Miramonte Players Present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”


Mika Strickler

The Miramonte Players’ production of the Shakespearean comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was notable for its entertaining physical comedy, creative set and costume design, and ability to relate the classic story to a modern audience. 

The play ran from Oct. 27 to 29 in the Miramonte theater. Drama teacher Heather Cousins directed the show, guiding a multi-threaded plot that follows a clumsy amateur theater troupe preparing to perform a play, a messy group of lovers trying to untangle their relationships, and a meddling band of fairies on the night before a royal wedding. These characters’ stories interconnect as the fairy King Oberon and his servant sprite, Puck, use love potions and magic to intervene in the other characters’ lives.

Although the Shakespearean language may predispose people to view this play as serious, the play at its core is a light-hearted comedy. Physical comedy was a key skill that the actors used to navigate the barrier of the antiquated language. The actors’ full commitment to the over-the-top comedic action was especially impressive. This shone through most evidently in the members of the bumbling theater troupe and their ridiculous roles. Junior Maya Taylor played the egotistical lead actor of the group, and her physical comedy in portraying the exaggerated diva of the group generated lots of laughter from the audience.  

Additionally, the actors’ line delivery and skill served to modernize a timeworn script. This was most apparent in the performances of the lovers Hermia, Helena, Lysander, and Demetrius, played by seniors Sabrina Hernandez, Ella Bradley, Carson Straub, and junior Soren van Loben Sels. They managed to tell the story in a way that a  high school audience could relate to. Bradley perfectly captured the spirit of a teenage girl whose infatuation is unrequited. Furthermore, none of the actors stumbled over the difficult language. 

Stagecraft’s creative set and costume design also served as a strong point of the show. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is primarily set in a magical forest near the city of Athens. Stagecraft aptly replicated the mystical and natural environment of the forest. Fake leaves and strips of burlap hung from the top of the stage to simulate tree trunks for the fairy handmaidens, played by juniors Lauren Wagner, Abigail Gardner, Hannah Shagan, Michelle Bradley, and Blaise Broderick, to skip and dance around. Twinkling fairy lights draped around the top corner of the stage which also added to the ethereal environment of the forest. 

The costume design also reflected the effort and creativity of Stagecraft. Human characters, like the lovers, wore some form of Athenian toga, while the fairies had more elaborate costumes. For example, fairy Queen Titania wore a crown of peacock feathers, and the fairy handmaidens wore green capes and fake leaves. The most entertaining and comedic costume belonged to Michelle Bradley’s other character, Tom Snout, one of the players in the theater troupe, who plays a wall in the play-within-a-play. Snout’s costume consisted of a column attached to a bike helmet and a cape-like sheet painted to resemble a wall. The unwieldy costume was thoroughly entertaining, and its humor was bolstered by Michelle Bradley’s flawless line delivery.     

Ultimately, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” proved to be an entertaining comedy, even for modern audiences. 

Photos: Jennifer Linardon