Portland Shakespeare Project to Present Staged Reading of Modern Verse A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

Portland Shakespeare Project presents a staged reading of Jeff Whitty's modern verse translation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, part of Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Play on! project.

This staged reading is directed by Portland Shakes Artistic Director Michael Mendelson and is presented at Artists Repertory Theatre, on the Alder Stage, Sunday March 5 at 7:30pm. The evening includes two free discussions, one pre-show beginning at6pm and one post-show.

This fresh take on Shakespeare's comedy is part of Oregon Shakespeare Festival's three-year project which aims to translate 39 Shakespeare's plays into contemporary modern English. The translator, Jeff Whitty, is an Oregon-native best known for his 2004 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Avenue Q. The dramaturg for the translation is Heidi Schreck (Grand Concourse,Nurse Jackie). Whitty and Schreck will work closely with director Mendelson throughout the rehearsal process and reading at Artists Rep.

WHO: Portland Shakespeare Festival
WHAT: A Midsummer Night's Dream

Translated by Jeff Whitty

Directed by Michael Mendelson
WHEN: Sunday, March 5 @ 7:30pm

WHERE: Artists Repertory Theatre, Alder Stage, 1516 SW Morrison Street, Portland

TICKETS: FREE; General admission at the door
INFO: www.portlandshakes.org

CAST: Dave Bodin, F. Tyler Burnet, Crystal Muñoz, Chris Murray*, Ben Newman*, Sarah

Overman*, Rebecca Ridenour, Jake Street, Jill Westerby

* Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers


Pre-show Discussion @ 6pm
Lue Morgan Douthit, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Play on! project Director

Dr. Daniel Pollack-Pelzner (Linfield College), Portland Shakespeare Project Scholar-in-Residence

Mead Hunter (University of Portland)

Elizabeth Tavares (Pacific University)

Post-show Discussion

Michael Mendelson, director

Jeff Whitty, playwright

Dr. Daniel Pollack-Pelzner (Linfield College), Portland Shakespeare Project Scholar-in-Residence

"I really like this translation, it's fun and flows wonderfully," said Portland Shakespeare Artistic Director and reading director Michael Mendelson. "I see this translation as an enhancement of Shakespeare's work, one with the goal not to replace but - at first glance - to broaden one's understanding of the material, opening the door for young and new folks to enter these worlds. I hope that translations such as this can help people feel that understanding Shakespeare is within their grasp, as it is only then that can they begin to explore the deep richness of Shakespeare's "original" text - and that is truly exciting."

Director of Play on! for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Lue Douthit said, "Jeff took the assignment to heart, especially the rule about matching language. He worked extremely hard to honor the verse and has created a seamless blend that is both Shakespearean and contemporary. The playwrights for the project were charged with creating performable, companion pieces and so hearing this version with an audience is a vital component in the development of this version."

Playwright Jeff Whitty won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Book of a musical for Avenue Q. His plays include The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, The Plank Project, The Hiding Place, and Suicide Weather. His musical Head Over Heels, based on the music of The Go-Go's, premiered at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2015. A native Oregonian, Whitty graduated from the University of Oregon and received a Master's Degree from NYU's Graduate Acting Program.

Portland Shakespeare Project, a resident company at Artists Repertory Theatre, is a nonprofit theatre company dedicated to educating, enriching and entertaining audiences by producing classical works and contemporary works associated with classical material.

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