“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” opens tomorrow in Taylor Little Theatre

Libby Bullinger, Copy Editor

After many months of pandemic restrictions, activities are quickly returning to campus; that means that the Mercyhurst Theatre Department is gearing up for its production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. The show is the first that will occur in a more normal setting with a live audience since the be-ginning of the pandemic, so the cast and crew are even more ex-cited to be performing this classic story with a twist. Members of the cast are thrilled to be returning to the stage for live theatre with this exciting production.

The MIAC website describes the show as “Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece ensnares two pairs of lovers and rustic troupe of would-be actors in an enchanted forest, where a feuding Fairy King and Queen quarrel over a changeling boy.” Although “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a classic in the Shakespeare cannon, the theatre department has put a few twists on this beloved story for their set of shows.

Junior Public History major Bella Lee, is performing as one of the fairies in the show. “I am really excited about the way the show is being performed. The ‘60s and Woodstock theme is really neat to me,” said Lee. The shows are being presented as part of MIAC’s Emerging Artist series, which features student performances around campus including dance, music and of course the theatre productions. This fun twist on a classic tail will help to intrigue audience members of all backgrounds and theatre knowledge as well as offering a unique return to the theatre after the pandemic. In terms of COVID-19 proto-cols, the cast has been working diligently to follow university safety guidelines while in rehearsals.

This means wearing masks and keeping safe distance when possible throughout the process of learning and practicing the play. However, the cast will be able to take their masks off to show-case their wonderful facial ex-pressions and deliver the full the-atre experience during the actual performances.

This exciting news can only occur once the cast has tested negative for COVID-19 through campus testing and they may only remove their face coverings while actively performing and will put them back on once they are offstage. Senior Psychology major Tori Altsman is portraying the role of Titania the Fairy Queen in this weekend’s performances.

This is Altsman’s sixth production with the Mercyhurst Theatre Department, and she is thrilled to be returning to the stage with her peers. “This is my first Shakespeare production, so it has certainly been a challenge, but I am be-yond excited,” Altsman said. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is being directed by guest artist Doug Powers, Ph.D., who has worked with Mercyhurst previously on several various pro-ductions. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream is arguably Shakespeare’s most accessible play for contemporary audiences,” said Powers in a recent Mercyhurst press release about the show. This makes it the perfect production for anyone in the Mercyhurst community to come and attend.

The performances will take place this upcoming weekend Nov. 4-7 with shows Thursday- Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sun-day at 2:00 p.m. The production will take place in the Taylor Little Theatre and MSG is covering the cost of tickets for students, so you can go to the box office and ask them to have MSG pay for your ticket. Regular adult admission is $15, and senior pricing is set at $10 per ticket. Make sure to pick up your tickets and gear up for an exciting weekend of shows in Taylor Little Theatre!