‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to enchant the audience


The cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream rehearses in the Music & Speech Building on April 17. The show premiers this Friday evening in the Wright-Curtis Theatre. Photo by Adrianne Bastas.

Caitlin Potts

KentWired Video

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Update: This story has been corrected to show that “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is appearing in Wright-Curtis Theatre beginning April 19. John Liptak’s major has also been updated to show that he is a musical theater major.

Fairies, mortals, love, mischief — all of these elements will collide in Kent State’s version of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Mark Monday, assistant professor of theater, will direct the Shakespearean play about the adventures of four young lovers and a love potion gone wrong.

John Liptak, senior musical theater major, plays the mischievous hobgoblin Puck who causes mayhem.

“He’s really young and really energetic,” Liptak said. “He screws up a lot, which is kind of the whole plot of the show.”

Puck is the jester who applies the potion to four young lovers Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia and Helena. This enchantment causes the comedic adventures to unfold.

“It’s a really interesting view on love and how love conquers all,” Liptak said.

Liptak described his rendition of Puck as “Peter Pan-esque.” He said he wanted to keep the character young and full of energy.

“I basically just get to be myself plus Shakespeare on stage, which is really fun,” Liptak said. “I’m the one who interacts the most with the audience, so I [have] a lot of fun messing with them and making them laugh.”

Liptak called the set his “jungle gym.” It features trees, hanging vines and a hand-painted cupid mosaic.

“I can climb up and down, and pop in and out of places,” Liptak said. “I’m scaling stuff in the theater where the audience is sitting, and I’m in and out of ten-foot trees”

Similar to Shakespeare’s original version, Kent State’s rendition is also set in a forest in Athens, Greece.

Lindsay Mandela, the show’s stage manager and a junior theater studies major, said Kent State’s adaptation is very similar to Shakespeare’s original version.

“We’re sticking true to the Shakespearean theme,” Mandela said. “Everyone’s in togas, it’s all Shakespearean language; we’re not changing [it].”

The cast members dance and sing to several pieces composed by graduate student Jamie Koeth.

“[The audience is] encouraged to clap and sing along, so it’s a lot of breaking the fourth wall,” Mandela said.

Liptak said he hopes the audience responds well to the show and appreciates Shakespeare the way he does now.

“Generally the stigma with Shakespeare is that it’s hoity-toity, and no one really understands what’s going on,” Liptak said. “This [show] will make the general public much less scared. You actually will get what’s going on, because if I do, then anyone will.”

The show will be in the Wright-Curtis Theatre at the Music & Speech Building. It will run April 19 through 28. Performances on April 21 and 28 will be held at 2 p.m. and all other shows are held at 8 p.m.

Students can earn FLASHperks for attending the performance on Saturday. Tickets are free for full-time, undergraduate students.

Contact Caitlin Potts at [email protected].