As the house lights dim, the warm, yellow light of the candelabra pierces through the darkness. The faces of King Oberon and Queen Hippolyta emerge from the background and are seated beneath the firelight where they are unexpectedly greeted by an angry father, Demetrius, whose daughter has fallen in love with the “wrong” man.
Their words turn to screams and the opening scene closes, leaving the audience desperately rooting for a pair of forbidden lovers… (I mean, it is Shakespeare, right?) As the minutes pass, layer upon layer of mystique and enchantment are introduced and the performance begins to live up to its undeniably appropriate name, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Greensboro’s own Triad Stage and adaptor/director, Preston Lane, have banded together to create yet another performance that is guaranteed to leave you on your feet.
Rebecca Hirota, Linsy Segarra, Luis Quintero and Ishmael Muhammad bring romance, resentment and of course amusement to each and every scene. As the play shifts in and out of dreams, each cast member proves their adaptability and transitions gracefully (sometimes even with a few funky dance moves) into their alternate characters. We see them transform from youthful star-crossed lovers, to mysteriously mischievous fairies, to working folk who are just looking for a little extra cash.
Throughout all of this back and forth, one thing remains: energy. The stage presence of each cast member is one of many aspects of this performance that will not go unnoticed. The cast’s ability to engage the audience, both figuratively and literally, is unmatched.
Steve Williams, a Junior at UNCG pursuing a BFA in Acting and a minor in dance, made a surprise appearance in Tuesday night’s showing of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Williams was contacted after a cast member suffered an injury and was given only 24 hours’ notice before he was set to appear on stage. Despite being faced with the nearly impossible task of memorizing the lines of a lead role in a Shakespeare play, Williams gave the crowd an unforgettable performance, script in hand.
Perhaps the most shocking aspect of Lane’s rendition of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” is the contemporary essence of the performance. Considering the original script was written some 430 years ago, Lane’s ability to capture an audience is sensational. Although Shakespeare tends to get a bad rap when it comes to his famously lengthy plays and highly complex and metaphorical dialect, rest assured Preston Lane’s rendition of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is perfect for all ages. This particular rendition will leave you wanting more.
Whether you consider yourself an avid theatre-goer, or the name “Shakespeare” doesn’t quite ring a bell, Preston Lane’s adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Triad Stage is a performance you’re not going to want to miss.