Mischievous fairies, young lovers, and outlandish townspeople might sound like a bedtime story to some. However, Lee’s Summit West High School’s production of William Shakespeare’s A “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” far surpasses any bedtime story.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of Shakespeare’s most well-known comedies. The story of four lovers’ intertwined relations, the fairy-king and queen’s romantic dispute, and six peasants’ futile attempt to entertain their king is familiar to most patrons of the theatre.
The instant Hermia (portrayed by Bre Hunter) delivers her first line, she commands the attention of everyone in the audience. She knows exactly what her lines mean and how to execute them, which is not an easy thing when dealing with Shakespeare.
The mischievous fairy, Puck (masterfully executed by Preston Hereford,) immediately draws the audience’s attention, as he prances on stage. Hereford moves the plot effortlessly along, as his character acts and reacts to the action before him. His acting is spot on.
There are two ensembles in the show, The Fairies and The Mechanicals, that work seamlessly in their respective group. The Fairies constantly focus on their queen and attend to her needs. All of the fairy actresses understand their characters and embrace them well. The Mechanicals, on the other hand, are all over the place. They have huge reactions and over-the-top acting which is fantastic as the comedic-relief of the show.
The costuming for this show, designed by Erin Barnes and Hannah Killion, is truly spectacular, as all of the costumes are expertly made by these girls. The differences between the Athenians, the Fairies, and the Mechanicals is enhanced by the costuming. Abbi Richardson has an amazing touch as a makeup artist. The body paint on the fairies truly makes them look like creatures of fantasy.
Tony Van Pelt is a remarkable designer. The contrast between the two main sets of the show, Athens and the forest, shows wisdom and skill of design. The Athens set is very simple in nature, while the forest is extremely ornate and detailed. This helps make the shift from reality into fantasy that much more powerful.
This production truly pulls one into the fantasy realm that Shakespeare designed. If you want to truly have a mid-October night’s fantasy, go see Lee’s Summit West’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
A review by Danny Clover of Lee’s Summit High School