Actor's Charitable Theatre to perform "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

Actor's Charitable Theatre to perform "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

CW | Amy Sullivan

Horns, hooves and long locks of autumn colored hair cover a green creature that enters a stage decorated to look like a deep forest. The spotlight dawns, and blue eyes pop from the creature’s face while fog creeps in to fill the surroundings.

This is a scene from the upcoming performance of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” that will be staged by the Actor’s Charitable Theatre. The show opens Friday March 4 at 7:30 pm in the Bama Theatre.

“Historically, a lot of people tend to shy away from Shakespeare because they think it’s too difficult or they think it’s so old that it doesn't connect with who we are today,” said Matthew H. von Redlich, the director. “But the magic of Shakespeare’s play is that they do still resonate with us.”

A comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” involves a daughter running away from her father and winding up in a magical forest. The characters are divided into three groups: The Royals, The Magic Folk, and The Mechanicals.

“What I like about working with actors like Eva is the inventiveness and creativity. I don’t want to be one of those directors that already has the game plan in mind and tells actors exactly what to do,” von Redlich said. “I give them a little idea of what I what, and then I let them take the ball and run with it.”

Eva Hutto, as Robin Goodfellow, also known as “Puck,” enters Act II with horns on top of her head, and marches the stage with hooved feet and a donkey’s hips. Hutto’s face is crafted in intricate makeup with various shades of green.

“There’s such a beautiful mix of everything in this show,” Hutto said. “The Mechanicals are so funny that I laughed so hard I cried in rehearsal one day, but with that there's also serious parts, like fights and romance. Also, there's special effects and many other things that I know will amaze the audience.”

Joey Lay, artistic director and founder of Actor’s Charitable Theatre, assembled the set, creating a multi-level space for the scenery. Various green platforms combine to make hills for the characters to perform on.

“We have a slanted platform the actors can walk on. There’s also trap door in the middle of the stage for a special surprise moment” von Redlich said. “Our characters, the Royals and the Mechanicals are coming in at different points and at different times, and some of them to surprise the audience.”

Von Redlich said his cast and crew were inventive and creative, which is what has made the process of directing so exciting during the six weeks of rehearsals.

“It’s that type of show where people will go, ‘Wow! Look at that fight,’ or ‘Oh my gosh! There’s a girl walking around with hooves as feet!’” von Redlich said. “It’s one of those shows that people are going to want to come back and see again, because there is so much to enjoy.”

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