This spring semester, Chabot College performed their version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the comedy was originally written by William Shakespeare somewhere between 1594 to 1596. The play, although set in ancient Athens, GR, is re-imagined through Shakespeare’s eyes nearly 2,000 years after the era.
The performance was held in building 1100 and directed by Dov Hassan, who is the head of Theatre Arts. The money that was used to purchase the tickets went toward funding the Chabot Theatre Department.
The play provides the “love is in the air” feeling, first starting out with a four-person love square where Egeus, an Athenian nobleman prepares for his daughter, Herima, to marry a man named Demetrius. But while Demetrius loves Hermia, she loves a man named Lysander. Although Helena, Hermia’s friend, still loves Demetrius after being previously engaged to him. Eventually, Hermia and Lysander sneak into the woods, hoping to run away. However, Demetrius follows and Helena isn’t too far behind. In the woods, there are two very different groups in very different situations. First, we have the faeries, with Oberon, the King of faeries, and his Queen, Titania. The two are currently at odds after returning from a trip. The second group are Athenian Mechanicals or craftsmen, who are arranging a play they wish to put on for Theseus, the duke of Athens and his bride, Hippolyta. The three groups of characters get caught up in silly situations that ultimately lead to them all being connected.
As the play featured comedy and drama, and while the stories were portrayed well, it got a bit confusing to keep up with at times. The acting and set design made up for it.
The play, being very well produced and directed, started out with a bang, literally starting out with a jumpscare before going into a routine and choreographed dance, with green and purple lights on the main stage. The opening scene was very captivating, it had me and the audience hooked from the start.
In an interview with Tarin Smith, who plays Flute, A Mechanical forced into playing the part of a woman in the play for the rich. “If I didn’t get a laugh at the end, I’m doing a lot wrong.” he stated “There’s been shows where we’ve done something, and people are like, “Oh my God!“. And honestly, like the reactions fuel us. Like it gives us fire to, like, do really good. So crowd energy is really good for us.”
Overall, the audience and I really enjoyed the play. It had drama, romance, and a ton of humor. I hope to see more plays like this in the future.