For many people, a Shakespearean play is difficult to understand and appreciate. And yet, Shakespeare continues to be studied in schools and universities. It has been adapted in many ways for film and theater and remains one of the most popular of theatrical experiences. This year, the ACT Youth Program is presenting a festival of three Shakespearean plays: Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These plays use modern language and are significantly shortened yet keep the Elizabethan flair and the complexity of the Bard’s plots. This summer program will be a valuable educational experience in the classics and theater.
While this year’s production is not a musical, there will be musical elements and actors should prepare 20-30 seconds of a song for auditions. The ACT Youth Program’s goal is to prepare young people for the theater. In that vein, Student Directing Teams will be formed early spring to work with the director developing the plays ahead of camp. Members of the directing teams will still be able to participate in the other plays as actors or in the back stage crew. The three plays will allow all participants to act and be a part of the back stage crew. For those students (ages 12 – 18) interested in being a part of the Student Directing Teams, please contact LaVelle Grandy-Brown: email@example.com; 503-930-7511.
This is a comedy about love, in which three couples are brought together. It begins with Orsino, expressing his deep love for the Countess Olivia. Meanwhile, the shipwrecked Viola disguises herself as a man, takes on the name Cesario, and enters the Duke’s service. The Duke asks Cesario to woo Olivia for him. Ironically, Cesario falls in love with the Duke, and Olivia falls in love with Cesario. The play has many of the elements including mistaken identity, separated twins, and gender- crossing disguise. The plots revolve around overcoming obstacles and finding “true” love.
Romeo and Juliet
This is a tragedy about two star-crossed lovers from different families (Montagues and Capulets) who fall hopelessly in love in spite of their families’ years-long feud. Desperate to be together, the two concoct an elaborate escape plan, but Romeo, mistakenly thinking Juliet dead, kills himself. This prompts Juliet to do the same as she awakens to find Romeo dead. The Friar arrives too late to save the lovers and tells the parents the entire story. The families promise to end their hostilities, which have caused the deaths of their only children.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
This is comedy with many twists and turns. Theseus and Hippolyta are to wed. Philostrate has been ordered to prepared for the wedding. Several local craftsmen agree to write and produce a play. Egeus brings his daughter, Hermia, to Theseus for judgment since he does not approve of friend, Lysander. The craftsmen repair to the woods to rehearse at the same time that Lysander and Hermia meet there to plan their elopement. Hermia and Lysander confide in Helena, who has previously been jilted by Demetrius and wants to win him back. Helena, in turn, tells Demetrius of the young lovers’ meeting. This is only the beginning of a delightful tale of true love.ar