Midsummer Night's Dream

William Shakespeare
Boxedin Productions
theSpace @ Symposium Hall

Cast members Ana Fati, Hanna Lawson, Oli Savage, Adam Spencer, Grace Thorner and Rowen Wishart round out a cast of more than a dozen character in this abbreviated production of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Done in-the-round in a tent that neither the bar nor the box office seem to be able to locate.

Hermia loves Lysander. Lysander loves Hermia. But Demetrius also loves Hermia (although he’s had a bit of a dalliance with Helena). Helena loves Demetrius although he has quickly dumped her.

It is up to Oberon and Puck to straighten this out. They do but with a few wee missteps along the way.

We also get a little of the Fairies and Rude Mechanicals which don’t get to finish their stories. But that’s okay. We don’t have three hours.

This cutting of the play works well for the tent that it plays in. The actors easily and fluidly change characters. And there is wonderful music and songs. Actor Savage, who has created the music, and performer Wishart are both credited with direction. All the actors do something else as well, marketing, directing, producing, stage managing.

The direction has actors moving a little too much and a little too quickly. I think the idea is, this being in-the-round, to keep everyone in sight.

The worst problem is an acting problem that, had an acting teacher or a coach not resolved, should have been addressed by the directors. More than one of the actors falls prey to the flailing arms syndrome. (I’m sure that someone has coined a word for it; so many young actors exhibit it.)

I think that when the actor has not fully developed a physical life for the character, they fall prey to gesturing with a turn of the wrist and lifting the arm away from the body. (There just must be a word for this.)

But these eager actors plough on, their best is in the songs. Great for families.

Reviewer: Catherine Lamm

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