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08/02/2012

Shakespeare Carolina at Winthrop to Stage A Midsummer Night's Dream

Quick Facts

 This is Shakespeare Carolina's last performance in the summer season.
 Performance dates are Thursday-Saturday, August 9, 10, 11 and 16, 17, 18 at 8 p.m. with a matinee performance on Sunday, August 12 at 3 p.m. in Johnson Theatre.

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Dennis DeJesus as Puck
ROCK HILL, S.C. – Shakespeare Carolina will close its summer season at Winthrop with one of William Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, "A Midsummer Night’s Dream."

Director David Wohl, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, said the play is fascinating on several levels.

“It has three very distinct groups of characters, none of whom really belong together. You’ve got these classic Athenian characters from Greek mythology – Theseus and Hippolyta – interacting with 17th century English working-class characters with names like ‘Flute,’ “Snug,’ and ‘Peter Quince,’” he said. “The third group consists of forest fairies – sprites and elves! Shakespeare throws them all together and creates situations and conflicts which are universally recognized. And very funny.”

The action takes place around the celebrations that are planned to mark the marriage of Theseus, Duke of Athens and Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. The adventures revolve around multiple characters, including: a group of trades- and craftsmen working on a play in honor of the marriage; Hermia, a woman rebelling against her father, and the object of her affection, Lysander; Demetrius, the man her father wants her to marry; Hermia’s friend Helena, who loves Demetrius; Oberon and Titania, fairy rulers of the nearby forest; and mischievous Puck.

After Oberon orders Puck to find a magic plant with a juice that, once squeezed on the eyes of someone asleep, causes them to fall in love with the first creature they see walking, hilarious havoc arises as Puck continues to mistake the human lovers for each other.

Eventually Titania and Oberon are reconciled, the three couples are married and the troupe performs their play at the nuptial celebration.

The cast of the production includes alum Chris Freeman playing the dual roles of Oberon and Theseus and Laura Ann Dougharty as Titania and Hippolyta. The young lovers are played by student Nathan Rouse (Demetrius), Justin Younts (Lysander), Megan York (Hermia) and Kacy Southerland (Helena). Other members of the cast in featured roles include alum Chris O'Neill as Bottom, student Dennis DeJesus as Puck, alumna Amanda Lile as Peter Quince and student Ted Patterson as Francis Flute.

Performance dates are Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 9, 10, 11 and 16, 17, 18 at 8 p.m. with a matinee performance on Sunday, Aug. 12 at 3 p.m. in Johnson Theatre.

Wohl, the former artistic director of the Charleston (W. Va.) Stage Company and winner of a “Lifetime Achievement” arts award in 2006 from West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, is directing the play for the third time. He first directed the show in 1993 and played the role of Bottom in 2007. Other Shakespeare plays he has staged include Hamlet, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, and Much Ado About Nothing.

Shakespeare Carolina is a culturally diverse organization that promotes color and gender blind casting. Shakespeare Carolina seeks to promote the universality of the classical canon to audiences that may not otherwise be exposed to the works of world’s greatest playwright. It is Shakespeare Carolina’s goal to grow into one of the region’s premiere cultural institutions, providing educational outreach as well as educational, technical and artistic opportunities for all segments of York County’s population.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students. Click here for tickets or purchase them at the door.

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