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‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ taken outdoors by MCVTS arts students

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ taken outdoors by MCVTS arts students

“Courtyard chaos” is promised as the School of the Arts on the East Brunswick Campus of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools presents an outdoor production of Shakespeare’s comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” May 26-30.

Theater, music, dance, and arts technology students are collaborating on the performance, which will be presented before a limited audience in the outdoor “Hobbit” courtyard on the East Brunswick Campus.

The play will be directed by theater arts teacher Brian Homer, with set design by arts technology teacher Lea Anello, and choreography by dance teacher Cleo Mack.

Music will be provided by East Brunswick Campus music students under the direction of their teacher, Andy Greatorex, with costume design by students Emily Rosado, Paige Brathwaite, Louis Meagher-DiEllo, and Kevin Hernandez; light design by students Isabella Tomazic and Kirstyn Surowiec, and sound design by student Oliver Nichols.

The production will feature students Darrion Brown of North Brunswick as Lysander, Theodore Lenahan of South Amboy as Demetrius, Cheyenne Busch of North Brunswick as Helena, Isabella Sanchez of Highland Park as Hermia, Elizabeth Saucier of Edison as Hippolyta and Titania, Joseph McKenzie of Highland Park as Theseus and Oberon, Chris Bush of South River as Egeus, Dylan Ferrel of Carteret as Puck and Philostrate, Jonathan Williams of Avenel as Peaseblossom, Nya Wright of Highland Park as Cobweb, Nashaly Espinal of New Brunswick as Moth, Emily Gonzalez as Mustardseed, Arden Gonzalez as Snug and Starveling, Dajah McCormick of South Plainfield as Flute, Aleks Spohr of Edison as Snout, and McKenna Swan of Sayreville as Bottom.

The production team is led by Anello as company manager, with students Katarina Puig and Tiffany Crosby as stage managers.

Homer said a “raucous interpretation” of the Shakespeare favorite will be presented, featuring the Bard’s “lovers, the lunatics, poets, and dreamers.

“We are taking full advantage of the play’s insinuation of May Day celebrations when we bear witness to the rebirth of the world and the magical power of love and its ability to transform our lives,” Homer said.

“What makes Shakespeare so relevant today is that he lived his life during the period of a plague that laid waste to England throughout his professional life,” he noted. “The plague at the time caused the periodic closings of playhouses, social distancing, and quarantines.”

While most aspects of the play take on the tone of a romantic comedy, Homer explained, there is also the magic and fantasy of supernatural characters who struggle with the very same flaws of their mortal counterparts.

“We’re very excited to be walking the boards once again,” Homer said. “This is going to be a celebration.”

The courtyard where the play will be presented was renovated by building services students using recycled materials, creating an outdoor space with plantings and structures resembling a Hobbit village.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be presented at 7:30 p.m. May 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30, with matinees at 2 p.m. on May 29 and 30. Tickets are $20 for the general public. There will be limited reserved seating with strict social distancing. Tickets can be purchased through Ludus at mcvtsarts.ludus.com.

The School of the Arts of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools provides a broad-based practical foundation for young artists seeking careers in acting, dance, film, directing, stage management, graphic design, arts management, and related fields.

The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District, the oldest vocational school district in the nation, has campuses in East Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Perth Amboy, and Woodbridge. More information is available at mcvts.net.

5/10/21