Friday night one of my small assistants and I checked out SRA’s free performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream! The hour-long adaptation was beautifully crafted and cast by director, Thomas Emerson. Twenty-one characters were portrayed by a delicious ensemble of ten middle and high school students. Minimal costumes were used and no set pieces were required for this talented group to transport the audience to Athens! Jenny Wei brought life to the often forgettable Theseus and played a masterful Oberon – effortlessly managing the verse and the gender-bending! Emily Harkness handled both pentameter and sword nicely as Demetrius. Maya Kapur’s appreciation for Lysander’s silly side was infectious. Sabirina Caputo made a perfect Hermia – type A, petite, and fierce! Sophie Everbach’s Helena was lyric and lovely – a professional quality performance. Emma Burke made an earnest and helpful Puck. Amy Crouch brought an exquisite geeky quality to Bottom that made him both lovable and familiar, I’ve seen lots of Midsummer productions but this interpretation was new and Crouch made it her own. Newton’s Wall was funny and well-paced. Will McCullough’s Quince made a nice foil for the other mechancials and held their scenes together. The highlight of the evening was Maryrose Zuppo’s totally uninhibited character role performances. Her Hippolyta was nostril-flaringly indignant, her Titania was steamily hilarious, her Flute was appropriately rough, and her Thisby’s high-pitched death scene brought the house down! In all it was a magical evening, and my five-year old companion was as wholly entertained as I was – I am very very glad I brought him, it was a perfect introduction to the Bard!
Swarthmore Recreation Association offers a generous variety of sports, arts, and other camps in the summer and throughout the year! Check out their website at: http://www.swarthmorerecreation.org/!