By Paige Allison and Tom DeMars
The Nebraska Repertory Theatre opened their new season and welcomed audiences back with their presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare’s timeless folly is craftily modernized with contemporary costuming and a sturdy and simple set. Artistic Director Andy Park crafted a delightfully simple show, with direction by Christina Kirk, and choreography by Tim Veach. Making wonderful use of set design by Grace Trudeau, the cast lyrically weaves in and out of woods and a gazebo. The lyrical blocking of the show, often dance-like, flows with the actors’ rhythm and delivery of this familiar story of love and whimsy.
In an effort to pass the time before his marriage to Hippolyta (Renae S. Brown), Theseus (Raphael Untalan) orders Philistrate (Mia Hilt) to conjure the ultimate entertainment for his bride-to-be. In the fantasy dream-state, three different storylines, complete with the characters’ alter-egos, collide. The stories revolve around a myriad of human lovers, the fairies, and the human actors. The duplicity of the characters and the tangled love triangles created in their dreams induce immediate laughter. The actors’ physicality and comedic timing inspire steady chortles from the audience throughout the production. One need not be a Shakespearean enthusiast to appreciate the innuendo and contemporary references. This production does not disappoint in the humor category. You will certainly be amused!
One of the show’s most engaging performers, Mia Hilt as Puck, aptly dangles from tree limbs and dances across tree stumps, commanding the stage with her graceful dance and athleticism. Her exploits are mesmerizing and enhance the flow and magic of the story being told.
Notably, the Nebraska Repertory Theatre boasts a cast of exquisitely talented theater majors and professional actors, some of whom are candidates and members of the professional Actor’s Equity Association. The University of Nebraska continues to produce and encourage outstanding performers!
Rounding out this stellar cast are Francoise Traxler, Will Hayes, Shay Jowers, Matt Blom, Kent Joseph, Anna Grace Braxton, Philip Crawford, Daniel “D. W.” Hernandez, Hannah Mason, Mon Darter, Calli Mah, Brett Gaffney, and Sophie Egan.
This show is one you should definitely add to your Shakespearean viewing repertoire. You will not be disappointed! This gem runs until Sunday October 10th. Get your tickets online at www.nebraskarep.org.
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