(Posted Jan. 14, 2019)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The marriage of an Athens duke and an Amazon queen. A love potion gone wrong then right again. Fairies. And a bumbling but hilarious play-within-a-play.
Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” has it all, and Jonathan Alder High School’s drama department is bringing it to the stage Jan. 17-20.
“The past couple of years, I’ve been impressed with the students and talent we have, especially the seniors we have this year,” said Stephanie Tinberg, director and language arts teacher. “So, I wanted something challenging for the students but also something everybody can go see and enjoy.”
With that in mind, Tinberg steered clear of Shakespeare’s tragic pieces, like “Romeo & Juliet,” in favor of one of his lighter works. A comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of Shakespeare’s most popular works for the stage.
“We do really well with comedy; the students have good timing for it,” Tinberg said.
This marks the first time Tinberg has brought Shakespeare to the stage in her four years of directing the school play. She said her dream as both a teacher and a director are coming true.
“Shakespeare is something you learn in class, but these students are getting a new understanding of it by actually doing it, acting it. The great thing is that they are telling other students how cool it is” she said.
The 17-member cast is presenting the play in the original language. Some of the monologues have been shortened for easier memorization, but the play’s original script remains otherwise intact.
The troupe has taken liberties with the setting, choosing to go with 1920s America. The era’s flappers mirror the play’s strong female characters. Tinberg also is excited about the set. Instead of a simple backdrop, the stage includes tiered platforms and large, decorated columns that swivel to convey the different scenes, from the duke’s mansion to the enchanted forest.
Among the students playing lead roles are senior Sydney Winslow as Titania, queen of the fairies and senior Tyler Hicks as Oberon, king of the fairies. Junior Reagan Gargac plays Hermia, who resists her father’s demand that she marry someone she does not love. Senior Mary Kate Hipp plays Helena, who loves the someone that Hermia doesn’t. Senior Chaz Phinney plays Nick Bottom, an overzealous amateur actor rehearsing for a play for the wedding of the Athens duke and Amazon queen. Junior Matthew Dickman plays Puck, the sprite in charge of the love potion shenanigans.
Shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17-19 and 1 p.m. Jan. 20. Tickets will be available at the door and are $5 for children 12 and younger, $7 for students and senior citizens, and $10 for adults. On Jan. 17, student tickets are $4. Jonathan Alder High School is located at 9200 U.S. Rte. 42, Plain City.