Students dream of Shakespeare

Arguing lovers, fairies and a flower that can make someone love you are all part of Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

While this play doesn’t evoke the same feelings as MacBeth or Julius Caesar, it playfully mixes humor with the timeless themes of love and jealousy.

A student production of one of William Shakespeare’s greatest comedies opens today as a free performance.

“It’s light and more contemporary compared to something such as The Merchant in Venice that has outlived its contemporary status,” said Robb Brown, playing the part of the Duke. “(It’s better than) something that has been overdone like Romeo and Juliet or something that’s really heavy like Hamlet,” Brown said.

The play is set in motion by the feuding fairy royalties who get involved in humanly affairs by intervening in the romantic affairs of Demetrius, Helena, Lysander and Hermia.

Dream balances color and humor to form an old English romantic comedy. The student-run production keeps a traditional approach and stays true to Shakespeare’s original vision.

“The idea is to present a classic to an audience that may not be familiar or don’t have the means to pay $70 ticket to see it at the performing arts center, so that’s what we’ve been doing,” director Will Glenn said.

Hamlet was the subject of the group’s fall production but Glenn was looking for a more difficult and enjoyable project.

“Last semester we did Hamlet, and there’s really not a more beautiful play by Shakespeare, but its very tragic,” Glenn said. “We want to move on to something that a little more light-hearted, more mirthful and see what we could do with it.”

The two projects are very different, as Hamlet is a powerful drama, and Dream is a more upbeat and the characters are livelier.

“It’s more challenging as a director. Comedy’s hard to work. It’s a lot easier to make people cry than it is to make people laugh,” Glenn said.

The characters in the play are well-rounded and are easily identifiable, with most being that viewers have been in similar situations minus the fairy involvement, of course.

“It definitely has personality,” Brown said.

Many Shakespeare works are the subject of high school and college English classes. Glenn and the cast want the student body to appreciate his comical works as much as his tragedies.

“I hope they come and enjoy the show, that’s what it’s all about,” Glenn said