. My teachers, friends, and speech therapists have all encouraged me to simply make eye contact when I address them. And still, nine times out of ten, I can’t do it.

Yet, here we are. In the mirror I look myself dead in the eye and prepare to deliver the lines of one of Shakespeare’s most iconic characters. I am taken over by a hot rush of emotion coursing through my bones, but this is not a feeling of nervousness. It’s a feeling of excitement over the approaching opportunity to show people who I am. I puff out my chest, take a deep, mighty breathe, and I start the humorous but passionate monologue of Nick Bottom from A Midsummer Night’s Dream: “When my cue comes, call me and I will answer. My next is…. most fair Pyramus!”

This has become a daily routine for me: performing for nobody but myself. Lately, it has been happening in the middle of the night, when I find myself going into the bathroom to brush my teeth, but then an hour later when I find myself still standing there, I am trying to say my lines just quietly enough so as to not wake every member of my household. Nick Bottom keeps me up at night as I mouth his words over and over to myself, trying to find just the right physicality in the mirror.

I value my time with Nick Bottom and admire him, because Bottom has shown me exactly the type of man I strive to be. Bottom is an enthusiastic man who loves the appreciation of others, and is never afraid of being watched

In every moment, every second of his life, Nick Bottom wants people to understand him, his passions, and his talents. Ironically, Bottom feels most comfortable, best understood, when he is being watched onstage, commanding the undivided attention of his audience. Just like me, Bottom doesn’t communicate with maintained eye contact. Bottom communicates through his art, and through performance for others. Simply put, Bottom shows people who he is by pretending to be somebody he isn’t.

Most people can be themselves when they aren’t being watched. When the average person is with people that they love and understand, they feel ready to be themselves. Nick Bottom and I, we are different stories. One of the only places I feel comfortable, where I feel like I can be myself, is when I am on stage, being watched by hundreds of strangers. Because strangers are impressionable. So long as I do an excellent job, the audience is going to buy anything I act for them. It’s who I am, though. What I am is a boy who likes to pretend.

The boy who doesn’t dare to look another man in the eye is the same boy who feels at ease under the scrutiny of hundreds of people, waiting for me to put on a show.

Dan Souza 2This is where I am most comfortable, where I feel like I can be myself most easily, in front of a number of people who have no preconceived notions about me, and who are ready to believe anything I give them. I am thankful for Nick Bottom, who showed me that for a person insistent on retaining who I grew up as and who I hope to always be, acting and pretending is one of the best things I could do with my life. I work on nothing harder than I work on acting. And when I need the motivation I simply repeat to myself Nick Bottom’s classic line: “Take pains; be perfect. Adieu.”

Sturgis STAGE to Perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream This Weekend

Originally published in Sturgis Stormwatch 11/20/2014. Reprinted here with author’s permission.

By Peter McPherson, staff reporter
JCLiam's ArmsOn Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of this week a cast of students from East and West will take the stage at the Harwich Junior theatre in a joint production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
This story, which discusses the dark side of love, the loss of independence, and the negative effects of overwhelming authority on the lives of others, has been adapted for both the stage and for film multiple times. Now, STAGE has put a fresh spin on the timeless story by throwing the characters into a Gatsby-esque vision of the 1920s.
The cast features many talented thespians of Sturgis East’s senior class, such as last year’s Fiddler on the Roof lead Liam Prendergast, METG award-winning actress Sophia Braddel, the seemingly undisputed king of spirit Peter Keefe, and Sturgis’s unofficial Ferris Bueller impersonator Dan Souza. These actors, among others from East and West , constitute a strong group of of players, lovers, and fairies that make up one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies.
BrophotoDSC_0236Made up of three interconnecting storylines centering around the wedding of two nobles, Duke Theseus and Queen Hippolyta. The Athenians, Helena (Ann Healy – West), Hermia (Anna Rohlf – East), Lysander (Peter Keefe – East), and Demetrius (Liam Prendergast – East), are trapped in a complex love triangle. The couples end up fleeing into a forest when Hermia’s father attempts to force her to marry Demetrius, whom she does not love, and threatens to have her killed if she refuses. During their time in the forest, they are mistakenly given a love potion by the fairy Puck (Claire Thomas – West) and when they wake, they end up in love with different people than before. The sudden and confusing turn of events drives the entertaining chaos throughout the play, hilariously delivering important lessons about love.
BroPhotoDonkeyDSC_0339At the same time, six actors, led by a man named Quince (Ethan Bailey – West) are arriving to perform a play for the Duke and the Queen. These players are also bothered by the fairies with some rather transformative events occurring to certain members of the cast, including the egotistical weaver Nick Bottom (Dan Souza – East).
All of the characters’ lives and the events that affect them cross over and interconnect in a multitude of the ways with that one mischievous group of fairies pulling the strings for a good portion of the play.
You can find out the rest of the events by going to the show at the Harwich Junior Theater on Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 2 or 7pm, or Sunday at 2pm. Tickets can be bought at the door or reserved online at stagetix@sturgischarterschool.org. Best of luck to the entire cast and crew, as well as to the hardworking directors Ms. Young and Ms. Botsford!

Sturgis East & West STAGE to Perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream this Fall 

Originally published in Sturgis Stormwatch 5/7/2014. Reprinted here with author’s permission.

By Peter Keefe, staff reporter

BrophotoDSC_0209During this coming fall of the 2014-15 school year, the combined efforts of the theatre departments of both Sturgis East and West will perform the Shakespearean famous play A Midsummer Night’s Dream! Having just been announced, this production that will put together the great talents of both Sturgis theater programs will surely be one that you will not want to miss.
The story of A Midsummer Night’s Dream follows the humorous and very satirical situations of young lovers, entertainers, and mischievous fairies. In this classic romantic conflict, the young maiden Hermia desperately loves one man, but her father orders her to marry another. As Hermia and her true lover decided to run off into the words before Hermia is forced to marry, their lives are soon complicated after crossing paths with a group of fairies who try to trick the people for entertainment. At the same time, a band of “thespians” are practicing to perform a play to entertain the guests at Hermia’s imminent wedding. However, there is only one problem: they have absolutely no idea how theatre works, and their fortunes are twisted after the fairies try to cause mischief with them as well. The culmination of these topsy-turvy events creates a hilarious production that will definitely entertain the audience.
JC20141122-DSC00759This will be the second time that the theatre departments of East and West combine. The first was for last fall’s Fiddler on the Roof held at Nauset High, which turned out to be a huge success for the burgeoning Sturgis theatre program.
If you are interested in auditioning, auditions will be at the Sturgis West theatre room (Room 129) at 3:30 until 5:00 on either Tuesday, May 20 or Wednesday, May 21. If you would like to be apart of the stage crew please talk to either Ms. Botsford or Ms. Ollagnon.
A perfect mixture of humor and drama, Shakespeare’s classic will provide a true challenge for STAGE that I am sure will be a wonderful performance. The production will take place on November 20, 21, and 23 at the Harwich Junior Theatre. Be sure to go to support your talented friends and enjoy the show!

Editor’s Note

A special thanks to Meghan Borowski and Jarvis Chen for providing their wonderful photos for this article.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: