Shakespeare in Abington

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” performed at AHS by Shakespeare Now


(Courtesy Shakespeare Now)

Nathaniel Scott (Oberon), Samual Wharton (Bottom), Sarah Mass (Titania) and Tammy Brown (Puck) act out one of the most amusing sequences in Shakespeare Now’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Brianna Medeiros, Staff Writer

The Shakespeare Now Theatre Company, from Boston, arrived at Abington High School on February 22 to perform William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The entire sophomore class, and students from AP Language and AP Literature classes gathered in the Paul K. Smith Music Room to watch the play on the first morning after February vacation.  The one hour performance was school funded and was arranged by Dr. Gonsalves (English Department director.) It was followed by an interactive “talk back” between students and cast members.

It got me thinking more about Shakespeare, and getting into theater and acting.

— Amber Romano

Those that knew the story were curious to see the love quarrel they had read about.  “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is Shakespeare’s comedy about four young lovers, a fairy kingdom and a troupe of unskilled local actors (“rude mechanicals”). In the main story, Hermia (Dani Berkowitz) is in love with Lysander (MacMillan Leslie), but her father Egeus (Tammy Brown) is forcing her to marry Demetrius (Samuel Wharton), the former suitor of Helena (Sarah Mass), who still loves him. The four young lovers, the fairies, and the actors all end up in the woods. And, with the help of Oberon, King of the Fairies (Nathaniel Scott), Titania, Queen of the Fairies (Mass) and Puck (Brown), the mischievous fairy, some pretty unusual things happen before the play’s conclusion.

Under the direction of Dev Luthra, Shakespeare Now’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was very well performed and organized given that there were only six actors. It was extremely enjoyable and the work was of very good quality. Given that the audience was made up of high school students, a quick synopsis before the play might have been helpful to those that had not previously read it.

The following are some reactions from those in attendance:

“Robin (Puck) was so amazing! The other characters were awesome too, but Robin in particular was electric.” – Leah Alessi (Class of 2017)

“I thought it was cool. It was funny and the actors did a great job getting into character. It got me thinking more about Shakespeare, and getting into theater and acting.” – Amber Romano (Class of 2018)

“I enjoyed the play and thought, for a first performance, it was great…….., but I would have been lost if I had no prior knowledge of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”  – Max Osmanski (Class of 2017)

“The costumes were clever. I wish there had been more scene decoration.” – Cassie Marando (Class of 2017)

“I thought it worked very well. The cast was prepared and had tremendous energy. They were quite expressive and physical, and were also funny. I thought they handled playing multiple roles (three or four each) very well.”- Mr. Dorman (Tutor and Newspaper Adviser)

“It was extremely well done, engaging and entertaining. They did really well at condensing a long and complicated play into one hour.” – Anonymous Attendee

After the bows, indicating the end of the play, the cast sat on the edge of the stage and took questions from students. They started by having each actor make a statement about love. Students were asked to stand up if they agreed or disagreed with the statements. One was, “Love reveals who you already are; it doesn’t change you.” Quite a few students stood up for that statement, showing that they might have connected with the love themes that Shakespeare Now portrayed for us that morning.