Contact: David W. Booth/Elizabeth Granger, NIU School of Theatre and Dance
February 13, 2008
DeKalb — The Northern Illinois University School of Theatre and Dance will present “Shakespeare, The Musical” – almost.
One of Shakespeare’s most loved comedies, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will run
Thursday, Feb. 21, through Sunday, Feb. 24, and Wednesday, Feb. 27, through Tuesday, March 2 March 5, 6, 18-20, and 27-29, in the Stevens Building Players Theatre.
Well known and performed for centuries, Shakespeare’s play takes a new and slightly musical direction in this School of Theatre and Dance rendition. The new “musical” version includes the traditional Shakespearian text, but has added six original songs composed by Tony Reimer, a graduate student in the NIU music program.
Reimer’s music varies from “fairy” to folk, and uses drums, concertina, recorder and guitar. In addition, the performance features several original choreographed dances. This incorporation of song and dance into a famous traditional text has created a new experience for the actors.
“It’s like nothing I’ve ever done before,” said senior BFA acting candidate Amy Wilson about her role as Hermia.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” tells the story of the impending marriage of the Duke of Athens and Queen of the Amazons, the petty jealousies between the king and queen of the fairies, and four young lovers who are caught in the middle of two worlds when they encounter the kingdom of the fairies in a moonlit forest on their way to the wedding ceremony.
The set will be an intricate part of the production. Through lighting, props and a 6-foot-tall tree built in the center of the stage, the performance space becomes a place where the fairies can perform their magic on the unsuspecting travelers.
The large cast features both undergraduate and graduate theatre students, and offers something more traditional versions do not, in that many usually male roles are played by women.
Experienced professional actor and School of Theatre and Dance faculty voice specialist Stanton Davis will make his NIU directorial debut with this production. Charles Gardner, a BFA senior acting candidate and Patrick Pantelis, a junior acting candidate, will be assistant directors.
Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. weekdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. The Stevens Building is located off West Lincoln Highway behind the Pizza Hut and McDonald’s restaurants. Tickets are $14 for general admission, $10 for seniors and $7 for students. For more information and ticket reservations, contact the School of Theatre and Dance box office at (815) 753-1600.
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