A Review of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Gemma Torras, design editor

On Jan. 25 and 26, the Palmetto drama department presented an adaptation of Shakespeare’s celebrated “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The cast added a modern spin on the classic fantastical comedy. The play narrows down on the story involving of four lovers, two gods, and a group of actors. “‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is a classic play written by William Shakespeare following the lives of four lovers, an interesting patch of mechanicals, and mischief caused by magical fairies and sprites,” sophomore and lead role, Emily Veguilla said.

The drama department added many modern adaptations to the classic play.

“Our director and cast believe that Shakespeare can be a bit difficult to understand at times,” senior and one of the lead roles Lucas Gallo said. “With the addition of short clips of modern pop culture songs, we can inform the audience on the current scene, in modern English of course.”

The drama department was inspired to create their own twist of the most recent version of this play, which was performed in England.

“Conceptually we based our ideas off the most recent production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at the Globe Theatre in London, but essentially made it our own by using songs such as Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ and Bruno Mars’ ‘Marry You’ to really help the young audience connect to the actor’s thoughts and motives,” Veguilla said.

The drama department first began the process by choosing a work they would want to rehearse and present.

“The process of finding a show was difficult,” Gallo said. “It has been quite a few years since Palmetto drama has produced a show by Shakespeare and our director felt that this year would be a perfect opportunity to produce one.”

Months of dedication and practice have been poured into this elaborate musical. The drama class has been studying the play since as early as October.

“Even before the show was cast, I started to read and research the show,” Gallo said.

In addition to the originality of the casts’ spin on the classic the musical, the impressive props for the show were made by the drama department as well.

“I’m pretty sure we did make all of the sets, with some help from the actors in getting costume,” sophomore and one of the lead roles, Nicholas Marroquin said. “The donkey head featured in the play was made by Sophie Walters.”

The cast developed a musical production which they are proud to perform. “Overall our show is a unique and interesting take on Shakespeare that will hopefully intrigue young audience’s minds, leaving them with a better understanding of theatre and the English language,” Veguilla said.

As for the performance itself, the drama department delivered excellence on all levels. Shakespeare’s original work has been regarded as one of his most eccentric plays, but one of the most well-received comedies of his canon. The Palmetto cast stayed true to the classic roots of the play but incorporated modern elements throughout the musical, from Lady Gaga to High School Musical.

As the musical began, Helena, played by Natalia Ortego, sang “I Won’t Say I’m In Love” from Hercules with powerful vocals after confronting her unrequited love for Demetrius. The mechanicals, played by Nicholas Marroquin, Sebastian Cauce, Cole Daly, Raul Vera, Gianfranco Madonia and Arthur Gettinger, sang a joyous rendition of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop This Feeling” after performing “Pyramus and Thisbe.” The musical finalized with an ensemble cast performance of “We’re All In This Together” from High School Musical.

Not only were the musical acts outstanding, but the acting proved to be impressive as well. Hermia, played by Katherine Diez, shone as an emotionally distraught lover of Lysander against Helena. The comedic relief brought by Nick Marroquin as Nick Bottom the donkey animated several scenes during the play. Palmetto’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be remembered as a lively, humorous, and highly entertaining musical Shakespeare.