A Midsummer’ treat on the edge of November

Joshua T. Bell

Joshua T. Bell

A Midsummer Night’s Dream takes the stage at the end of October, and I luckily have a chance to be a part of it. Many people know the play with the lovers and various fairies, but not everyone (outside the various artistic departments) may know what goes into putting on a production such as this.

Only being part of one Brookings’ Community Theatre show, I honestly did not know what to expect. There was a new director, whom happened to be a fairly good friend of mine, but with the Shakespearean text and the classic nature around the play, nervous anxiety crept in.

I tried out for the part of Lysander, which I inevitably got, although many of the parts were cast. It was not until after The Philadelphia Story that we rounded out the full cast with a few students. Many people from the community, ranging from a sophomore in high school to upper aged adults, found themselves cast in this famous play, which to me makes the experience more interesting. Variety is the spice of life, and the small cast has quite the spice.

As Lysander, I play one of the six mortal lovers. The character loves Hermia, played by Bethany Rutten-Kempees. Hermia’s father wishes her to marry Demetrius (Austin Vockrodt). Demetrius loves Hermia, but only after a torrid affair with Helena (Elizabeth Engel) whom still holds a flame for him. Misplaced fairy potions turn the show into quite the exciting love triangle.

Rehearsal started at the beginning of September, and continues until the show starts. Tensions rose, as lines need to be memorized. I am not the greatest with lines, so at times I was stressed, but each practice made it easier.

With performance just around the corner, things are beginning to come together perfectly. The energy in the cast penetrates everything. While other cast members rework scenes, Vockrodt, Rutten-Kempees, Engel and I dramatically do our lines to one another to keep up the energy.

Although the play starts Oct. 30, the cast has had an amazing time getting to this point. The hard work put into the costumes, the tireless hours the cast has put in and the exceptionally wonderful set that the entire company has put forth deserves more praise than I can give personally.

The interesting thing about this play in comparison to some of the others BCT has done is the thrust stage. The audience can sit on three sides of the stage, which made many of us uncomfortable at first. We are presenting our lines to three angles of the audience instead of just the “front.” This was a fun challenge because every person sees something different.

The lucky thing for me is I do not have an elaborate costume, nor do I work on those costumes. One thing that the Sound of Music really brought out was the amazing costumes our company can put forth. I cannot comprehend all the work they have put into each and every costume the fairies and mechanicals wear. Working roughly 36 hours a week is more work than I have time to give. The costumers are amazingly talented. I cannot wait to see all the costumes working together.

The Brookings Community Theatre presents the show four times, Oct. 30, 31 and Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., and a matinee on Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. All showings are in the Fishback Studio in the Performing Arts Center. Tickets can be bought at the Brookings Book Company on Main Street, or an hour before the show at the box office. It’s going to be a heavily enjoyable show with a lot of action, intrigue and the amazing story by William Shakespeare.