Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Robert E. Lee High School A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By • Nov 19th, 2007 • Category: Cappies

Where can one find reality combined with a make-believe world filled with magic, mystery, and trickery? Robert E. Lee High School’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream took the audience on a truly delightful journey through the forest!

In William Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, everyone finds true love and lives happily ever after – eventually. Helena (Meredith Clark) is hopelessly in love with Demetrius (Scott Nickley), who is betrothed to Helena’s beautiful friend Hermia (Megan Lennox). Hermia and her true love Lysander (Harbi Olhaye) wander into the forest to escape her arranged marriage. Thanks to the mischievous Puck (Tim Stewart) and a magical flower, everyone falls in love with the wrong person, utter pandemonium ensues, and anything can happen.

One of the wonderful things about Shakespeare is that his storylines can be tweaked to fit any time, place, or circumstance. Lee approached Shakespeare’s work in a fresh, innovative way, setting the scene in a modern-day preparatory school in Athens, Georgia.

Meredith Clark gave a vibrant performance as the lovesick Helena. Her excellent facial expressions and clear understanding of Shakespeare’s language allowed the audience to sympathize with her as she wallowed in her unrequited love for Demetrius. Scott Nickley gave a strong performance as Demetrius, and his chemistry with Clark was convincing. Megan Lennox as Hermia and Harbi Olhaye as Lysander played off of each other nicely. The scene between the four lovers, in which both men (under Puck’s spell) declare their love for Helena, was a memorable one.

Tim Stewart gave an animated performance as the playful Puck. John Christenson as Oberon and Louise Pretzman as Titania also gave solid performances. The Mechanicals (a quirky, yet loveable acting troupe) were a strong ensemble. They were especially enjoyable to watch as they performed their comical play-within-a-play. Guitarist Mike Baird‘s music complemented the show nicely.

The set was functional and practical and had multiple levels to suggest several different locations in and around Athens. The fairies’ make-up, designed by Linette Lee, was intricate and gave each fairy his or her own personality. Although several actors did not take full advantage of Shakespeare’s work, the cast remained energetic and involved throughout.

Robert E. Lee did a commendable job with a difficult show.

by Carly Maalouf of Bishop Ireton

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