Arlington High School will bring fairies, donkeys and love triangles to the school stage with their fall production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Showings will be held Nov. 8, 9, 15 and 16, beginning at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.
Cost for adults is $10 and $8 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online at byrnesperformingarts.org.
The play is one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies.
“We’ve put a lot of our personal touches to this school and things to make it more appealing to audiences, because when they hear Shakespeare they cower in fear and think they are not going to understand it,” said Arlington High School student Jake Hurst.
Student Lauren Davis said she had heard of the play but never seen it and it was a lot different than what she expected.
“It’s a lot more fun than what I thought when I thought Shakespeare. People think tragedies and stuff like that, but this is a comedy,” she said. “We have a lot of physical humor and cheap laughs, but it’s still a lot of fun.”
Because the play is so common a lot of the actors have more freedom in their roles, said Hurst.
“This is probably one of my favorite productions we’ve done at the high school simply because of the creative freedom Mr. Moberly has put on us,” he said.
“There’s so much physical humor and musical elements that we include to get the audience all on the same page, so it’s a really fun show,” he said.
Arlington music teacher Jeff Swanson has composed some original music for the production as well.
Arlington High School student Sarah Sturniolo said she appreciated how much the students were able to do as well.
“There’s so much we added personally,” she said. “I think they’re going to love the influence young people have on this.”
Students also said they enjoyed getting into their characters.
“I am kind of the one stirring up the mischief in the show,” said Hurst, who plays Puck
“My character likes to mess with everyone so it’s been fun to meddle with the plot,” he said.
The play also includes wire work that gets many of the fairy characters in the air.
“There’s a lot of flying going on and it’s just so fun,” said Hurst.
Davis plays Helena, a character who begins the play in a one-sided love affair.
“It’s been a lot of fun playing the character. She’s kind of a whiny mess but there’s a really good character arc,” she said.
“I feel like she is really self pitying but then she resolves some stuff and it’s really fun getting to portray that kind of growth,” she said.
Robin Straveling is portrayed by Sturniolo.
“It’s something that can be easy to present and there’s a lot of dumb humor you can put into it that I enjoy,” she said.
“I’ve loved being able to let it all go and be an idiot. This character is not the brightest and I’ve loved not having to worry about presenting myself,” she said.
In addition to getting into their characters, students said they enjoyed working with their peers and teachers on the play.
“I like the bond between the people,” said Davis.
“I love the people in it. I moved here last year and I was in a smaller community last year that wasn’t as fueled as much, so just to see all these people care about the kids and the theater experience is really mesmerizing,” said Sturniolo.