Shakespeare moves onto the big stage Wednesday, February 28, at 7:00 PM when Butler Theatre presents a 90-minute adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Clowes Memorial Hall.
Tickets are $10-$25 and available at the box office.
Veteran Indianapolis actress Constance Macy will direct the production, which Butler Theatre Department Chair Diane Timmerman has adapted from the original script. Timmerman is the Producing Artistic Director of Indy Shakes, which performs Shakespeare at White River State Park each summer.
“This is straight up, welcome to Shakespeare,” Macy said. “We decided to keep it sparse and open and let the story speak for itself.”
That story, as summarized by Butler Theatre, is a “classic comedy that revolves around mistaken identities, lovers chasing each other through the woods, rustic workers trying to put on a play, and fairies creating magic everywhere.” The Royal Shakespeare Company describes the story as one of “order and disorder, reality and appearance and love and marriage. Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, are to be married and great celebrations are planned.”
“It’s one of my favorite plays by Shakespeare,” Macy said. “It’s funny—very, very funny—it’s a love story, there’s magic, order vs. disorder, which is in almost every Shakespeare plot. But it’s primarily a play about love. Because it’s a comedy, the love is fickle and constant and jealous, and there’s as much discord as harmony in these couples, almost to a ridiculous degree.”
To stage the play, Associate Professor of Theatre Rob Koharchik designed a sparse set using lights rather than furniture and props. Strings of lights hanging from the ceiling will be used to create the illusion of the Port of Athens, trees in the forest, and more. Indiana Repertory Theatre Costume Designer Guy Clark is dressing the cast in clothing that reflects what Macy calls “a modern timelessness.”
“It’s not specific to any time or place,” she said. “It’s not Athens, but it’s not Indianapolis. I just want it to feel accessible.”
Macy said that when Timmerman asked her to direct the production, she was eager to do so. Macy used to teach acting at Butler as an Adjunct Professor.
“I always feel like the Butler students are a cut above everybody else,” she said. “They’re more focused, they’re more eager, they’re more enthusiastic about the work. So it’s always fun to work with students here.”
Macy also serves as a role model for students who want to learn how to forge an acting career while living in a small market. She has been an actor in Indianapolis for 25-plus years.
“That’s something I’m very proud of,” she said. “I have young people ask me about that all the time. They say, ‘I want a house with a yard and a family and a dog and an acting career. How did you do it?’ Certainly, I went through some slumps and there were times I thought if I’d only moved to L.A. or New York, I might have a better career. But ultimately, I do have a good career and a good life.”
And she’s having fun with A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
“This play is funny,” Macy said. “We end laughing. I think it will be cool to look at. The students who are in it are fully committed. A lot of them are playing multiple parts, so that is a challenge for them. I think people will dig it for the look of it, for the straightforwardness of it, for the comedy of it.”
Hermia/Snug: Haley Loquercio, Chicago
Helena/Starveling: Sarah Ault, Overland Park, Kansas
Demetrius/Snout: Isaiah Moore, Indianapolis
Lysander/Flute: Ian Hunt, Cincinnati
Bottom: Jeffrey Bird, Muncie, Indiana
Quince/Egeus: Emma Summers, Des Moines, Iowa
Oberon: Peter Jones, Lakewood, Ohio
Puck: Evie Davis, Nashville, Tennessee
Titania: Karina Milvain, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Peaseblossom: Hailey DeWolf, Hammond, Indiana
Cobweb: Glenn Williams, Bethesda, Maryland
Mustardseed: Jade Coley, Indianapolis
Theseus: Jacob Herr, St. John, Indiana
Hippolyta: Sydney Simms, Chicago
(In the photo: Isaiah Moore, Haley Loquercio, Sarah Ault)