Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream opened at Ragazinno Performance Hall on April 18.
In the play, Duke Theseus of Athens is approached with a complaint by Egeus. His daughter Hermia refuses to marry Demetrius, the man her father has arranged for her. When the Duke mandates her marriage, Hermia and her true love Lysander elope to the forest, where the majority of the play is set. Demetrius, fighting for his right to Hermia, pursues them, and Helena, in love with Demetrius, follows.
Within the forest the fairy king Oberon, played by Tad Merrell, the fairy queen Titania, played by Michelle Norella, and the mischievous Puck, played by Naomi Todd, complicate the love triangle even more with their magic.
This is Lane instructor Judith “Sparky” Roberts’ second time directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream and her 11th Shakespeare play as a director.
“The play is a phantasm, wide open for interpretation. While we honor the countless original interpretations of the last 450 years, our own presentation is highlighted by the particular skills of our actors,” Roberts said.
Lane student and stage manager, Jonathan Edwards, said Kaitlynn Baugh, originally cast as Helena, has been replaced after she was injured.
“There was a mishap backstage. It was a big letdown, especially because she put so much work into it,” University of Oregon student, Clay Johnson said.
Baugh ran into a protruding prop and suffered a mild concussion. Lane student Melanie Moser had just days to prepare for her Ragazinno Hall debut as Helena.
“She came in and knocked it out,” Johnson said.
Johnson, who played the part of Lysander, has acted in a variety of Shakespeare plays under Roberts’ direction.
“I’ve been in upwards of 20 Shakespeare showcases. All right, 20 might be an exaggeration, probably 15,” Johnson said. “I’ve worked with Sparky extensively.”
The cast had nothing but good things to say about their director.
This was the second time Will Jeanniton has played Theseus, the first being in the Shakespeare showcase.
“She’s a visionary,” Lane student Jeanniton said.
“I was really expecting nothing less than excellence and (Sparky) didn’t disappoint. It’s a beautiful show,” he said.