DEMETRIUS UNBOUND Plays Live Oak Theatre, Now thru 8/22

By: Jul. 25, 2015
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Veteran Bay Area actor Søren Oliver has seen - and played in - countless productions of Shakespeare, including numerous versions of what is arguably the most popular of the Bard's comedies, "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Midsummer has every device in Shakespeare's bag of tricks, many of which he filched from Greek comedy. Søren Oliver has created a follow-up play that highlights the best of complex plotting, mixed-up lovers and mind-bending shtick, and peopled it with a cast of experienced Shakespearean actors and a director who really love and understand farce.

Demetrius Unbound (or the Homeric Midlife Crisis) is "a farcical sequel" to Shakespeare's comedy about Puck, two pairs of blindingly silly lovers, and the guy whose head is swapped with an ass.

Demetrius Unbound is directed by Cliff Mayotte and plays tonight, July 25-August 22 at Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley 94709.

Oh, and Demetrius? He's the lover who is drugged into falling in love with Hermia, which playwright Oliver realized was not the best way to start a relationship. In this "sequel" to Shakespeare's play, Demetrius confronts his Homeric midlife crisis with a madcap series of misadventures. Hilarity ensues.

CREATIVE TEAM

Søren Oliver - Playwright
Cliff Mayotte - Director

CAST

Molly Benson - Naxos
Dodds Delzell* - Snug
Gendell Hernandez* - Puck/Theseus
Harry Harris* - Demetrius
Delia MacDougall* - Hermia
Stacy Ross* - Helena
Robert Sicular* - Head Priest/Philostrate
Jordan Winer - Augur/Oikonomia

*Member of Actors' Equity Association

DESIGNERS

Kate Boyd - Lighting
Martin Flynn - Scenic
Chris Houston - Sound
Maggi Yule - Costumes

About the Playwright, Søren Oliver

Søren Oliver is a Bay Area-born actor and director. His acting career includes productions at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Huntington Theatre, California Shakespeare Theatre, the Aurora Theatre Company, the Shakespeare Theater Company in D.C., San Jose Repertory Theatre, and Theatre Works. As a director, Søren has worked for the Aurora Theater, Theatre First, Company Rep in Los Angeles, Central Works Theatre, The Town Hall Theater, as well as serving as an assistant director to Greg Boyd at the Mark Taper Forum. He has written three full-length plays: La Brea, the story of three high school friends who discover that nostalgia can be dangerous, Decaying Orbits, a dark comedy of three siblings as they haggle over the family estate, and Demetrius Unbound, a farcical follow-up to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Søren Oliver's View of Demetrius Unbound

Oliver has been acting in, teaching, and directing the plays of William Shakespeare for the majority of his 37 years in the theatre. As a result, he has been in intimate contact with A Midsummer Night's Dream. He has seen or been involved in many different productions set in various historical periods through to modern day.

"What always stuck in my craw," Oliver complains," is that poor Demetrius, a little bit of a prig but a person nonetheless, goes into the forest with his eyes set on Hermia. He is then given a magic roofie and becomes enthralled with Helena, and we are told this is a happy ending??!!"

"Demetrius Unbound is a farcical sequel to Midsummer. It is set twenty years after that summer of 'love,' and as the characters battle all the maladies of middle age they ask the question 'was it all worth it'?"

Demetrius Unbound is funny without requiring you to be an expert on Shakespeare's plays or Ancient Greece. You don't need to, as the song goes, "Brush up your Shakespeare," but if you do, it's just a little extra icing on the cake.



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