The theatre department at Oklahoma Baptist University will perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare Nov. 1-11 in Shawnee Hall’s Craig-Dorland Theatre on OBU’s campus in Shawnee. The show times are Nov. 1, 3, 8, 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 4 and 11 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults or $5 for students. However, season tickets are available at $30 for adults and $12 for students. The show is intended for those aged 13 and up.
The play is under the direction of Matthew Caron, assistant professor of theatre and director of theatre.
“Even though Shakespeare’s plays are more than 400 years old, there’s something about them that still resonates with us today,” he said. “His comedy ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is no different.”
“Certainly, a play that deals with magic, fairies and other supernatural occurrences aligns with the vogue in cinema over the past two decades with fantasy films like ‘Lord of the Rings,’ ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Pan’s Labyrinth.’ While time will tell if films like these will continue to speak to their viewers through the centuries, Shakespeare has already accomplished that remarkable feat.”
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” tells the comedic story surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, the former queen of the Amazons. With the royal wedding near, four Athenian lovers escape the decorum of the aristocratic courts, eluding tradition and etiquette on one fateful, exhilarating night in the woods. They become pawns in the battle between Oberon and Titania, the king and queen of the supernatural fairies. The production takes audiences on a journey to an enchanted world of dreams where fairies fly, donkeys sing and love potions change hearts.
What ensues is magic, dance, fickle infatuation, shape-shifting and madcap antics, which provide a magical, and often humorous, exploration of romance, love and marriage. Shakespeare’s raucous humor and wondrous imagery make it easy to see why this play has remained an audience favorite for more than four hundred years.
“In ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ Shakespeare skillfully weaves four distinct plots involving four groups of characters, each of which involve lovers whose happiness has been frustrated in some way,” Caron said. “At the heart of most of these is the mischievous sprite, Puck—one of the most well-known characters of Shakespeare’s canon.”
The cast of this performance is comprised of students from OBU and members of the Shawnee community, including senior theatre major Chase Hendrickson as Theseus, freshman theatre and social entrepreneurship major Larashleigh Wallace as Hippolyta, junior theatre major Caleb Frank as Egeus, sophomore theatre/digital media arts major Kimberlie McCutchen as Philostrate, sophomore theatre/student ministry major Bayleigh Platter as Hermia, sophomore secondary mathematics education major Gage Bullard as Lysander, freshman communication studies major Noble Adams-Nabors as Demetrius, senior theatre major Anna Tyler as Helena, community member Arthur Schwab as Oberon, freshman vocal music education major Meghan Haynes as Titania, senior theatre major McKenzie Reece as Puck, and freshman vocal music education major Alexandra Frank as Peaseblossom.
The remaining cast members include freshman theatre major Erin Loyd as Cobweb, sophomore theatre major Rachel Campbell as Moth, freshman theatre major Anna Smolen as Mustardseed, senior theatre major Adam S. McCollough as Moss, sophomore history major Zachary Hill as Vines, freshman biology major Emma Greathouse as Mushroom, freshman theatre major Lillias McManus as Peter Quince, junior theatre major Grant McGee as Nick Bottom, sophomore theatre major Garrett Wheeler as Francis Flute, sophomore business management major Samuel Hawkins as Tom Snout, community member Cara Brunet as Snug, and sophomore theatre major Kendra Johnson as Robin Starveling.
As a part of OBU’s theatre degree, seniors are required to complete a project in their capstone class. Three senior theatre majors are completing projects connected to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
“For my theatre capstone project, I am completing an in-depth character analysis and portraying the role of Helena,” said Anna Tyler, senior theatre major. “Through this project, I look forward to documenting and solidifying my own acting process while continuing to grow as a performer.”
An in-depth character analysis is a capstone favorite. Senior theatre major McKenzie Reece is focusing on Puck, whom she is also portraying in the show.
“I am excited to bring my acting technique that I have acquired from my three years at OBU into this role,” Reece said. “I am so excited to share my discoveries and performances with the audience this November.”
Senior theatre major Scott Roberts is using his capstone project to contribute through a more hands-on approach.
“I am taking on the role of scenic designer as my capstone project,” Roberts said. “Through this process, I have learned the importance of collaboration with the design team. It’s not always just about my ideas.”
Tickets for this and other shows may be purchased online by visiting OBU Theatre. They may also be purchased in person at the OBU box office located inside Sarkeys Telecommunication Center beginning two weeks prior to the first performance. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 405.585.4350.
Learn more about the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts.