Archway Theatre's Immersive Style Continues With A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Classic winged fairies, forlorn lovers, comic mechanicals, and magic-wielding demigods abound when the Woodbury University Library presents Archway Theatre Company's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as another site-specific immersive production, this time under a giant oak tree. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Sept. 14-22. General seating tickets are $28. Lawn seating is $40 for a family of four.
Set in ancient Athens, the production takes advantage of the beautiful outdoor environment of the university's Alumni Quad, complete with its lush green lawn and giant oak trees to fulfill the play's forest setting.
"It is another perfect location for creating an immersive experience for our audiences," said Archway artistic director Steven Sabel.
Sabel says Archway's "Midsummer" combines the play's classic Greek concept with magical special effects beneath the canopy of "stalwart oak branches and the night sky." The play contains more references to the moon and stars than any other work by Shakespeare.
"We have this gorgeous oak tree as our setting, a canopy of branches and stars overhead, and classic fairies frolicking in the moonlight," Sabel said. "And yes, our fairies have wings!"
A cast of 18 actors fulfill the roles of the play, including mostly resident Archway company members, such as Sommer Branham as Puck, Eric Castro as Oberon, and Hillary Weintraub as Titania. John Eddings as Bottom, and Sydnee Ortiz as Quince lead the comic mechanicals through the hilarious play-within-the-play of 'Pyramus and Thisbe.' Benjamin Cramer, Jesse Durant, Abigail Hunt, and Carolyn Vasko portray the four lovers who find themselves lost in the forest of Athens in a love quandary fueled by Puck's mischievous meddling.
"There is so much comic action in this play: lovers chasing each other, fairies dancing in the forest, demigods quarrelling, and rustic actors bungling a performance for the duke. It is such a fun romp through the forest, and the audience is right in the middle of it all," said Sabel.
In addition to general seating, the Woodbury Alumni Quad features lawn seating. Patrons can bring their blankets and low-backed chairs to enjoy the production from the grassy areas of the lawn.
"It's classic Shakespeare under the stars, with the Archway creative slant on it that truly creates a magical experience. You'll see!" Sabel said.
Woodbury University is located at 7500 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank. There is free parking on campus for performances. Seating will open at 7:30 p.m. on performance nights. A special opening night gala will be held following the performance Saturday, Sept. 15. For additional information visit: www.archwayla.com or call (818)980-PLAY (7529).