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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Theatre and Dance


A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM | Drayton Hall Theatre

Shakespeare's much-loved comedy of magic, mix-ups and mayhem runs at Drayton Hall Theatre September 30 - October 8.

The 3PM performance scheduledfor Saturday, October 8
has been cancelled
due to serious weather conditions.


The University of SC Dept. of Theatre and Dance
presents

A Midsummer Night's Dream

by William Shakespeare
Directed by Robert Richmond

September 30 - October 8, 2016

Drayton Hall Theatre
1214 College St.


Show Times:

Friday, Sept. 30: 8pm
Saturday, Oct. 1: 8pm
Sunday, Oct. 2: 3pm
Wednesday, Oct. 5: 8pm   SHOW CANCELLED
Thursday, Oct. 6: 8pm
Friday, Oct. 7:  8pm
Saturday, Oct. 8: 3pm SHOW CANCELLED

Saturday, October 8: 8pm

Tickets purchased in advance for the cancelled performances can can be used for any other performances of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

For more information about University closings related to Hurricane Matthew, please visit http://www.sc.edu/uofsc/weather/.

Tickets:
$12  |  Non-UofSC Students
$16  |  USC Faculty/Staff, Military and Seniors 60+
$18  |  General Admission

Starting Thursday, October 6, all UofSC student tickets will be FREE.  University students MUST show valid ID at the box office to get in free.

Box Office: 777-2551
Or purchase in person at Longstreet Theatre.  Box office opens September 23.
Box Office Hours: 12:30pm - 5:30pm, Monday - Friday



Puck (William Quant, standing) and his band of mischievous fairies (from left, Sydney Louise
Laughlin, Abigail Boyer, Caroline Beverly and Leigh Anne Davis)

“I have had a dream past the wit of man to say what dream it was.”  So says the hapless thespian Bottom after enduring his famously ridiculous transformation into a donkey in this timeless tale of magic, mix-ups and mayhem. When four young lovers and a group of roaming actors wander through an enchanted wood, they find themselves entangled by the mischievous whims of a band of powerful fairies with a wicked sense of humor.  As they struggle to make sense of the fairies’ otherworldly influence, we, the audience, are reminded just “what fools these mortals be!”

Robert Richmond, Artistic Director of the Theatre Program, is directing the production, which he calls “a valentine to the theatre.”  This is the second Shakespeare production Richmond has directed at UofSC this year; he directed The Tempest in April, while the University celebrated the exhibition of a rare Shakespeare First Folio on campus.  2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

The Tempest is certainly heavier,” Richmond says, comparing the two plays.  “Midsummer is much lighter and much, much more accessible, and I’m hoping both our university community as well as high schools and community groups around Columbia will be able to come see it.” 

“It’s all about young people falling in love, and having this journey where they are coming of age, and learning about themselves and the world they live in,” Richmond says.  “It’s a topsy-turvy world in which anarchy happens and then order is restored.” 

Richmond and his design team have concocted a unique take on the fairy world of Shakespeare’s tale, with visual elements inspired by, according to the director, films like Pan’s Labyrinth and Underworld.  The scenic design for the production, which Richmond calls “surrealist,” uses an exposed playing space and everyday objects to suggest the story’s various settings.

“What our scenic designer {third-year MFA design student Neda Spalajkovic} has done is take the relatively realistic setting of the play, a forest, and abstract it in such a way that we understand the world, but can use our imaginations to fill in the blanks,” he explains.  What we’ve come up with is a magical forest made entirely of umbrellas, which relate back to the storm that the mortals in the story are suffering, while showing us that everyday objects are things that can also create art in ways we don’t expect.”

He adds, “From an audience point of view, you know exactly what the object is, but you also can enjoy it because it just lets you go there and imagine that it’s really a forest or a magic herb.  And that’s the fun we all love to do and see, isn’t it — like watching kids play with a cardboard box rather than their present at the holidays.”

Richmond has gathered an impressive cast for the production, comprised entirely of undergraduate actors.  “Every two years, we have an opportunity on our main stage to feature a cast of just undergraduates,” he explains.  “It allows them to experience a professional level of production that enhances understanding of all of the elements that the undergraduate theatre program offers.”

The large cast includes Alison Anderson, Caroline Beverly, Abigail Boyer, Carrie Chalfant, Leigh Anne Davis, Corey Drennon, Sam Edelson, Conor Gallagher, Ashley Graham, Kelsie Hensley, Tristan Hester, Sydney Louise Laughlin, Jennifer Abbey McCoy, Susana McElveen, DeAudrey Owens, Cody Phillips, Freddie Powers, William Quant, John Romanski, Noell Staton, and Jordan Whitney.  Scenic design is by third-year MFA candidate Neda Spalajkovic.  Costumes ranging from “goth” fairy designs to conservative modern dress for the mortals is by MFA design alum (and new costume design instructor) April Traquina.  Lighting design is by guest artist Bruce Auerbach, a professional scenic/lighting designer and professor at UNC-Charlotte.  Guest artist Danielle Wilson is creating the production’s soundscape, which juxtaposes the play’s disparate worlds with a jarring mix of industrial and orchestral music. 

“This play, and specifically this production, is one that should allow the audience to experience and tap into their imaginations in a way that they might have done as children,” Richmond says.  “We should see the story in ourselves — both in the regulated, law-abiding world in which we live, and in the fairy kingdom that shows the hedonistic, rule-breaking side of our nature, as well.”

“This play is also about the fact that love will trump hate,” Richmond says.  “There’s a lot of hate at the story’s beginning, but through various means it does get distilled…and people do ultimately find contentment and love.”

For more information about A Midsummer Night’s Dream or the theatre program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at bushk@mailbox.sc.edu.