Pitt-Bradford Division of Communication and the Arts to present ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Division of Communication and the Arts will present Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Nov. 20 through 23 in the Studio Theater in Blaisdell Hall.

Shows will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Cost of tickets is $6 for the public and $2 for all students. School matinees will take place Nov. 18 and 19.
The comedy is the second of three productions at Pitt-Bradford this year celebrating the 450th anniversary of the playwright’s birth.

The story involves interrelated plots of four lovers, quarreling fairies and a troupe of amateur actors.

The show is directed by Dr. Kevin Ewert, professor of theater and an expert on Shakespeare’s plays. He holds both a Master of Arts and a doctoral degree in Shakespeare studies from The Shakespeare Institute, has contributed pieces to The Routledge Companion to Directors’ Shakespeare and The Routledge Companion to Actors’ Shakespeare and is a series editor for Palgrave’s The Shakespeare Handbooks.

“I try to find a slot to reinvent Shakespeare on a fairly regular basis,” Ewert said. “We did ‘Hamlet’ in 2004 and ‘Macbeth’ in 2010. Shakespeare is a great challenge to the students and myself, and it is also an opportunity for us to reach out to high schools with something very recognizable.”

Ewert recognizes that audiences can be intimidated by Shakespearean language. “The language makes sense in action and in a physical context,” he said, adding that everyone can recognize one of the play’s themes, “That love is idiotic, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

To prepare the students for Shakespearean dialogue, he had them paraphrase all of their lines to make sure they knew exactly what they were saying. Then they rehearsed saying them as they would be in a contemporary context.

Those performing in the show are Delaney Held, a public relations major from Erie, as Hermia; Clairice Kalkhof, a broadcast communications major from Sigel, as Helena; Shaan Hossain, a history-political science major from Pittsburgh, as Lysander; Collin Maines, a broadcast communications major from Sheffield, as Demetrius; Julia Messam, an undeclared student from Media, as Egeus; James Segee as Bottom; Elizabeth Burkholder, a writing major from Lebanon, as Quince; Leia Boeke, an interdisciplinary arts major from Asbury, N.J., as Starveling; Christina Brunecz, an undeclared student from Bear Lake, as Flute; Haley Ward, a biology major from Machias, N.Y., as Snout; Brittany Minugh, an undeclared student from Ludlow, as Snug; and Charles Roebuck, a business management major from Pittsburgh, as Puck.

Two professional actors are portraying the roles of the fairy king and queen. Jay O’Berski will play Theseus/Oberon and Kelley Baker Hippolyta/Titania.

Tickets may be purchased at the Bromeley Family Theater box office or by calling 814-362-5113. For disability needs related to the show, contact the Pitt-Bradford Office of Disability Services at 814-362-7609 or clh71@pitt.edu.

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