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Chester County Press

Kennett High School to stage A Midsummer Night’s Dream

12/07/2022 10:21AM ● By Richard Gaw

Photo by Richard L. Gaw        Aria duPont-Andrew, seen beside Alec Salameda and Luke Sandusky, will play Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Kennett High School on Dec. 9 and 10.


By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

This weekend, a few of the best-drawn characters in the history of theater will take the Kennett High School stage for three performances of one of William Shakespeare’s most well-known plays.

Under the direction of Chris Skopowski, the school will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Dec. 9 and two shows on Dec. 10.

As the show begins, Theseus, the Duke of Athens, is planning his marriage with Hippolyta, and as a result he is a planning a four-day festival of pomp and entertainment. He commissions his Master of the Revels, Philostrate, to find suitable amusements for the occasion. As the play unravels, Egeus, an Athenian nobleman, marches into Theseus’s court with his daughter, Hermia, and two young men, Demetrius and Lysander. Egeus wishes Hermia to marry Demetrius (who loves Hermia), but Hermia is in love with Lysander and refuses to comply. By play’s end, audiences are swept up in a dramedy of errors, mistaken identity, mischief and hilarious outcomes.

“I think this show appeals to audiences because many of themes are a commentary on the magical quality and illusion of the theater and reality, with Puck talking to the audience and saying, ‘If everything you perceive to be true with your senses might be just a dream, maybe we are sharing the same dream,’” Skopowski said. “Since the theater was in a dormant state during COVID-19, I wanted a theater-centric performance that had to do with that.

“The play really shows love in its many forms, as well as the comedic aspect and ugly aspects about love – about how we don’t think through love, but rather sort it out as we go through the comedic motions of it.”

The cast includes Blake Ciresa, Lydia Duckworth, Alec Salameda and Luke Sandusky four young Athenians; Paul Mullin as Nick Bottom; Marco King as Theseus; Aria duPont-Andrew as Hippolyta; Thomas Linderman as Fairy King Oberon; Mia Jeffrey as Puck; and Amelie Bram as Queen Titania. Other cast members include Zula Ali, Luca Castellano, Marley Lengel, Clara Morrison, Maria Victoria Reyes, June Sabo and Todd Taylor.

Two of the play’s leading roles said they look at tackling Shakespeare as a theatrical and verbal challenge.

“Because the language in the play is more heightened than in a prose piece, it allows me to pay more attention to what Shakespeare is trying to get at,” Bram said. “It causes me to pay more attention to its themes and what the author’s intent is.”

This is my first Shakespeare production, and I’ve learned that the dialogue forces you to dive deeper into the intent of the words, which provides much more of a challenge for the actors,” Linderman said. “You have to know what you’re saying when you’re conveying it out to the audience, and the play’s iambic pentameter and its rhythms helps the language flow.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed at the Kennett High School Auditorium on December 9 at 7 p.m. and on December 10 for shows at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and senior and can be purchased with cash at the door. Refreshments will be available in the cafeteria.