BWW Interviews: Director Hannah Malinowski Focuses on Fun for Fauquier Community Theatre's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM


Shakespeare’s romantic and comical A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM takes the stage for Fauquier Community Theatre’s annual summer youth production. Directed and performed by young people, ages 16-23, the play runs August 3-12 at the Vint Hill Theatre.

Fauquier Community Theatre has given opportunities for youth to produce their own shows for several years. This summer, love-sick Athenians mingle with meddlesome spirits in William Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. As several groups of mortals romp their way through an enchanted forest, they are confounded by faerie magic. After scenes of mistaken identities, transformations, and confusions, there is a happy ending for all.

Hannah Marie Malinowski, 20, said she is one of the youngest participants in this
summer’s youth production. Youngest, perhaps, but as the director, she has the most respon
sibility. Studying theatre education, with a psychology minor, Malinowski feels at home directing this particular play. In her theatre studies, she is concentrating on ancient Greek theatre and the plays of William Shakespeare. A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies,  is set in the Greek city, Athens.

Hannah took time out from the final week of rehearsals to answer some questions about her experience and the process of directing the play.

JW: What are some highlights of your theatre experience?

I have directed several one acts over the last few years, and have been acting at Fauquier Community Theater since 2007. Some of the shows in which I performed are DAMN YANKEES (‘Sister’), LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (Doo-wop girl, ‘LaShonda’), and THE MUSICAL COMEDY MURDERS OF 1940 (‘Nikki’).

JW:  How were you selected as the director for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM?

I’m not sure how or why I got it over the other applicants, but I know that my vision for this show and my passion for theatre have been evident at FCT since I joined them for the first time in 2007. I believe that my dedication to the theatre and my desire to direct were deciding factors on getting this wonderful and amazing position.

JW:  How was the casting process?

It was easy to start with. I had problems with not having enough people audition right away, but it is Shakespeare and he has a stigma of being a hard playwright to produce. It is difficult, but still, it’s such a wonderful and delightful show, that when I decided to call in people I knew would be interested, they jumped on the opportunity and took it on full force.

JW:  What was your biggest directing challenge?

The biggest challenge is the language Shakespeare writes used for the play. While very eloquent and beautiful, it is hard to understand exactly what is being said. That created some problems within the cast, but we were able to help the cast through it. Sarah Wheatley, who is playing Puck, Megan Lewis, a friend of mine, and I know Shakespeare pretty well, so we were able to assist with the language of the show.

JW:  What is your concept for the production?

With this show, you can either play up the romance or the comedy. I’m a very light and fun person, so I chose to go with the comedy of it. My particular production concept is to focus on the misunderstandings, and how even one mistaken identity can ruin a whole night.

JW:  What is so appealing about a play by William Shakespeare?

You have to read between the lines of Shakespeare sometimes. His words, his eloquence of speech and his emotions are in the work. Shakespeare wrote beautifully and that was translated to the stage, and still is being put on stage. If he was a boring playwright, his work would not be as important as it is today.

JW:  Why should someone come to see A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM?

This show is full of laughs, love and some very mischievous fairies. You can’t go wrong with that combination.

JW:  What has this experience meant to you personally?

This opportunity and experience has been absolutely wonderful and amazing. I love everyone in this cast and on the crew. Everyone has been phenomenal to work with and they are all so creative that sometimes, you never know what is about to happen onstage. Everyone in this show brings something to the stage that I have never had the chance to work with and it has made this show absolutely wonderful and delightful, even for me and I see it a lot!

William Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, directed by Hannah Malinowski. Summer Youth Showcase, Fauquier Community Theatre, 4225 Aiken Drive, Vint Hill, Fauquier County. Performances are August 3-5, and 10-12, 2012; Fri. and Sat., 8 pm; Sun., 2 pm. 540.349.8760

For more information, visit Fauquier Community Theatre online.


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