Kean Players on Tour Presents A Midsummer Night's Dream

Kean University Players on Tour will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream from March 30 to April 3 at the University Center Little Theatre in Union, NJ. Following the on-campus run, the troupe will bring its production to schools in the region, including Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark, West Essex Regional School in North Caldwell, Iselin Middle School, Bogota High School and Bloomfield Middle School.

Kean Players on Tour presentations are created in a semester long theatre department course that combines learning in both performance and production. The cast and crew not only rehearse, adapt and perform the piece, they also handle the producing aspects which include budgeting, marketing, design, technical production, and the particular demands of taking the show on the road.

Professor Gail Winar adapted Shakespeare’s comedy into a playful 70 minute version that engages young audiences. “Kean students are involved in every facet of the production,” said Winar, who also directs the play (with student assistant Megan Bandelt) and teaches the course. “Everything from designing and distributing the promotional materials, to reaching out to school groups for bookings, to building the costumes and scenery, to developing a study guide for teachers and audiences. All this is in addition to their work in the spotlight and behind the scenes.”

This completely inclusive approach to show business is an important thrust of the Players on Tour program, which has been part of the department of theatre curriculum for nearly twenty years. Productions alternate from year to year in terms of age appropriate subject matter and style. Last year’s A Very Hairy Situation was geared for elementary school children. “Midsummer…” is targeted to high and middle school aged audiences.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is believed to have been written around 1590 to 1596 by Shakespeare. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of amateur actors, who are manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world.

The cast of Kean Players on Tour’s production includes: Jason Gillis (Westfield) as Puck, Anthony Crouchelli (New Milford) as Theseus, Robyn Lee (Plainfield) as Titania, Lucas Pinner (Glen Gardner) as Lysander, Ziara Albritton (East Orange) as Snug, Rebecca Bowe (Highland Park) as Hermia, Joseph Farella (Middletown) as Flute, Cara Ganski (Vineland) as Helena, Patrick Getty (Metuchen) as Snout, Samuel Spare (Howell) as Oberon, Victor Martinez (South Amboy) as Bottom, Raven Dunbar (South Brunswick) as Egeus, Brenna Singman (West Orange) as Hippolyta, Brandon Elia (Woodbridge) as Demetrius and Josh Schnetzer (Asbury) as Quince. The production stage manager is Rachelle Dorce (Maplewood) and the costume designer is Dori Strober (Springfield).

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is performed in the U.C. Little Theatre on Kean University’s main campus at 1000 Morris Avenue, Union NJ. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased from the Kean University box office at 908.737.SHOW (7469) or on-line by visiting www.keanstage.com. For further information on the College of Visual and Performing Arts, visit www.kean.edu.

Founded in 1855, Kean University has become one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, boasting a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment, offering more than 50 undergraduate degrees and more than 45 options leading to a master’s degree, doctorate, professional diploma and/or state certification(s). Five undergraduate colleges and the Nathan Weiss Graduate College now serve more than 15,000 students.

Paul Whelihan

pwheliha@kean.edu
March 1, 2011

 
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