(Originally post The Sojourn’s website on November 11, 2014)
A disgruntled father, aspiring actors, runaway and star-crossed lovers, tricky fairies: all of these a person will see when watching Indiana Wesleyan University’s latest play.
Actors began rehearsing for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Oct. 6 and opening night will be Thursday, Nov. 13.
According to the Director Dr. Katie Wampler, the major themes are the idea of love and the visible versus the invisible.
“A lot of things that are done in the name of love … aren’t really love,” Wampler said. “I think it’s lust with the couple. … I think we see obsession, I think we see manipulation, all done in the name of love. … I think what is exciting about this piece is we have these couples trying to figure out what true love is. Sometimes they get it right and sometimes they don’t.”
The plot is somewhat complicated, as the audience will see “three different worlds,” according to Wampler.
The first world is a group of working men wanting to be actors who put on a play; the second world is a court which contains the lovers and the duke; and the third world is the fairies.
Wampler said she feels like she is directing three different plays because they have been rotating the cast, made up of 16 people, in and out.
The IWU Theatre Guild was also able to bring in a professional artist who does mask work, Doug Berky, and the actors did a couple of workshops with him.
“It’s really exciting because it gives us … a different face to work with, verses just using our own body, our own face. … You can be someone else with a mask,” senior Kelly Reiter said. “So it is an easier way to get into character.”
Gloria Billingsley (fr) plays Hermia, one of the lovers. She does not wear a mask because she is a human in the play, but she still attended the workshops and thought they were “a treat and a pleasure.”
“[Berky] taught us the art of masks and how to use your body to use expressions and tell stories,” Billingsley said. “It has taught us a lot about how we can explore our characters in this play.”
Although it is an exciting new element to the play, Reiter said the masks have been a challenge to use during rehearsals.
“We were having problems with intonation and diction with my [mask] because it goes over my lip,” Reiter said. “We put padding so that way I was able to articulate more.”
Billingsley does not want people to be intimidated to come to the play since it is Shakespeare.
“It is a lot of physical comedy. … We have been working on it for a long time,” Billingsley said. “The language isn’t a problem, and it is going to be fun.”
Opening night for the play is Thursday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m. The other showtimes are Nov. 14-15 and 20-22 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 15 and 22 at 2 p.m. The cost is $10 for senior citizens and $12 for the public.