More on A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Max McClatchy

It’s mid-September now, and anybody affiliated with the Malvern Theater Society knows that the autumn wind ushers in a new fall play. This year, director Dr. James Fry has selected William Shakespeare’s classic comedy: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. You can read more about the synopsis of the play’s plot and key characters in Anthony Abron’s behind-the-scenes report, but I attended a practice as a member of the society to see what it entailed. Dr. Fry has a system in which he assigns a specific scene to each rehearsal, so the only actors required to attend are those who appear in said scene.

So, as I walked in, there were only seven other student actors present. Dr. Fry sat us all down and gave us a brief breakdown of how the show will be run, because there are minor deviations from the original script (but the Elizabethan-era language is still there). In addition to some minor edits to the script, Dr. Fry announced his intention to “modernize” this centuries-old classic. In other words, keep an eye out for modern technology (iPads and smart phones, for example) appearing onstage. The outfits will also be modernized, so expect no stodgy Elizabethan-era garb here!

After the briefing, we engaged in a dry read of the first scene of the show, trying to get an initial feel for our roles. After we had finished the scene (it was only a few pages), Dr. Fry stopped us and asked us to explain what had just happened. He sees that understanding what is happening in the play is vital to acting, for one cannot portray what one does not understand. We did another dry run after our explanation, with a more firm grasp on our motivations and feelings in the context of the scene. So you can rest assured that we know what is going on within the story, and will do our best as a theater group to transfer that knowledge to you through our performance.

The show itself is quite humorous and light-hearted, so it is this journalist’s opinion that this will be Malvern’s most successful fall play to date. Come out the first two weekends of November to support your fellow Friars and your sisters from Villa Maria and Notre Dame. You won’t regret it!

Read more by Anthony Abron