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'Tis almost time for fairies: 'Midsummer Night's Dream' opens Feb. 24

Feb. 16, 2015

Love and betrayal, mischief and magic, fairies and fun will fill the stage during LaGrange College Theatre's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Nikki Stone
Nikki Stone
Opening Feb. 24 in the Lab Theater at Price, the comedy is one of Shakespeare's most popular plays. And for good reason, said its director, Tracy Clahan Riggs, Instructor of Theatre Arts.

"'Midsummer' has themes we all can understand," she said. "And who doesn't love a play with fairies?"

The production showcases the technical work of several students. Junior Stacia Myers created the lighting design, senior Kevin Metasavage designed the set and junior Composition and Music Technologies major AnnaLeigh Howington composed an original song for the show.

After hearing that AnnaLeigh was a composer and had written music for a local production of "Romeo and Juliet," Riggs knew she wanted the musician to work her magic for "Midsummer."

"She jumped at the opportunity," Riggs said. "In fact, she came in the next day with the song."

Mariah Bowen
Mariah Bowen

The music, sung by the fairies for their Fairy Queen, includes accompaniment by sophomore Allison Memmler on the ukulele. The fairies will perform a dance choreographed by sophomore Sadie Gibson.

AnnaLeigh said it was a fun project for her.

"It actually came to me really easily, because there was already a song-like structure in that part of the script," she said. "I had a great time working with the talented cast and I can't wait to see the finished product and what they do with the song."

Sophomore Chris Senn is playing the role of Demetrius, one of the young lovers. He said part of his challenge is portraying something that happens to be very common in young people.

"He is a confused teenager," he said. "Demetrius doesn't know what he wants or who he loves, so there are a lot of quick changes in emotion. That is pretty interesting to play."

Meagan Cascone
Meagan Cascone

Director Riggs said theater's smaller space called for some creative staging.

"We have set the show in the round – or in the rectangle – with seating on all sides," she said. "Of course, there are challenges that go along with these choices, such as how to move more than 20 actors around that space."

Riggs said the more intimate venue will allow the audience to feel a connection to what is happening on stage.

"They will feel as if they are in Athens, or in the woods," she said. "That is one of the benefits of a smaller space. They will feel closer to the story and to the action."

Chris agrees.

Meagan Thompson
Meagan Thompson

"I think it would lose a lot of its magic if it were on the main stage of Price," he said. "The audience would miss all the fun side conversations that go on, especially with the fairies. We know everyone is going to be right there next to us, so we are doing some great things to take advantage of that. Our audiences are going to really enjoy their experience with 'Midsummer.' "

While the production will feature the magic and fun of one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, it also will be "green."

"From our initial production meetings, we knew we wanted (it) … to be both environmental and environmentally sustainable," said Ashleigh Poteat, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts.

Poteat described an environmental production as one where the scenery, lighting and action of the play surround and encompass the audience, inviting them to be as much a part of the story as the structures onstage.

Sadie Gibson
Sadie Gibson

"To go hand in hand with this, we wanted to create a production that was environmentally sustainable as well," she said. "We used low volatile organic compound paints, recycled lumber materials and re-purposed objects for the scenery. Our lighting is designed to take advantage of LED and non-conventional instruments in an effort to use less electricity and therefore create less of an environmental impact."

The show's costumes are a combination of items from the Theatre Arts stock, she said.

"We also used either stock or re purposed materials, natural fibers and only a few conventional synthetic blend fabrics," she said.

Frances Robles

Although the production does not represent a perfectly green design, it does demonstrate a path towards greener theatre, Poteat said.

The process will be presented in March as a program at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Chattanooga, Tenn., by Poteat and Luke Foco, Assistant Professor and Technical Director.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" opens Feb. 24, with shows at 7:30 p.m. through Feb. 28. A 2:30 p.m. matinee will be presented March 1. General admission tickets are $10, and $7 for senior citizens and non-LC students. LC students, faculty and staff are free. The box office opens Monday. To make reservations, email priceboxoffice@lagrange.edu or call the box office at (706) 880-8080.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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