Fall play highlighted as first Shakespearean show in over two decades


Photo taken by Lindsay Chu

The PHS Midnight Players rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream combined sophistication and humor, creating a show enjoyable for all ages. The play’s opening night was on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7pm, followed by another show on Friday, Dec. 9 and two more on Dec. 10. The Midnight Players have been working alongside Director Mr. Billy Lewis, and Technical Director, Mr. Richard Brooks, planning the production together since last year. They collectively decided to honor the last fall play to be shown in the current auditorium with a Shakespearean performance. 

“A Shakespearean show hasn’t been done on the main stage here by the Midnight Players in over 20 years,” Mr. Lewis said. “This is one of those shows where it can be enjoyed by any audience of any age.” 

With Shakespeare’s old fashioned dialect, there was some concern on the complexity of the production, but the actors worked everyday after school to rehearse and practice their roles, making sure that their articulation and expressions bring clarity to the confusing language. Regardless, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a classic love-triangle story that appeals to all ages, so Stage Manager and Assistant Director Miranda Wang knew that their hard work would pay off. 

“While Shakespearean English is hard to understand,” Wang said, “I believe that the emotions conveyed through the delivery of each actor’s lines really made this production stand out.” 

Even with the complex language of the story, the Poolesville High School version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream integrated both whimsical themes and light humor. The aesthetics were especially successful thanks to the Midnight Player’s Head of Paint Jamie Flynn, who was responsible for leading the design of the forest backdrop, as well as other props and sets. The design crew began working on the set in October, and finished on Dec. 7, just a day before opening night. Even with setbacks such as losing large portions of crew members to COVID-19, the Midnight Players managed to work with the very limited time they had. As Director, Mr. Lewis had a firsthand perspective of the entire process, including casting, planning, rehearsals, and set design.

“I am absolutely in love with the costumes, set, and paint that was created for this show,” Mr. Lewis said. “It is so impressive how much work these students put into this show both on and off the stage.” 

Wang applauded the artistry of the crew, stating that the highlight of the show was the costumes, specifically the presentation of the fairies and design of the wings and pointed ears. The costume and makeup teams worked with each of the 44 actors to ensure that the cast would fit the essence of their characters, while the 47 tech members ensured that any technical complications wouldn’t interfere with the show. Like any play, the development of A Midsummer Night’s Dream had setbacks that were overcome with the collaboration of the crew.