Creativity and practicality were both considerations when Tom Cavanaugh picked A Midsummer Night’s Dream for students to end the year.
“I was looking for something that we could let the kids put as much of their own creativity into. One of the awesome things about Shakespeare is that we have the freedom to make it whatever we want it to be,” Cavanaugh, director of the theatre program, said.
The play worked on a practical level because characters are in the play are largely broken up into smaller groups which is helpful in complying with COVID-19 precautions.
McNary’s production of Midsummer debuts this weekend with shows Thursday, May 20, Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23. Tickets for the show can be purchased online at mcnary-theatre.ticketleap.com.
The outdoor performance will be from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the new courtyard at high school.
Audience members are encouraged to bring a chair for the show, but if they can’t, chairs will be provided for them. Attendees will be seated on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Despite COVID, auditions were held in person. They were held over four days starting in early March and any student was welcome to sign up. For auditions, students read Shakespeare and participated in improv games, he said.
From a student point of view, the auditions were seemingly normal.
“It was pretty straightforward. He pretty much just wanted to see if you could articulate through the mask and project loud enough,” said Talia Medlin who is playing Helena in the play.
COVID restrictions caused a few issues in picking a location for the play specific scenes in the play and rehearsals, however, this did not stop the actors from having a good time.
Michael Zwemke, playing as Demetrius, noted that one of the best parts of the play was being able to see everyone.
Dylan Lopez, playing as Nick Bottom, agreed with Zwemke and mentioned that he was excited to be able to have a live audience.
“We did a couple of other shows this year, but we weren’t doing them publicly because of COVID and everything,” Lopez said.
All proceeds of the show will help benefit the McNary theater program and future productions.
“These kids haven’t had an audience all year, so it’d be nice to send them out with a nice big audience or at least as big one as we can,” Cavanaugh said.