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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Modern ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ switches up classic

Josephine Dunmore
Two animal shaped hedges are placed on stage in front of black stage curtains. NIU’s School of Theater and Dance finished its showings of “A MidSummer Night’s Dream,” where over 100 guests attended each sold out show. (Josephine Dunmore | Northern Star)

DeKALB – The sound of laughter filled the jam-packed Black Box Theatre as colorful lights swirled and actors gave boisterous performances in a new take on Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” 

The play was guest-directed by Melanie Keller, a Chicago-based director and actor.  

Both weeks of performances for the play sold out, according to a statement on the School of Theatre and Dance’s Instagram page

With a capacity for 125 guests for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” showings, that means over a 100 people were present for each show. 

The music was stunning and contained mainly orchestral versions of modern classics like Taylor Swift and Justin Beiber.

One audience member, Doria Brown, a senior special education major, found the play to be a phenomenal experience. 

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream was amazing,” Brown said. “All of the actors’ performances were wonderful, and the humor was exceptionally well played.”

There were three major plot points of the play: the plight of four young lovers, the meddling of the fairy court and a troupe of actors rehearsing a play. The stories eventually intertwined as the play reached its climax. 

The costumes were well done with a bit of an old-fashioned look and colorful flare. The fairy characters’ costumes in particular were well done with colorful flowing fabrics and bold patterns. Queen Titania’s court entourage was dressed in soft pinks, yellows and orange; meanwhile, King Oberon’s court fairies were dressed in cool shades of blue and purple  

Audrey Geysbeek, a second year acting major who played Puck, said working with Keller was very easy. 

“I loved it. We got to ad-lib, added extra bits to quiet moments to make the transition between scenes and actions smoother,” Geysbeek said. “Working with Melanie was great and it was really a collaborative effort.” 

A particularly festive and engaging performance was given by Nick Bottom, played by graduate acting student Tyler Page. 

Page’s voice was boisterous as he played the part of a  dramatic actor. His performance had the audience laughing profusely, almost falling out of their seats. 

“One time, I did a play, and then I got the bug and fell in love with acting. Being Bottom was one of my favorite things to do, and I loved being able to use my acting chops,” Page said. 

Overall, it was very clear from the performances that both the audience and actors enjoyed themselves. 

The next production, the Fall Dance Concert, opens on Nov 30. Tickets are on sale now at the School of Theatre and Dance ticketing website. As always, NIU students can attend for free.

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