Nebraska Shakespeare to present "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on WPS Stage
13th annual Nebraska Shakespeare on Tour schedules stop in Wahoo on October 12 for 9:00 a.m. performance; community members welcome
"The course of true love never did run smooth." --William Shakespeare
Nebraska Shakespeare will return to Wahoo High School for its educational “Shakespeare On Tour” production of A Midsummer Night's Dream on Friday, October 12, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. in the WPS Performance-Learning Center. All students grades 9-12 will attend the performance, and community members are also invited to attend for no charge.
This performance in Wahoo is among the group's more than 30 scheduled performances in middle schools, high schools, and communities across Nebraska and Iowa, including many isolated, underserved communities where professional stage productions are not regularly available.
With the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Wahoo Public Schools is pleased to once again be able to provide this opportunity for our students and the community.
Summary of A Midsummer Night's Dream (Source: www.nebraskashakespeare.com):
"To explore the traditional gender structure of the play, the lovers' genders will be reversed in this production to explore the effects on the relationships and perceptions of authority in this society.
"Hermian loves Lysandre, and Lysandre loves Hermian. Helenus loves Demetria, who used to love him, but now loves Hermian.
"Hermian is Egeus' son. Egeus wants Hermian to marry Demetria and asks Duke Theseus to enforce this wish. Hermian is given the choice: marry Demetria, join a monastery, or face a death sentence. Hermian chooses non of the options and he runs away into the forest with Lysandre.
"In the forest, the King and Queen of Fairies, Oberon and Titania, are fighting because Titania refuses to hand over a child she has adopted. To get revenge, Oberon instructs his servant, Puck, to seek out a flower with the ability to make someone fall in love with the first creature they see. Puck then stumbles upon a group of craftspeople rehearsing a play. Puck decides to play a trick on one of the players, Bottom, by turning their head into that of a donkey. Bottom's new appearance scares the rest of the players away and the commotion wakes Titania. Under the flower's spell, Titania sees Bottom and falls in love.
"Meanwhile, Helenus and Demetria have also fled to the forest, following Lysandre and Hermian. Oberon overhears Demetria rejecting Helenus and takes pity on him. Puck is instructed to use the magic flower to make Demetria fall in love with Helenus. Puck, mistaking Lysandre for Demetria, uses the flower on her instead. Lysandre sees Helenus, and falls in love with him instead of Hermian.
"Oberon enjoys seeing Titania dote on Bottom, but becomes upset when he learns Puck made a mess of uniting Helenus and Demetria. Oberon uses the flower on Demetria, and ensures that Helena is the first person she sees. Helenus, who is now pursued by both Demetria and Lysandre, is convinced he is being teased.
"Oberon reverses the spell on Lysandre and Titania. Titania and Oberon reconcile with one another. Lysandre once again falls for her love, Hermian. Theseus and his bride-to-be, Hippolyta, stumble upon the four lovers in the forest and they recount the story of what happened in the forest. Theseus decrees that they can marry whomever they wish, despite Egeus' wishes, and they all return to Athens. Bottom reunites with the craftspeople and they perform their play for Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding."
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a required reading for all WHS sophomores, and all students are exposed to Shakespeare in their English classes beginning their freshman year, so students will enter the performance with a good amount of background knowledge.
The fully-staged, 75-minute performance will include a discussion with the director and actors. In addition, following the performance, many of our English and speech students will participate in some text and acting workshops with the Nebraska Shakespeare actors. In the text workshop, English 12 students will analyze Shakespeare's text and explore the rhythm and meter of his language, introducing them to the hints and tricks of decoding Shakespeare. In the acting workshop, our speech students will explore the basic techniques of acting. Using Shakespeare's characters, students will uncover the goals, obstacles, and tactics that could be implemented to achieve success on and off stage.
The touring company for “Romeo and Juliet” consists of 13 members: Ezra Colón, Director; Brendan Greene-Walsh, Scenic Designer; Wesley A. Houston, Property Manager; Lindsay Pape, Costume Designer; Molly Welsh, Sound Designer, and actors Katie Becker Colón (Bottom, First Fairy), Sarah Brown (Demetria, Starveling), Sarah Vishnev (Titania, Hippolyta), Raydell Cordell III (Hermian, Quince), Abraham Ntonya (Puck), Matthew R. Olsen (Helenus, Flute), Bianca Phipps (Lysandre, Snug), and Josh Ryan (Oberon, Theseus).
The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest presents Shakespeare in American Communities. Nebraska Shakespeare is one of 40 professional theater companies selected to participate in bringing the finest productions of Shakespeare to middle- and high-school students in communities across the United States.
For this Wahoo performance, the Nebraska Arts Council, a state agency, has supported this arts event through its matching grants program funded by the Nebraska Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. Visit www.artscouncilnebraska.gov for information on how the Nebraska Arts Council can assist your organization.