RSU Theatre to Present Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Rogers State University Theatre will present William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on March 31 through April 3.

The productions will be held at 2:07 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, and 7:07 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 1-3, in the Will Rogers Auditorium on the RSU campus in Claremore.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a light-hearted comedy that follows two couples as they race as cross purposes through the enchanted Forest of Arden in search of love.

Members of “Ye Olde Renaissance Club,” a new student organization at RSU, will present a Renaissance Fair outside of the auditorium prior to the performances from 2-6:30 p.m. on April 2-3.

The play has been altered to a shorter running time of 90 minutes, according to Greg Thompson, head of the RSU Department of English and Humanities and director of the play. The editing was conducted by RSU students enrolled in Thompson’s “Speaking Shakespeare” class at RSU last fall.

RSU Theatre is taking the play “on the road” to area high schools, including Claremore High School and Oologah High School, Thompson said. RSU Theatre will present one act of the play in an abbreviated 45-minute format for the high schools, followed by discussion sessions with RSU theatre faculty and students, he said.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is believed to have been written between 1594 and 1596. The play portrays the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of amateur actors, their interactions with the Duke of Athens, Theseus, Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta, and with the fairies who inhabit a moonlit forest. The play is one of Shakespeare’s most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world. The play is filled with slapstick, suspense, music, dancing and Shakespeare’s lyric poetry, Thompson said.

The RSU Theatre production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” includes a “play within a play” in which a group of craftsmen presents their own play at the wedding of the Duke of Athens. “In this ‘play within a play,’ Shakespeare is presenting the idea of multiple levels of reality. The craftsmen are concerned that their audience will believe that the content of their play may be real,” Thompson said.

The costumes for the play will be updated versions of the Renaissance period costumes, Thompson said. Renee Cox, RSU English instructor, is creating the costumes, and David Blakely, RSU theatre coordinator, is developing the sets.

Cast members include Kaitie Bryan and Hannah Westlund of Owasso, Katie Hendrickson and Traci Rainwater of Pryor, Ashlee Overton of Oologah, David Prock and Colter Sharon of Collinsville, Nikki Forehand, Joshua Thompson, Megan Thompson and Daron Wright of Claremore, Hannah Harris of Blanchard, Okla., Rebeccah Jordan of Hawkins, Texas, and Ray Gooldy of Tulsa.

Tickets will be $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens, free to all students with student ID, and free to RSU faculty and staff members, and will be available at the Will Rogers Auditorium box office.

For more information, call (918) 343-7659.