Plot line: It’s the year 1600. Two characters, young Lysander and Hermia, are madly in love with plans to get married, but they can’t. Hermia’s father wants Hermia to marry Demetrius. But Demetrius can’t marry Hermia, because he has to go fight in World War II. Doesn’t sound quite right? It’s not. Carrboro High School’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare will be performed in November with the original script, but a 1940’s setting and theme.
The plot in Midsummer Night’s Dream is as follows: Lysander and Hermia, are planning to get married, but their plans are foiled by Hermia’s father who wants her to marry Demetrius. Demetrius is also in love with Hermia, but Hermia is in love with Lysander. And in addition, Helena is in love with Demetrius. Throughout the story, everyone’s plans are a little ruined when Puck, the fairy king, comes and causes trouble with the help of a few love potions. In addition to all of this a small troupe of actors is struggling to put on a decent performance of a show.
“I know they’re going to use the costumes and setting a lot. They showed us the costumes today, and a lot of it’s old timey, 1940’s stuff.” said freshman Caroline Watson, in reference to the 1940’s theme. Some scenes will stay pretty similar, many take place in a forest with the fairies, but many set and costume aspects will be adapted to fit the 1940’s theme, despite the script being the original, Shakespearean version
In addition to the challenges of memorizing lines and blocking that come with any theater production, interpreting a Shakespearean play is no easy feat.
“It’s a very foreign way of speaking, so i sometimes have trouble understanding what things mean” said senior Daniel O’Grady.
Every rehearsal the actors went through the lines and scenes to make sure they knew what was happening in each scene, what all their lines meant, and if they grasped the concept. With a firm understanding, the actors could put the right tone of voice and meaning into the lines, instead of just reading them from the page. Only after all of this was achieved, could the actors begin memorizing lines and working on the blocking
“The translations we’ve been doing are the biggest difference in the rehearsal process.” said senior Thomas Cassidy, noting the difference between A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and previous Carrboro shows. “In the past, we haven’t had to translate other shows. In other shows, we just had to get context, we didn’t have to translate the words, since it was written in modern english.”
With the combination of 1600’s and 1940’s, we asked the cast to say a few words about the show itself. Among their answers were “hectic, magical, fun, complicated, and an altogether crazy and fantastic experience.”
You can see Carrboro High School’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream November 3,4, 5 at 7:30pm and November 6 at 2:30pm. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for adults, and free for CHCCS Faculty and Staff. The are available now at seatyourself.biz/jagtheatre