By David F. Rooney
Last Friday’s performance of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was an excellent production with a cast that included local children and professional actors from Theatre Prospero in Edmonton.
Theatre-goers thought it was an excellent production and the buffoonery and physical comedy in the second half of the play provoked a lot of laughter from an audience of 160 people. There were very few instances of forgotten lines — I counted only three prompts — and those young people with speaking roles were quite good.
“I really, really enjoyed it and I took a lot of pictures of my daughter (Holly Hamilton),” said Rich Hamilton after the play.
Leslie and David Savage, there to see their grandson Thomas MacDonald play one of the Puck characters, were delighted with the show.
“We throughly enjoyed it and Thomas had a lot of fun,” Leslie said.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream was written between 1590 and 1596. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and Hippolyta. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors, who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. The play, categorized as a comedy, is one of Shakespeare’s most popular works for the stage and, according to Wikipedia is widely performed across the world. (Please click here to read more about this play.)
Edmonton-based Theatre Prospero has for years staged Shakespearean plays involving children in small towns across Alberta. This is the first time they have produced a play in Revelstoke.
Professional actors Miranda Allen, Cliff Kelly, Sarina Sorensen, Kerry Johnson, Calvin Malaka and Mark Henderson conducted acting workshops this week, assisted by the Revelstoke Theatre Company’s Anita Hallewas and Martin Ralph, for the local children who enrolled in this program.
“That’s an excellent program,” said Alan Chell, who is no slouch when it comes to producing plays himself.
The local kids involved in this production are: Andie Reynolds, Jamie Reynolds, Maxine OIpatril, Miranda Cound, Taylor Cound, Lauryn Kline, Hailey Christie-Hoyle, Gillian Anne McTagga, Thomas MacDonald, Isobel Bray, Frankie Howe, Grayson Noseworthy, Holly Hamilton, Freyja Nielsen, Erin Behncke, Isabel Federico, Crystal Federica, Marrisa Brunetti, Carrie Brunetti, Courtney Atkinson, Sandi Atkinson, Avery Matson, Kim Irwin and Hailey Callaghan.
The professional actors had fun working with the kids and appreciated the way they responded to the five days of acting workshops that led to this production. And that pleased professional actress Miranda Allen. An RSS graduate, Miranda convinced her colleagues that Revelstoke would be a responsive and supportive community for the play.
Certainly, I enjoyed the play as much as anyone, though I saw most of it through my camera. I shot 283 photos and winnowed them down to 16 images that I liked the best. Here they are for your viewing pleasure: