Saint Mary’s Theatre Program will be putting modern twists on this classic Shakespearean comedy. Performances take place in LeFevre Theatre November 2 to November 5, with a run time of two hours, including intermission. Tickets start at $8.
(Image c/o writer)
By Caledonia Buchanan
American Journalism Student
The members of Saint Mary’s Theatre Program have worked with esteemed Bay Area director M. Graham Smith to put together a modernized version of the Shakespearean classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with performances beginning Thursday, November 2nd. There will be one performance each day other than Saturday the 4th, where two different performances are available. Director M. Graham Smith says, “It is about a bunch of people who are in love with each other, with a bunch of little mismatches.” Senior Chloë Parmelee, who is playing the character Puck echoed a similar sentiment by saying, “All of these storylines intersect, which feels very different from other Shakespearean plays that I’ve experienced.”
Videographer Megan Young worked in conjunction with the production team to conduct interviews with members of the cast and crew. In this interview, Parmelee expressed the cast’s excitement in preparation for the show by saying, “Upperclassmen have very, very, good feelings about this being one of the best, if not the best, Saint Mary’s production we’ve had so far at our time at Saint Mary’s.”
Smith described the feeling of the play by saying, “It’s a comedy, so it’s wildly funny, and you can expect to see a lot of madcap humor, a lot of really difficult questions to grapple with as you leave the theater, but ultimately a totally awesome, good time.”
If you’re worried about understanding old English and typical Shakespearean language, senior Avery Monson, who is playing the character Demetrius, lets us know that “with this version, we have made it so clear to the audience what the actors are saying.”
As for other modernized aspects, there are elements of queer and LGBTQ+ inclusivity involved in the play. Monson explains, “We have cast my character Demetrius, one of the lovers, who is traditionally a male, as a female character. So there is a queer relationship, and queer love in it.” Sophomore Carolyn Gersten has also been cast in a traditionally male role, Peter Quince, and has turned the character (who is in a leadership role) into a female character.
These elements of queer relationships and changing the gender roles of the traditional play give this production a unique and modern take. The cast and crew were given liberties to shift and create a play that is based on the classic work, with these elements that are more relevant to the times.
Tickets are available for purchase through the Saint Mary’s website. Everyone is encouraged to come out and support the production and witness the hard work that has gone into this play. A limited number of tickets are available at the door via cash or check, so buy yours early at stmarys-ca.edu/midsummer. The Theatre Program is trying out an earlier start time on Friday, November 3, at 4pm in the hopes of reaching the faculty, staff, and students before they head home for the weekend.
Special thanks to videographer Megan Young for providing interviews and information for this article.
Thurs., Nov. 2 at 8pm
Fri., Nov. 3 at 4pm
Sat., Nov. 4 at 2pm & 8pm
Sun., Nov. 5 at 2pm
Madison Sciba '24,