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Shakespeare comedy opens Walter Gloor Mainstage Series
Friday, October 17, 2014

Shakespeare comedy opens Walter Gloor Mainstage Series

The cast of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” includes, front from left, Shane Zimmerman as Demetrius, Morgan Troia as Helena, Ana McCasland as Nan Bottom, Joan Marie Cusick as Hermia, Cody Jones as Lysander and, back from left, Alexa Lindberg as Titania and Miquon Jackson as Oberon.

One of the most popular works by one of the world’s greatest playwrights will by presented by the Department of Theatre and Dance to open the 2014-15 Walter Gloor Mainstage Series.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will run for six performances from Oct. 17 to 25 in Marvel Theatre at Rockefeller Arts Center.

Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 17, 18, 23, 24 and 25, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Oct. 19. Tom Loughlin, chairman of the Department of Theatre and Dance, is directing the Mainstage production.

Written sometime between 1590 and 1596 and set in Athens, Greece, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a comedy considered to be one of Shakespeare’s most popular works.

“I really think it’s the story and the magical atmosphere of the piece,” Loughlin said of what has made it such an enduring work. “The play has an easy-to-follow plotline that even the most Shakespeare-phobic person can follow. There are also great comic complications, and the Pyramus and Thisbee scene at the end is always a comic delight.”

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” follows the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. In particular, it focuses on the adventures of four young lovers and a group of amateur actors who fall under the influence fairies after venturing into the woods.

For sheer entertainment value, Loughlin thinks “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” ranks among Shakespeare’s top five plays.

“Because of its crowd-pleasing nature, it is one of the early plays of Shakespeare that began to solidify his reputation,” Loughlin said. “Its enduring popularity, especially in the modern era, is a true sign I think of its greatness as a play.”

Loughlin noted the Mainstage production would have a bit of a twist.

“I’ve set the play with a ’60s vibe, shall we say,” the director said. “We’re trying to re-capture the ‘Summer of Love’ atmosphere of the late 1960s. I’ve set the play on a college campus in Athens, Ohio, and the surrounding woods, where a tribe of hippies has taken up residence. I think it will be fun.”

Tickets are available through the Ticket Office in the Williams Center, by phone at 673-3501 and online at fredonia.edu/tickets.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is sponsored by the SUNY Fredonia Federal Credit Union as part of the 2014-15 Lake Shore Savings Season.

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