It's Party Time As Sierra Rep Presents The Bard's Festive Classic A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
It's hard to believe that in 39 years of operation, Sierra Repertory Theatre has never produced the Bard's tale of Puck and his wild antics involving lovers, actors, and a fairy kingdom turned upside down. Well... hold on to your hat! Or should we say heart? Sierra Rep is finally presenting William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by SRT Producing Artistic Director Scott Viets.
Set against the backdrop of the fiery battle between Oberon and Titania (King and Queen of the Fairies), Midsummer is the story of four interwoven plots, all leading to the celebration of the wedding of Duke Theseus and the Amazon Queen, Hippolyta. We see the fairy King and Queen quarrel; two young men who are put under a love spell for the same woman, who believes them to be tricking her; and a group of hopeless amateur performers rehearsing for their wedding performance. As everything goes wrong in the woods, the audience is left to enjoy "what fools these mortals be."
Jerry Lee*, who has appeared in Sierra Rep's The Drowsy Chaperone and Man of La Mancha, plays the role of Nick Bottom, one of the band of amateur actors. The character is famously known for getting his head transformed into that of a donkey by the mischievous sprite, Puck. "He will do absolutely anything for attention which can be excruciatingly funny," says Lee. "Bottom is one of the most famous Shakespearean fools. He is an uneducated man, a bad actor, and a shameless braggart. I can only hope I wasn't type cast."
Appearing in the dual role of Hippolyta/Titania is SRT newcomer Catherine LeFrere. She has previously appeared in the Syfy Chanel's new crime dramedy series HAPPY!, as well as Netflix's Orange is the New Black, and HBO's Girls. "There's so much about relationships and about jealousy between men and women that Shakespeare just GOT," says LeFrere. "How we are jealous of the girl we think is prettier. How the heart wants what it wants even though our parents may have other ideas for us. How a man wants ALL of his woman's attention. That hasn't changed. Its human nature and Shakespeare nails it."
Midsummer marks the first production of the 2018 season that will integrate professional theatre with the company's youth training program (SRT Jr.). Four student actors will be showcased in the ensemble as attendants to the Fairy Queen, Titania. The students will gain firsthand professional experience in rehearsing and performing in this challenging mainstage production.
LeFrere adds: "Not only is it hilarious but I really do think this is the best of all of Shakespeare's comedies. It has everything. Beautiful language, magic, young lovers, a play within a play, a wedding! There's something for everyone in this show and I really think people of all ages and families can enjoy this play."
A Midsummer Night's Dream is rated PG-13.
Tickets for A Midsummer Night's Dream can be purchased online at www.SierraRep.org?, or by phone at (209) 532-3120,? or by visiting the Box Office (Tuesday through Saturday, 11am - 5pm) at the East Sonora Theatre, located at 13891 Mono Way in Sonora. Performances at the East Sonora Theatre begin on May 4 and continue through May 20. Performance times are Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 2pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm. Ticket prices range from $32 to $47. Discounts for seniors, children, and students (18 and over with student ID) are available for all performances. Special discounts for groups of 20 or more are also available.
Sierra Repertory Theatre is a professional non-profit theater located in California's beautiful Sierra Nevada Foothills. Since 1980, Sierra Rep has focused on its original mission: to present audiences with a broad range of theatrical literature at the highest production quality possible; to pay artists and staff a living wage and to make a vibrant contribution to our community's economy, culture and spirit. Sierra Repertory Theatre is a registered not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
For more information about Sierra Repertory Theatre and upcoming shows, please visit www.SierraRep.org or call the box office at (209) 532-3120. Follow Sierra Repertory Theatre on Instagram at @SierraRep; and on Facebook at Facebook.com/SierraRep.