Shakespeare and Selfies: AHS Drama Co. Presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream

November 18, 2015

Generations of American high schoolers have dreaded reading the works of William Shakespeare. Even A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a romantic comedy which follows the magical misadventures of both human and supernatural couples, has been labelled “boring” and “hard to understand”. It is unsurprising that many students went to Annapolis High’s production of the classic play, run from November 13-15, with a fair amount of skepticism. Whatever preconceived notions they had were soon sent flying out the window.

Instead of the traditional forest and Greek village, the set was a boardwalk, complete with colorful snack shacks and beach chairs. Immediately, it was clear that this was not going to be your typical Shakespeare performance. The Annapolis High School Drama Company was more than able to deliver on that presumption. It brought the play to life in an innovative, fresh way that attracted the attention of both frequent and infrequent playgoers.

Though traditional dialogue was used, pop culture references were scattered throughout the production. A pair of overzealous lovers, for example, took a selfie after a particularly flowery monologue. And instead of having a completely animal costume, the actor playing Bottom (Rowland Smith) dressed as a donkey-eared Justin Bieber. None of this took away from the story, but instead added another dimension to it.

As the hardworking actors, tech crew, and teachers proved, it is more than possible to enjoy the timeless comedy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the present day. We do not have to completely rewrite Shakespeare’s comedic moments, mischievous fairies, and breathtaking poems- we just have to learn how to apply them to our modern lives. Thanks to the AHS Drama Company, and others companies like it, the beauty of classical plays has not faded over time. Even though the set has been taken down, and the Panther’s production may seem only a dream in our minds, the magic still lingers on.

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