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Modern rendition opens tonight

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ play to hit Knox

By Nina Cestaro, staff writer
On May 1, 2014

  • Queen of the fairies Titania (Julia Bourney) lays with her Indian changeling while being comforted during a rehearsal of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” premiering tonight in the Knox Center. Christian Urrutia / The Advocate

The drama department, along with volunteers from the community, are diligently working to produce a contemporary rendition of William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
The production is set to open tonight at the Knox Center at 8 and continue through Saturday night.
Director Linda Jackson-Whitmore has produced more than 70 plays in her career. She said she chose this particular Shakespeare play because of the ease of the production.
"The plot is something people can relate to. It's most satisfying as a director to see all the theatrical techniques, set, script and actors' development gel and come together as a full-scale production," Jackson-Whitmore said. "It's been a while since a play of this scale has been assembled and I am very much enjoying it."
Elena Battas, who will be playing the role of Hermia, said, " I like to memorize lines beforehand and then get into the character in the moment. So when I'm backstage I am thinking about what scenes I am about to be in and I play off the other actors' energy."
Battas is excited to hear how the audience will respond to her rendition of Hermia's character and the laughs the play will get.
Theater major Alejandro Garcia, who plays Lysander, said he loves being part of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" because he loves how he can make a character come off the script, become real to an audience and immerse himself in all things dramatic.
"The point of this play is that magic makes everything better," Garcia said.
Dramatic arts major Brittany Turner said, "I was ready to audition for Hippolyta as soon as I heard about 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.' I'm really excited because I've been involved in acting since 2010 and this is the first leading part I've gotten."
Turner wants to show what she can do with a leading role and said that she likes to be challenged. This role is about as far from her actual persona that she could get, but she is up for the challenge, she said.
Miguel Garcia has designed the costumes for the play, designing, sewing and fitting students into their costumes. He said he likes being around the energy of a full production.
Liberal Arts Division Dean Jason Berner, who will be part of the production, said Jackson-Whitmore is very enthusiastic and involved.
"She's first a teacher and then a director. It's been fun being part of a play after a 10-year hiatus from acting," Berner said.
With the condensed rehearsal time, this play comes together as a miracle. Assistant director Bob Lane said the play is right on schedule. Lane also said the students are "very smart, diligent, hard-working and professional."
Cost for students is $10 and $15 for general admission. Tickets will go on sale one hour before the show begins. 

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