Written by Josh Kloss (21′)
As most of the school begins to slow down in preparation for the final days of the school year, the fine arts wing is anything but stagnant. In particular, my peers and I are all hard at work readying our shows for public performances this coming Monday and Tuesday. Being a part of a class called Theatre Production Seminar, all of us students that chose to enroll in the class are dedicated individuals who love theatre so much that participating in the main stage productions do not suffice; so, we took advantage of being able to create an independent work of theatrical art in Theatre Seminar.
If you know Homestead Theatre, then you know that the employment of aerial apparatus, such as the pretty silks that actors commonly climb up and the lyra hoop in which they pose on, is a common facet of our shows. This year, however, has brought a handful of restrictions in terms of what we can and cannot use in our shows, and the silks were no exception. So, taking advantage of the independence that Theatre Seminar offers to us, a handful of us decided that a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare would be the perfect ending to wrap up an unprecedented year of theatre. The show is also the perfect opportunity for the use of silks, which are commonly climbed up by different characters of the show, such as the fairy characters of Titania, Oberon, and Puck (played by Talia Bodi, Julia Rose, and Kaet Sisney, respectively). Needless to say, the silks were missed in the main stage shows this year, and having them back is a wonderful touch of aestheticism and magic for a truly wondrous show like Midsummer.
The unique thing about Theatre Production Seminar, as aforementioned, is the complete liberty granted to the students to pursue their own independent projects. Midsummer was completely casted by the actors themselves. While Ms. Figg helped with much of the scene blocking, a great deal of the performance was achieved by us students. Ashley Bruno, who plays Fairy and Snug the Joiner, choreographed the dances for Titania’s fairies, and I had the pleasure of overseeing the Mechanicals’ scenes come to life by providing some blocking direction. In addition to the majority of the class putting on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Katrina Liberman and the four actors under her supervision are composing a production of Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialist play No Exit.
Just as the actors within each performance enjoyed their creative freedom, I got the opportunity to fulfill the role of assistant director for Midsummer. Much of my involvement was spent learning how to block scenes by seeing Ms. Figg direct the actors, and I was able to use that learning with my work alongside the Mechanicals. As we get closer to our opening (and closing) night performance on Tuesday, I’ve been involved with watching the costume runs and offering feedback to the cast. Overall, my time in Theatre Seminar has been valuably spent gaining knowledge of directing.
The two shows are available to the public this coming Monday and Tuesday, and I invite anybody who is interested to attend the shows! They will both be performed in the James Barr Auditorium. No Exit will take place on Monday, June 7 at 7 PM, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be on June 8 at 7 PM. Both shows are free and open to everyone, so come take a break from studying and see what your classmates have tediously toiled on for the course of the trimester!