Shakespeare in the Spring: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Shakespeare in the Spring: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Senior Deanna Hennelly commands her fairy attendants on stage on Friday night. (via Annika Polatsek, sophomore)
Last week, the Pine Crest community came together to participate in the highly anticipated annual Shakespeare Week to celebrate the Bard through various activities, lectures, competitions, and performances planned by the Egan Library, the English department, the Fine Arts department, and the Institute for Civic Involvement. Students and faculty alike enjoyed sharing their enthusiasm for this Pine Crest tradition during popular events like Shakespeare Out Loud student performances and the delicious Shake n’ Bake baking competition. This year's Shakespeare week was unique in the sense that it culminated with two great performances of this year’s Shakespearean spring play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Known as one of Shakespeare’s best comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream includes the struggle of young lovers, a complex story line, and many classic Shakespeare puns. Students who participated in the production rehearsed for several months under the direction of English teacher Ms. Ortega to ensure they mastered every aspect of the Bard’s brilliance. Junior Rodrigo Torrejon, a Pine Crest Fine Arts veteran, played the role of a singing fairy and co-composed the music for the show with junior Noa Weiner. “In our show there was a great mixture of Shakespeare’s style and contemporary ideas," Torrejon said. "For the music in the show, Noa Weiner and I wrote contemporary versions of Renaissance music that we used during the performance.” Another interesting aspect of the play was that it was performed outdoors in the high school courtyard on the stage commonly nicknamed “the sacrifice circle.” Because A Midsummer’s Night Dream takes place in a forest, it was fitting to perform the show outside. The stage was transformed with artificial grass and stage lights to match the feel of Shakespeare’s famed sets. Many actors in the performance agreed that the task of perfecting Shakespeare’s play and bringing it to life was a challenge they were more than willing to face. For Junior Matias Litewka, A Midsummer Night’s Dream was his first performance in a Pine Crest play. “Shakespeare doesn’t write stage directions in his plays, and the language forces actors to really physicalize the part," Litweka said. This means actors have the freedom to play their characters in a wide variety of ways and express their interpretation onstage. The language posed a barrier, of course, but with Ms. Ortega’s help, the cast understands the true meaning behind the words, which helped the actors put on an entertaining performance for the audience. It was evident that all performers and directors worked extremely hard to bring the show to life and celebrate Shakespeare with the rest of the school community. An annual Pine Crest tradition, Shakespeare Week was a great success this year because of the added excitement of A Midsummer Night's Dream