This year’s fall theater performance is A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. The play comes to Walton Center on November 2 and 3 at 8:00 p.m. Both shows are free and open to the public.
Mo West, director of Midsummer and head of the Arts Department, is a veteran of Shakespeare’s famous woodland comedy. “This production marks the sixth time I have directed the play. It was my directing thesis in graduate school and this is the third time I have brought it to George School,” said Mo, who earned her Master of Theater Arts from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts.
Many years after the performance of her graduate school thesis, Mo continues to grapple with the particular challenges that Midsummer poses. She explained that one of the major difficulties with staging Midsummer is effectively creating a magical dreamland onstage. “For me, the goal has always been to leave the audience members with a visual memory of a sensational, mystical place that might have been visited in their own childhood imaginations,” said Mo.
This production also emphasizes the theme of this year’s theater season, which is “strong women.” Midsummer features several central female characters who stand up to men in power and relentlessly pursue their desires. “The four main females exhibit courage and resolve, even when to do so was a challenge,” said Mo. “All of these choices were bold in the time of the storytelling; however, without the strength of these women, could there even be a story?”
Cast members include Rishi Madnani ’19, Penzi Hill ’20, Kelly Banfield ’20, Ronan Green ’21, Naomi Namboodiripad ’20, Sean Whalen ’21, Thomas Zeng ’19, Katie Kendrick ’20, Will Buxton ’21, Eric Ruziskey ’20, David Xi ’21, Satchel Smith ’20, Alexi Horne ’21, Masud Harrison ’21, Chloe Lentchner ’19, Clare Wang ’20, Susan Robinson-Cloete ’20, Abby Byrtus ’20, Alice Yang ’19, Julia Carrigan ’20, Miranda Dobkin ’21, and Lexi Lazar ’20.
The show’s student production team includes Stage Manager Sidney Gibson ’20, Assistant Director Cooper Feiner ’20, Student Director Rusty Drowne ’19, and Assistant Lighting Designer Raven Zhan ’20.