Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Vpstart Crow A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By • Jul 23rd, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Vpstart Crow’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream [MP3 3:46 1.7MB].

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Vpstart Crow
Cramer Center, Manassas, VA
$20/$15 Students and Seniors
Through July 27th
Spotlight on Vpstart Crow’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Laura: This is the ShowBizRadio review of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed by Vpstart Crow in Manassas, Virginia. We saw the performance on Sunday afternoon July 20, 2008.

Mike: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare. It portrays the adventures of four young Athenean lovers and a group of amateur actors, their interactions with the Duke and Duchess of Athens and with the fairies who inhabit a moonlit forest.

Laura: I felt this was a pretty solid performance. I think everybody did a good job. The costumes were modern day with the play being in the typical Shakespearean dialect. This was a different approach, but I think it worked well.

Mike: I agree, this was a solid production. I had a good time watching the show. Even though the costumes were modern day the language was the original Shakespeare, it all worked. They used the lights very creatively to light separate sections of the stage as well as using the unique entrances trough the storefronts along the street. Everything worked together well and I had a good time.

Laura: The role of Helena, the woman whose heart was set on somebody who did not return her affections, was played by Alexia Poe. She did a good job. I liked some of her monologues, especially when she was lamenting that although Demetrius had no feeling for her, she would stay true to him.

Mike: Hermia was played by Kathleen Mason. She was in love with Lysander (played by Alex Craft). Unfortunately her father did not approve of the match. He wanted Hermia to marry Demetrius (played by Daniel Buck). You had the typical love triangle and conflict set up early on. There were lots of disagreements between the families over these supposed arranged marriages. It was all very believable, with all of their emotions and their relationships as they were introduced to us did not get confusing.

Laura: The mischievous fairy Puck was played by Sarah Russell. She was very vibrant and full of life on stage. She seemed to enjoy making mischief. Even when she put the fairy juice in the wrong Athenean’s eyes, she she tried to make it right, but enjoyed her trickery.

Mike: That was the thing. She was wounded because she tried to do the right thing. It really was not her fault, she did delight in the mischief that came through her mistake. She was very believable and very sympathetic, she was not being mean. She was just Puck having fun.

The acting troupe all did well. I liked Bottom (Colby Mills) who also played the character of Pyramus. He added lots of subtle touches to the characters that really showed on stage. For example, when he was transformed into a donkey and Titania fell in love with him, that scene also held a lot of mannerisms for Mills as the donkey. For example his hands had become donkey’s hooves. He played that very well. He did not hunch over and try to walk on all fours which was fine. That would have made it distracting, but not comical. He did a great job in those parts.

Laura: The set for a MidSummer Night’s Dream was a pretty static set. You had several entrances through a couple store fronts and then a painted area that was the law office of Thesseus. I think it worked well. The set Designer was Cory Okuchi.

Mike: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is playing for one more weekend at the Cramer Center in Manassas, Virginia. Friday and Saturday nights at 8 and Sunday at 3.

Laura: We’d like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed with theater happenings in the Northern Virginia region.

Mike: And now, on with the show.


  • Theseus: Bob Ashby
  • Hippolyta: Heather Benjamin
  • Philostrate/Egeus: Jonathan Marget
  • Hermia: Kathleen Mason
  • Lysander: Alex Craft
  • Demetrius: Daniel Buck
  • Helena: Alexia Poe
  • Quince/Prologue: Aimee Snow
  • Bottom/Pyramus: Colby Mills
  • Flute/Thisbe: Mikail Faalasli
  • Starveling/Moonshine/Cobweb: Allie Cropp
  • Snout/Wall/Moth: Maria Rizkalla
  • Snug/Lion: Phoebe Torres
  • Puck: Sarah Russell
  • Fairy/Peaseblossom: Sara Evers
  • Oberon: Charlie Rizor
  • Titania: Leslie Anne Rizor
  • Ladybug: Kai Amado
  • Dragonfly: Ali Amado
  • Mustardseed: Mia Amado


  • Artistic Director: Paul D. Rubenstein
  • Artistic Director: Bob Smith
  • Managing Editor: Ray Bracken
  • Education Director: Clemente Santiago III
  • Producer: Ray Bracken
  • Director: Paul D. Rubenstein
  • Assistant Director: Morgan Sexton
  • Technical Director: Dave Warner
  • Assistant Technical Director: Roberto Carmona
  • Stage Manager: Katherine Allen
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Brittany Bustle
  • Production Assistant: Darrell Poe
  • Production Assistant: Mary Histing
  • Set Designer: Cory Okouchi
  • Scenic Painter: Leslie Anne Rizor
  • Lighting Designer: Morgan Sexton
  • Light Board operator: Jonathan Blake
  • Sound Designer: Charlie Rizor
  • Sound Board Operator: Roberto Carmona
  • Composer: Daniel Buck
  • Costume Coordinator: Ray Bracken
  • Costume Assistant: Alexia Poe
  • Seamstress: Brittany Bustle
  • Fight Choreographer: Bob Smith
  • Set Construction: The Cast and Crew, Bob Batarla, Rebecca Farris, Monica Harrison, Robert Shon, Christie Swaney
  • House Manager: Darrell Poe
  • Publicity: Cory Okouchi
  • Poster Designer: Brett Zinger
  • Program Designer: Bob Smith
  • Press Photos: Manoel Amado
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3 Responses »

  1. Thank you so much for coming out to see the show! I know I speak for everyone involved when I say that we appreciate your kind words.

  2. My wife, Marcia, and I drove down from Staten Island, NY, to see the show. Disregard the fact that our son, Paul, directed the show; the actors did a fine, believable job which added to an already good vacation. I do not think the Bard of Avon would have taken offense to the modern dress as the acting held your attention. As a retired English teacher, who has read and taught Shakespeare, I appreciated the language of the times. Zounds!

  3. In addition to my husband’s comments above, I just want to add that the show was absolutely delightful, and Sarah Russell’s “Puck” was fabulous! It was apparent that the entire cast had a wonderful time, and the respect they showed for the play transmitted itself the audience beautifully. Thanks again for a great evening!