School of the Arts

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

CSU, Chico Presents Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Robin Tucker costumed as Titania
Robin Tucker (Titania)

CSU, Chico’s Department of Music and Theatre presents Shakespeare’s beloved comic fantasy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Performances take place in Wismer Theatre, CSU, Chico’s intimate black box theatre, Thursday–Saturday, March 8–10, at 7:30pm; Saturday and Sunday, March 10 and 11, at 2pm; and Tuesday–Thursday, March 13–15, at 7:30pm.

Tickets are available at the University Box Office, 530-898-6333. Seating is limited and purchasing tickets in advance is recommended.

Department of Music and Theatre faculty member and director Cynthia Lammel said the play is about love first and foremost— “the madness of love and the magic of love; and we think that’s still fascinating to explore.”

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a tale of four young lovers who run from the orderly city of ancient Athens to an enchanted woods in their pursuit of love.

Also, in the woods are the “mechanicals,” everyday workingmen of Athens, who have set out to perform a play in celebration of the marriage of the Duke of Athens.

Unbeknownst to the visitors, the woods are the home of the fairy king and queen. The king, upon seeing the plights of the young lovers, attempts to intervene by asking Puck, a mischievous jester, play the role of Cupid. When Puck’s spells go terribly wrong, mayhem results for everyone in the woods.

Appearing left to right Matthew Pankin, Jacob Honnold, Jason Elford, Casey Schneider, Ravin Wilkins, Nick McCollum
(L-R) Matthew Pankin (Snug), Jacob Honnold (Quince), Jason Elford (Flute), Casey Schneider (Starveling), Ravin Wilkins (Snout), Nick McCollum (Bottom)

In choosing to set “Midsummer” in ancient Athens, Lammel is presenting the play in the time period Shakespeare originally set it in. 

“I’ve never seen it done this way–the environment in which Shakespeare initially placed it,” Lammel said. “Our set and costume designers had never seen a production of ‘Midsummer’ placed in ancient Athens, either.  We’re all pretty excited about it.” 

Set designer Brian Redfern and costume designer Mallory Prucha, both Department of Music and Theatre faculty members, are creating a “dream world” for the audience. Detailed visual representations of Athens will be reflected in the set and costumes. Costumes and set “transform” when the action moves from Athens to the woods.

In addition to being visually stunning, Lammel said the play will show audiences how some aspects of love can be kept under control, and how some cannot.

“‘They loved me yesterday, but they don’t love me today!’ is something we have all experienced on some level,” Lammel said. “The inability to reason with love is core to the play’s ideas. The play is 522 years old, yet still true and meaningful today.”

 Joshua Peterson and Alexandra Hilsee
Joshua Peterson (Demetrius) and Alexandra Hilsee (Helena)

Tickets, $15 adults, $13 seniors, and $6 students and youth, are available to purchase at the University Box Office, 530-898-6333, online at www.chicostatetickets.com, or, if available, at the door prior to each performance.

Wismer Theatre is located in the Performing Arts Center, room 135, on CSU, Chico’s campus. For those who need special seating accommodations, please call the box office for arrangements, 530-898-6333. More information can be found in our Facebook page.

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Story by Shelby Casey, School of the Arts Publicity Assistant