Thespians take to outdoors for Shakespeare performance

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream” runs Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday

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Gazebo Photo by Mimi Rader

Stratford on Peake actors rehearse Monday night

“How now, spirit? Whither wander you?”

Well, it should be over to “Stratford On Peake’s” one-act production of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” 

Beginning on Wednesday, Stratford will present its first theatre production of the school year. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be performed at Stratford’s amphitheater, located between the Olson Library, and the Jett Science Center. Performances are on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m.

Pullquote Photo

I have never acted outside, but I think it work well because our set is very pretty.”

— Senior Sarah Pyles

With COVID-19 precautions in place, theatre director, Ms. Sylvia Haynie had to choose a production that could be performed in an outdoor setting. The CDC states that singing is a dangerous activity, so the production could not be a musical.

Naturally, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” a play typically set outdoors, with no singing, met the guidelines.

The most recent time that Stratford did a Shakespeare production was “Much Ado About Nothing” in 2004.

Ms. Haynie said she does not remember the last time a Stratford theatre production was outdoors

She said she and the cast of twenty, “are really loving it, so [she] anticipates that it will become a part of the regular season,” if it is needed as a precaution.

Only 100 tickets are being distributed for each performance. Masks and social distancing will be mandated as you are asked to bring your own seating.

Ms. Haynie said the greatest challenge with performing outdoors will be ambient noises, including wind.

Sarah Pyles, a senior who plays Faerie Peaseblossom, said,  “I have never acted outside, but I think it work well because our set is very pretty.”

Actors and audience members will be required to wear masks at all times. The actors are wearing clear plastic masks to ensure that while staying safe, their facial expressions can still be seen. 

Another Senior, Maddie Fackler, who plays Hermia, said it is “a little bit weird performing with the masks.”