Thursday December 17, 2015
To prepare for their January performance of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the cast and crew of Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School’s (FHTMS) production left town.
After a pre-dawn start, the cast traveled to Lenox, Massachusetts, where they visited a professional Shakespeare theater company. They toured extensive costume collections and a well-stocked armory. Then members of the company led the cast in a workshop with lively acting exercises and playful improvisational games. “Make it even more theatrical!” the students were told as they acted out lines from their play.
The cast moved on to Albany, New York, to solve problems together at the Mystery Room, a strategy-based game center. They decoded puzzles and interpreted clues to unlock a treasure chest, crack a diabolical code, and escape from a locked room. The challenges of working as a group with a time limit to unravel the secrets of the Mystery Room certainly helped build camaraderie among the actors.
Cole Patno, who plays Nick Bottom, said that the whole experience “allowed the cast to know what each other’s strengths and weaknesses are, so we can support each other.” Other students said the trip was “amazing” and let the cast get to know each other better.
The cast and crew, led by director and middle school teacher David Bailey, are excited to bring this popular comedy to life. Love potions, mischievous fairies, magical feuds, and a bumbling acting troupe help make this play such a highly regarded standard. “There’s a reason Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most produced plays,” said Bailey.
Plan to spend a midsummer’s day with this talented cast to brighten up early January, and laugh at “what fools these mortals be.”
Performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream are Friday, January 8 and Saturday, January 9 at 7 p.m. in the South Burlington High School Auditorium. Reserved-seating tickets ($10/$6 seniors & kids under 16) will be available at the FHTMS front office or at the door before each show. The production is part of the First Light Theatre Project. For more information, visit http://firstlighttheatrevt.com/.