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'Midsummer' Gets the '60s Treatment

Becky Joiner, a student at James Hubert Blake High School, reviews Magruder's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

If Shakespeare had attended Magruder High School's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," he probably would have been amazed at how well his play fits a 1960s theme.

Rachel Kelly as the mischievous sprite Puck in Magruder High School's production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." (Courtesy Of Magruder High School)

The comedy tells the story of four conflicted young lovers: Hermia (played by Emily Reggia), Lysander (Alex Galloway), Helena (Kelly Hardin) and Demetrius (Shawn Sorrels).

Their relationships are manipulated by the wiles and magic spells of Oberon, the fairy king, and his partner in crime, the mischievous fairy Puck. Mason Catharini, as Oberon, and Rachel Kelly, as Puck, turned in outstanding performances. Catharini was exceptional in his portrayal of the jealous Oberon, and contributed to the 1960s theme with his rendition of "Blackbird" on the guitar. Kelly was excellent as Puck, portraying the character not only through her line delivery but also her facial expressions and movements.

The play features a troupe of hilarious workmen rehearsing a play to be performed at the wedding of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. Bottom (Danny Park) had the audience in stitches with his comical transformation into a donkey, complete with hee-haws embedded into his speech.

The wedding play was the highlight of the show and included a memorable performance by Dylan Webb, struggling to affect a female voice as Thisbe in "Pyramus and Thisbe."

The costumes, set and music captured the essence of the '60s. Set details included psychedelic trees, bead curtains and period posters. The flowery fairy costumes and bright mini-dresses were complemented by music played during scene changes to make the audience members feel as though they had been transported back in time.

Despite a few minor sound glitches, the strong cast, under the excellent direction of Marla Harper, brought an inspired performance to the stage and gave a new interpretation of Shakespeare's comedy.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" continues today, tomorrow and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Magruder High School, 5939 Muncaster Mill Rd., Derwood. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students, and can be reserved at or purchased at the door.

By Washington Post Editors  |  November 18, 2008; 1:13 PM ET
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