Shakespeare Lives!

The stage set up for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

By Robert Klimper |Staff Writer|

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a comedic Shakespearean play, brought humor, drama and a bit of magic to the stage of Blackhawk Theatre at Citrus Valley High School, from Feb. 16 until the 25th.

The play was put on by the Honor Troupe at Citrus Valley High School, which is given the name due to the actors being held to a higher standard with tougher plays.

A major component of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is fairies in a forest casting magic and playing tricks on humans that wander into the forest.

The concept of a Shakespeare play can seem like a tough task to tackle, and for some, it can be hard to interpret what is said due to the unique language the plays are known for.

To compensate for this, the playbill offered a bit of a step by step guide to enjoy Shakespeare, saying that not being able to understand the beginning of the play is fine as it is simply setting the tone for the play.

“This show is working with a whole other beast, Shakespeare, so I kind of wanted to accept that challenge and work with that because as an actor, Shakespeare is a really big part of what you will end up doing for most of your career,” said Andrew Olson, an 18-year-old senior who played the role of Lysander.

To have this represented properly in the play the actors use tricks with small handheld lights and collapsible flowers to make it seem like the fairies are throwing magic and items at super fast speed.

“I played the lead in Merchant of Venice my freshman year [so] I’m not new to Shakespeare, I’ve done it for awhile […] I love Shakespeare, it’s great stuff,” said Raphael Berglas who played the role of King Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The play itself stayed true to Shakespeare’s original work, with the same plot beats and language, yet featured modern references sprinkled throughout for the sake of comedic timing.

To ensure that people would be less confused as to what the plot of the play, a plot synopsis was made available in the playbill in the hopes to increase people’s enjoyment of the play.

“[Shakespeare is] important for [the theatre students] to learn and also something that I like to have the opportunity to introduce parents and students to Shakespeare,” said Elena Villa, the director of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Villa has been head of the theater department at Citrus Valley High School for five years.

Villa stated that she wants to make the experience of Shakespeare an enjoyable experience and not something that people come into dreading.

The theater program tries and aims to hold a Shakespeare production every three years, with A Midsummer Night’s Dream featured as the second time and Merchant of Venice as the first.

“I will miss [this play] but I’m proud of my students giving other students a [chance to have a] positive experience with Shakespeare and hopefully they wouldn’t dread quite as much in the future,” said Villa.

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