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ACT brings unlikely humore to Shakespeare

It is a tale of love, humor and, most of all, humanity. And brought to life by the members of All College Theater (ACT), it had color and laughter not always seen in the celebrated play.

From Oct. 11 to 15, ACT performed “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the Black Box Theater to sold-out audiences.

The play, though quite intricate and detailed, was performed expertly by the cast. It is essentially the story of Hermia, who refuses to marry her chosen suitor, Demetrius, since she is in love with Lysander. The Duke of Athens, Egeus, wants her to marry Demetrius instead. Lysander creates a plan for he and Hermia to elope, by fleeing into the forest so that they can travel to his aunt’s house to marry. Hermia’s friend, Helena, learns of this and decides to inform Demetrius, whom she is in love with.

In the forest, Oberon, King of the Fairies, argues with Titania, the Fairy Queen, that he should have her son as his page. Titania objects. To get the boy, Oberon orders the fairy Puck to obtain a flower from Cupid that causes the target to love the first person he or she sees.

Soon, everyone meets in the forest and wackiness ensues.

ACT’s intricate set design was outstanding, as the stage crew did a fantastic job of making the audience feel as if they were sitting in the majestic forest with the characters. The stage was illuminated dreamily with hues of green and blue, and long ropes descended from the ceiling of the stage, on which fairies would later swing and relax. Archaic stone railings on both sides of the scenery added to the supernatural tone.

Given how professionally the show was performed, it seems unbelievable that Kay Potucek, director of the production, could reveal how quickly the play was organized.

“We put this together in four weeks of rehearsal,” she said. “This group has amazing talent and was wonderful to work with.”

The ACT cast was made up of students of all majors and grade levels. In “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” many new actors and actresses made their debuts.

“Since we have a large cast, particularly a lot of freshmen, it’s been a unique and rewarding experience,” Dennis Chin, senior biology and sociology major and president of ACT, said.

All the actors and actresses belted out Shakespeare’s words as if they were their own, easily and naturally.

Though all the actors worked hard on their craft, Chin’s portrayal of Bottom especially left the audience close to tears of laughter.

Many other members of the cast agreed that the thrill of being in the spotlight made all the time and effort worthwhile.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s a wonderful feeling to be out there,” Claire O’Brien, senior communication studies major, said. She starred as Hermia, a woman of true beauty who chooses to defy her father and follow her heart.

ACT’s depiction of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was not only hilarious and engrossing, but also extremely precise.

“As an English major, I’ve seen and read this play many times, and this was a very accurate and humorous adaptation,” Pamela Wrede, senior English major, said.

From the cast’s standpoint, their performances will only become more refined and enhanced in the future.

“It’s been an amazing experience. We’ve tried a lot of things and really have grown together as a group,” Megan Smith, senior early childhood education/psychology major and secretary of ACT, said.

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