Volume 92, Issue 5

Friday, June 12, 1998

hakuna matata


Midsummer nights shine magically on campus

By Christina Vardanis
Gazette Staff

A magical land of fairies who coexist with mortals, careless adventure, fate, disillusion and true love. All this can be found in one of Western's own magical alcoves.

Puck and Oberon, the forest-ruling fairies of Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream, own the garden courtyard of the Richard Ivey School of Business this summer, continuing the long running tradition of summer Shakespeare at Western. Megan McCallum directs this year's outdoor show, which combines theatre veterans and rookies in a play that transforms the campus into a supernatural fantasy stage.

McCallum speaks of the eclectic cast of students, retired professors and children, which she says is essential for any Shakespearean play. "The thing about Shakespeare is that it doesn't exactly lend itself to a '20s crowd. You need the experience and knowledge of those older."

After witnessing eight productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, McCallum was faced with the challenge of making this production unique. "People tend to either take a happy stance or a depressed vision of humanity stance with this play," she explains, adding that her interpretation will incorporate both aspects. "Theatre should reflect life. And life is not happy or sad all the time. I'm trying to strike a balance with this show."

The beautiful backdrop of the Ivey gardens does have a cost for the actors. "Projection is a problem," McCallum says. "As is the uneven ground and mud." However, none of these drawbacks outweigh the benefits of a serene natural setting.

"[An outdoor setting] has a certain ambiance," McCallum muses. "The sounds, the movement of nature and even the stillness is so much different. It's really beautiful."

A Midsummer Night's Dream runs July 7th to July 18th with performances on Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are available in advance at the department of English, Belle Air Music (364 Richmond) or at the door.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998