Western Carolina Presents "Midsummer Night’s Dream Set in 1930s Appalachia

ASHEVILLE, NC – Care for a serving of Shakespeare, hold the Elizabethan English and add a dash of fiddle and a soft Southern drawl? The department of stage and screen at Western Carolina University will present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – a commentary on the absurdity of love – at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 29-31, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, at the Fine and Performing Arts Center on the WCU campus.

One of the most often performed of Shakespeare’s comedies, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” weaves multiple storylines: A royal wedding, a group of amateur actors planning the wedding entertainment, the confused affections of four young lovers, and a feuding fairy king and queen whose magical spells cause mayhem. The characters ultimately decide they must have dreamed the chaotic series of events, yet all find themselves changed by the experience.

“Shakespeare has purposely made this all a jumble,” said director Claire Eye, a faculty member in the department of stage and screen. “Shakespeare’s point is that you can’t put logic into who you fall in love with.”

Eye set the play in Depression-era Appalachia because it was a time when people craved laughter, and the play reminds her of qualities of this region. “There’s such a beauty to the music and the people here,” Eye said.

The play’s music, dance, costumes and set will evoke Appalachia, and while the language will be Shakespeare’s original, the pronunciation will be in a Southern dialect – a natural fit because “Shakespeare’s writing is very musical,” Eye said.

The cast includes:

– Titania, queen of the fairies – senior Dayna Damron of Valdosta, Ga.

– Oberon, king of the fairies – junior Jack Watson of Asheville

– Demetrius – senior Jon Coward of Titusville, Fla.

– Lysander – senior Nathanial Mason of Bryson City

– Hermia – junior Christina DeSoto of Charlotte

– Helena – senior Amanda Pisano of Candler

Puck – freshman Peter O’Neal of Raleigh

– Bottom the Weaver – Peter Savage of Asheville, a faculty member in the department of stage and screen

The play is part of the College of Fine and Performing Arts’ Mainstage theater series and recommended for ages 12 and older. Sunday’s showing also is part of the 2009-10 Galaxy of Stars Series.

Tickets cost $20 for the general public, $5 for students and $15 for WCU faculty and staff and people older than 60. To purchase tickets, visit the FAPAC box office or call the box office at (828) 227-2479 for Visa and MasterCard orders. Order tickets for Thursday through Saturday nights here, and Sunday afternoon here. online here.

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