The auditorium is dark, though the room is buzzing with anticipation. Suddenly, the curtains part and the stage lights come on, revealing Hippolyta and Theseus as they plan their wedding.
This is the opening scene of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Mills Players Spring production. Thursday, March 8, was the first of four nights during which the Mills thespians presented the culmination of their efforts in this unique, comical take on the classic Shakespearean comedy.
“As a Shakespeare nerd, doing any Shakespeare show is always a pleasure,” said sophomore Rachel Levinson-Emley, who plays Puck. “In addition, this is one of my favorite Shakespeare shows, which makes it even more fun. ÿWorking on this particular production has been such a pleasure mainly because of the community in which I’m doing it.”
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The late 16th-century comedy tells the story of two couples, Hermia and Lysander and Helena and Demetrius, who stumble upon the woodland fairy kingdom that is presided over by King Oberon and his queen Titania.
The play revolves around the impending wedding celebration of Theseus and Hippolyta. Subplots include the production of a play by a group of working class citizens named the “rude mechanicals,” and the battle between Oberon and Titania over the welfare of an Indian child.
Bringing this Shakespearean work to life was a challenging but enjoyable task, according to the actors.
“Shakespeare in itself is very complicated in that it takes a lot of time to learn pronunciation and to memorize the parts correctly,” said Amanda Parker, the director of the production. ÿ”I wouldn’t say that we’ve struggled with this aspect of Shakespeare, but it’s definitely been challenging and fun.”
“Working with the cast has been a very positive experience. I’m so proud of this group of women and am so glad that I’m able to work with them,” Parker said. “They’ve been very supportive and very accepting of all my ideas and random changes in the blocking of the play. These women are the highlight of my nights and I look forward to being able to spend time with them.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the last production for stage manager senior Leah Albin and Parker, the only remaining original member of the Mills Players.
“This is my last show with the ‘Playas’ and I can honestly say that I am completely satisfied,” Albin said. ÿ”I know I’ll graduate this May without any regrets about my involvement in this production.”