Said by Hermia herself, portrayed by Vineta Sondors ‘18, “I am amazed and know not what to say.” The same phrase could be used when describing Foothill Technology High School’s first 2017 school year production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with a 90’s twist.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” follows mischief and mayhem caused by two fairies, Oberon and his loyal servant Robin Goodfellow, as they meddle with the four main characters’ love lives.
The show kicks off with Helena pining for Demetrius, who retains an unrequited devotion to Hermia, who is already in love with Lysander. The courtship of Hermia and Lysander faces one problem: Hermia’s father, Egeus, does not give Lysander his approval. He instead he grants it to Demetrius. Because of this, Hermia is given four days to make a choice: marry Demetrius, or be in exile forever.
Meanwhile, Robin Goodfellow, Oberon’s servant, possesses a flower that, if extracted, could make one person become completely infatuated with the first person that they set their eyes on. By mistake, Robin Goodfellow makes both Lysander and Demetrius fall for Helena, leaving Hermia alone and making the already complicated situation evermore complex.
While the ‘love-square’ faces its’ own issues, a local theatre troupe prepares for a show, which they hope will be performed for the king and queen. Leader ‘Patty’ Quince has trouble with controlling overambitious actor, Nick Bottom. Luckily, Robin Goodfellow pays a visit to these actors as well and converts Nick Bottom into what he already retains the disposition of: a donkey.
If just given these three situations, a regular audience member would be justly perplexed. Fueling all three conditions of Robin Goodfellow causing mischief was Oberon, King of the fairies. Oberon and his queen, Titania, even with the natural chemistry brought by the actors, are currently estranged for the reason that Titania will not give up a fairy-child to be one of Oberon’s henchman. To shame Titania into giving him her protected boy, Oberon plans to use a magic flower to make her fall in love with a beast, in this case Nick Bottom. Then after seeing Helena being obviously hated by Demetrius, Oberon feels pity and sends Robin Goodfellow to help Helena win the heart of her beloved, but he instead causes much more than bargained for.
One of Shakespeare’s complicated, but enriching works of art was proven to be conquered by Foothill’s drama department, with considerable help from directors Annie Castañeda and Lily Hargett ‘18. Hargett credits her cast for their “commitment […] especially with people starting sports […] and having to work around schedules.”
“It went amazing […] it went better than anyone expected, usually the first night is kind of rocky […], but we hit the floor running and it kept on running,” Hargett enthused.
By placing the show in a 90’s era, Hargett said that she and her co-director agreed that the change in scenery and showing off outrageous costumes “captivates the audience”, while also allowing her actors space to add their own spins to the characters respectively, whether it was metallic clothing or an easy, accessible buy.
Peter Jespersen ‘18, who portrays Demetrius, commented that “the plays have changed as the nights go on, this is the probably the best performance that has been given.” Jespersen shows that he is proud of his cast mates and states “they give it everything they got.”
Hannah Yale ‘20 and Jake Ayers ‘19 joked about many of the mishaps that happened on the way to the show such as other cast members “missing their cues” and somehow managing to lose “all of the flowers.” Luckily many problems on stage can be handled by improvisation.
Putting on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” may have seen like a blatant challenge, but with the two-month rehearsal time, it has become one of the most enthralling shows Foothill has put on yet.