Hononegah's A Midsummer Night's Dream earns standing ovation


A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo: Hononegah Facebook page

Hononegah Community High School's drama department displayed great talent in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. An ensemble cast of 20 students worked under the direction of Mr. Christian Frieden and assistant director Mrs. Carolyn Frieden.

The HCHS Performing Arts Center (PAC) was the place where the play's story unfolded on Nov. 3-5, 2023.

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy  written by William Shakespeare in 1595 or 1596. It is set in Athens and revolves around the main characters of Theseus and Hippolyta.

Action took place over the course of one eventful night in the forest. One of Shakespeare's most recognized and widely produced comedies, Midsummer tells the story of four groups of characters: the royalty, the lovers, the, mechanicals (tradesmen), and the fairies.

Challenging 16th century dialogue flew off the pages of the script without missing a cue. Colorful and detailed costumes added to the aura of each character, mixing classical and current fashions.

In parts of the show, characters blended singing with spectacular acting.  Like the costumes, musical choices ranged from older to newer eras. Each song or instrumental version was chosen by the cast. Each was carefully incorporated into part of a scene.

Every actor and actress mastered their parts, each showing great comedic and dramatic prowess, whichever was called for.

Special effects and lighting were timed perfectly with each of the five acts that made up the play. Fight scenes ranged from humorous to the more serious side -both were done very well.

Cast members captured attention by using various parts of the PAC aisles to enter scenes and the stage during the production.

Different characters used the stage floor to sleep on, or to roll down a short hill during the scenes where they were under the spell of magical flowers, taunted by mischievous magical entities, and while acting out a crude production of Pyramus & Thisbe - a play within the play - one of many parts that drew numerous amounts of laughter.

Cast members Aiden Vanfleet (Theseus and Oberon), Liv Simpson (Hippolyta), Destynie Ferguson(Egeus), Adele Montgomery (Philostrate), Miranda Fishe (Hermia), Gabe Serrano (Lysander), Debra Hayag (Helena), Nathan Shapiro (Demetrius), Maddox Lester (Nick Bottom), Keira Jones (Peter Quince), Ryan Nosbich (Francis Flute), Lamar Davidson (Tom Snout), Dallas Elliott-Schultz (Robin Starveling), Tessa Larson (Smug), Jennavieve Harms (Puck), Aubrey Hartweck (Titania), Kirra Fluegel (Mustardseed), Kenlee Pitterle (Moth), Jules Negron  (Cobweb), Katie Marshall (Peaseblossom), and understudy Saylor Kieper (Tom Snout) made up an all star high school cast.

Behind the scenes, stage, costume and light crews added needed touches to the overall production. Mr. Sean Moler is the manager of the PAC. Mrs. Kelley Beard served as director of props and costumes. Gemma Baines wowed everyone with her creatively stunning set design and master building skills.

Annalise Mesa was the stage manager. Elizabeth Carmona and Brody Sorn were assistant stage managers. Daisy Hardwick and Nina Mcclung were the dramaturgs. Anastasia Halcumb, Trinity Halcumb, David Houha, and Annelise Mesa worked the lights. Braydon Beck, Evan Gilson, and Jackson Lawyer served as the audio crew. Evan Guetschow, and Brady Sorn were the rigging crew.

Props and costumes are always key elements to any production, handled by Kennedie Borucki, Elizabeth Carmona, Rosemary Cook, Juniper Gray, Rilynn Grover, Addisyn Hansen, Koda Heckman, Stephanie Irving, Lillian Jobst, Saylor Kieper, Cal Kramper, Chloe Lamont, Tia Leindecker, Maddelin Matrick, Ellie Naumovhich, Savanna Nieber, Jazlyn Oberg, Kaitlyn Ogden, Mackenzie Omalley, Lela Pagles,Grace Petravicz, Alistair Petz, Madeline Schmurr, Molly Toole, Molly Vosberg, Berlin Weidman, June Weidman, and Lis Wells.

In the depths of the storytelling is a reflection on the relationships in our own lives and on what it means to truly love those closest to you. HCHS's Midsummer Night's Dream drove home the main point of the story.

Both cast and crew grabbed the audience's attention from the second the curtain opened until the final curtain call. A well deserved standing ovation finished out each show.

Click, tap, or swipe on the photo below to view an image gallery from the show, courtesy of the Hononegah Facebook page.

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