Fooling with Affection: Magic joins romance in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By Monica Jaramillo

Sophomore Greg Clark and senior Kelcie Kosberg portray the outlandish fairy king and queen as fairies observe the scene.

 

Imagine a timeless story inspired by and focused on undying love, but with a twist — it is a love that could never exist in the real world. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy in which romance is key, but when one character attempts to meddle with love, he ends up making a huge mess of things.

This past weekend saw four showings of this classic Shakespearean play by Rider University’s Theater Department, directed by Trent Blanton. Performances were held in the Bart Luedeke Center Theater Feb. 17 through Feb. 20.

Rider’s Theater program interpreted this story in a unique way; the actors gave the play a modern twist but stayed true to the plot, changing very little.  Some dialogue was removed in order to give speaking roles to certain characters to further develop their personalities.

Each cast member contributed an incredible portrayal of his or her character.  The cast ranged from actors of all different ages and years, yet all brought talent and experience to the stage. Theseus, the Duke was played by sophomore Alexander Robin Kass and Hippolyta, his wife to be, was played by sophomore Tess Ammerman. Egeus, the controlling father, was played by freshman Sean Magnacca. The roles of lovers Hermia and Lysander were played by sophomore Heather Boner and freshman Sean Cackoski.  Demetrius and Helena were portrayed by freshman Kelsey Carroll and senior Zachary Schanne. Oberon, the fairy king, was played sophomore Greg Clark and his wife Titania, the fairy queen, was played by senior Kelcie Kosberg. Bottom, the man who is turned into an ass, was played by sophomore Caleb Funk, and Puck, the mischievous servant of Oberon, was played by sophomore Shana Goodman.

“I really loved having the opportunity to play Helena because she is the passionate romantic, which is a type of character I have never played before,” freshman Kelsey Carroll said. “Through the work I did with our voice coach Rebecca Simon, our movement coach Dr. Meade Andrews and under the direction of Trent Blanton, I was able to find the truth in Helena’s plight, and tried my best to make her relatable to the audience.”

Additional reporting by Lisa Henderson.

Sophomore Caleb Funk plays Bottom, the whimsical and unfortunate “ass” man.
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