The Southern California Shakespeare Festival brings “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to the Studio Theatre at Cal Poly Pomona as an Equity Guest Artist production opening Saturday, September 7, 2013.
“Dream” is set around the time that Theseus, duke of Athens, is about to wed Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. A local maiden, Hermia, is in love with Lysander, but her father Egeus is trying to force her to marry Demetrius, who is in turn loved by Helena. Meanwhile, Oberon, king of the fairies (in this context, magical nocturnal folk who dwell in the forest) seeks to discipline his petulant queen, Titania, and engages the services of Puck, a magical sprite, to cast a spell on her. Employing herbs imbued with mystical powers, Puck causes Titania to become enamored of Bottom, a local craftsman whose head has been supplanted with that of a jackass, complete with donkey ears. Puck employs another magical charm that inadvertently causes Lysnder to abandon his true love Hermia and to pursue Helena.
Director Sam Robinson says, “The approach is traditional with the setting being in Ancient Greece, touches of the classic culture of India and the ever-playful magical fairy world. Shakespeare was a master of weaving the present day into his plays, so we will incorporate both Elizabethan England and current modern day references.
“His productions included only male actors, so there was a lot of build in humor with regard to the opposite sex playing the roles. We are honoring Shakespeare by having cast some of the main male roles with female performers including; Oberon, King of the Fairies and Demetrius and Lysander who are both vying for Hermia's affection. It is the mission of the Southern California Shakespeare Festival to support casting that is open to all, with an emphasis on being gender blind.”
Whether past midsummer or not, this play is a favorite of audiences because there’s love and romance, comedy and laughter, magical creatures and mystical spells, some just plain silliness, and even an actor who transmuted into a jackass by faerie mischief.
The cast includes (in alphabetical order): Luis Arrendondo, Vanessa Babida, Job Barnett, Catherine Campbell, Annie Dennis, William Dinwiddie, Adriana Flores, Amy Hatfield, Andrea Lopez, Valerie Lopez, Andy Nguo, Tiana Parker, Dylan Parra, Marissa Pitts, Ruben Serrano, Lena Solano, Paula Solano and Alicia Joy Volinkski. Dennis, Pitts and Paula Solano are Equity Guest Artists.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” opens 8 p.m. Saturday, September 7 and performs 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through September 29. There will be a gala reception following opening night and an 8 p.m. Friday, September 27 performance. Admission is $15, $12 Cal Poly Pomona students, faculty and staff. Call 909-869-3800 or visit http://classcsupomona.tix.com.
Studio Theatre is located at 3801 W. Temple Avenue, Building 25 in Pomona. This is on the campus of Cal Poly Pomona.
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