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'A Midsummer Night's Dream' opens Friday
November 10, 2011 Jerry Purvis   

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One of William Shakespeare’s best-known comedies, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” comes to the stage at Gering High School on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11 and 12.
The show is a classic tale of star-crossed lovers, misapplied love potions, feuding faeries, aspiring actors – and a quarrelsome king and queen.

Artistic director Jason de Maranville said the cast has been working on the show since about the second week of September. “I had a lot of kids who were interested in doing Shakespeare this fall,” de Maranville said. “It’s a big cast, so I could put a lot of people into it.”

He added the word “play” is kind of a misnomer, as a lot of hard work went into the production. One of the major challenges was keeping Shakespeare’s Elizabethan English intact, yet making the play accessible to a wide audience. “Learning the lines for this has been tough, but the kids are becoming more comfortable with it and having more fun,” de Maranville said. “It takes a while to get into the rhythm of the language.”

He added the cast includes a lot of new faces, including some freshmen and sophomores. “That’s encouraging because many of these students will be here in future years building up the program.”

The role of Helena is being played by Kate Duncan, a senior at Gering who has been in previous shows. But this one took her more time to rehearse the lines. “You need to know the lines, because if you forget, it’s impossible to ad-lib Shakespeare,” she said. “Everyone had been so helpful with each other in getting the lines down.”

Duncan hasn’t performed Shakespeare before, but she was up to the challenge. “I definitely had to act more of a show than other productions because nobody is naturally Shakespearean.”
Junior Tanner Baird appears as one of the star-crossed lovers in the role of Lysander – and this is his first time on the high school stage.

“I’m not only learning to act Shakespeare, I’m also learning to act,” Baird said. “Mr. de Maranville was my speech coach last year and he convinced me to give it a try. I love it and plan to be back in the future.”

Junior Andrew Delcamp plays the part of another star-crossed lover, Demetrius. “Tanner and I are really good friends, but in this show we’re rivals,” he said. “I’m also planning to be in shows in the future.”

All of them gave their director high marks. “Mr. D is just great, Delcamp said. “He makes every rehearsal fun – except when you don’t know your lines.”

The cast includes Brock Chitwood in the role of Theseus, Audrey Fries as Hippolyta, Michael Jones as Egeus, Miranda Doremus-Reznor as Hermia, Tanner Baird as Lysander, Andrew Delcamp as Demitrius, Kate Duncan as Helena, Johnathan Sayaloune as Philostrate, Caleb Hayden as Puck, Darrin Gonzales as Oberon and Kendall Uhrich as Titania. The comic mechanicals are played by Colin Chatterton as Bottom, Allison McMann as Quince, Rey Castro as Flute, Holly Walker as Starveling, Haley Grams as Snout and Lexi Bauer as Snug.
The sprites and attendants to Titania are played by Erika Bowman, Tiffany Rein, Olivia Anderson, Antonia Hale and Brandy Mendoza.

Attendants to Theseus are Kelsey Hutson, Josh Van Listenborgh and Winter McGrath.

Shakespeare’s comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11 and 12 in the Gering High School auditorium. Tickets are $5 and are available at the door.
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