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Sequim students go Shakespeare
Local students are bringing a Sequim touch to Shakespeare and one of his most celebrated plays. For two weekends, characters such as Puck, Hippolyta, Hermia, Oberon and half-man, half-donkey Nick Bottom come to life on stage from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Sequim High School Performing Arts Building.
Director Christy Rutherford said for the students, the play has been like learning a new language and a lot of fun. Since school began, they’ve worked hard on reading and comprehension to understand the verbiage and the plot. Sam Manders, 16, who plays Lysander, said this is his first performance in a Shakespeare play and he finds it extremely fun memorizing lines and acting it out. He said understanding the plot wasn’t hard once he read it and heard it being performed.
In the story, Lysander becomes entranced accidentally by Puck, played by Benny Dalm, 14, after the trickster follows the orders of Oberon, king of the fairies. Demetrius, played by Alex Holloway, 16, and Lysander fall in love with the same woman.
Alex said he grew up reading Old English with his family and that the story includes elements of life people experience every day.
“It’s hilarious,” Alex said. “It’s like something you’d see on TV.”
Above, Sequim High School’s upcoming performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” had one of the largest turnouts for casting in recent years, said director Christy Rutherford.
Rutherford said there were bigger than normal auditions for the play and much of the cast is comprised of underclassmen. She said it helps establish the future of the school plays for years to come. The high interest also led to double casting of two roles: those of Titania and Helen.
Christie Honore and Sara Jackson, 16, share the role of Titania, who falls in love with Nick Bottom (played by Patrick Carpenter, 17), who has become part donkey.
The actresses will perform three times each and said they help each other out a lot and have built a good camaraderie.
“It’s so well-acted that you understand it and what’s going on,” Sara said. “It’s a good introduction to Shakespeare.”
“The comedy lightens the heavy Shakespeare language,” Christie said.
Major character threads include:
• The planned marriage between Theseus, duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons.
• In a magical and twisted love story, Hermia, Demetrius, Lysander and Helena discover whom they truly love after a fight and a mix-up is corrected.
• A fight between Oberon and Titania over an Indian changeling leads to an unexpected love interest in weaver-turned-donkey Nick Bottom, who is preparing a play with amateur thespian friends for Theseus’ and Hippolyta’s wedding.
Proceeds from this play benefit the school’s ASB. The senior class play in February, an unnamed murder mystery dinner theater, benefits the Sequim High School senior class. The spring operetta features “The Music Man.”
For more information on the play, call 582-3600.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.