Shakespeare’s 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' Produced with a 1960s Flair

Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Produced with a 1960s Flair

1/21/16 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University Department of Theatre continues its 2015-2016 season with William Shakespeare’s most popular romantic and magical comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Directed by guest artist Patrick McGregor II, performances will be held in Hugo Young Theatre on Feb. 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 21, at 2 p.m.

Shakespeare’s language, poetry and wit are combined in this classic tale of youth resisting parents, experimentation and the clash between generations. These rebellious themes led guest director McGregor to set the Ashland production in The Sixties era complete with Beatles music and bright, colorful costumes and scenery. 

For the Ashland production, the four love-struck youth are played by Waylon O'Donnell (West Sunbury, Pa.) as Lysander, Jake Riley (Wooster) as Demetrius, Logan Baker (Reynoldsburg) as Hermia, and Eryn Reynolds Tramel (Medina) as Helena. The judgmental adults in the show are portrayed by Deric Dove (Newark) as Theseus, Shelby Teets (Worthington) as Hippolyta, Olivia Kimball (Athens) as Egeus, and Ingrid Schmidt (Mansfield) as Philostrate. 

As the young lovers escape to the forest from their judgmental parents, they unexpectedly encounter Natalyn Baisden (Wooster) as the mischievous Puck and the band of fairies played by Jessica Dupee (Wellington), Naomi Sims (Grapevine, Texas), and Catherine Lewis (Ashland). Meanwhile, Andrea Disch (East Liverpool), as the pompous and terrible actor Bottom, leads a rag tag group of performers - including Tyler MacQueen (Loudonville), Jacob Pflugfelder (Apache Junction, Ariz.), David Wagar (Sharon Center), Emma Dumford (Westerville) and Maya Rickard (Wooster) - in rehearsals of a play for Theseus' wedding. Add a misapplied love potion, mistaken identities and the most famous play-within-a play ever written, and see how the summer romances and chaos end.

The show's guest director, Patrick McGregor II, is an actor, director writer and educator from Westerville, Ohio. He completed the coursework for his MFA in Directing at Southern Illinois University, and received his BA in acting and directing from Bethany College. He also graduated from The Columbus Academy where he founded Shots in the Dark Independent Theatre Company with whom he served as artistic director for nine years. He is the associate artistic director of Standing Room Only Theatre Company (SRO Theatre) in Columbus, and has worked with companies across the Midwest including Weathervane Playhouse, Stone Soup Shakespeare, Evolution Theatre, Curtain Players and McLeod Summer Playhouse. Both his acting and directing have been recognized by The Kennedy Center, BroadwayWorld, and numerous print publications including Columbus Alive and The Columbus Dispatch. He is an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Union.

The set and sound designs for the Ashland University production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” are created by technical director J. Michael Desper with Ceyanna Stasick (Sullivan) as assistant sound designer, while costumes are designed by resident costume designer Sarah Russell assisted by Elizabeth Davis Newhouse (Solon); and lighting design is by Patty Lanious. Seth Morrison (Millersburg) is the assistant technical director, master electrician and draftsperson while Fatima Imani Smith (Copley) is the show's stage manager with assistant stage managers Jessica Dupee and Megan Harvey (Medina).

A pre-show talk with the show's director will be held Friday, Feb. 26, at 6:45 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre. This special pre-show event will give audience members the inside story as they learn more about the production and its creators. A school matinee performance will be held Friday, Feb. 26, at 9 a.m. with a limited number of seats remaining at $2 each and available for reservation by contacting Tricia Applegate at 419.289.5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu.

Single tickets for the regular performances are $12 for adult; $10 for senior citizens, AU faculty, staff and alumni; $8 for groups of 10 or more; $5 for non-AU students; and $2 for Ashland University students with ID.  

To purchase tickets, call the Ashland University Box Office at 419-289-5125, Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.; or purchase online 24/7 at www.ashland.edu/tickets. For more information about the department of theatre, visit www.ashland.edu/theatre, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AshlandUniversityTheatre or contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of performing arts publicity and events, at 419.289.5950 or tapplega@ashland.edu.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2016, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.
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