What do you get when you mix lovers, actors, faeries, moonlight and magic gone wrong? One of Shakespeare's most beloved plays ever. A Midsummer Night's Dream has been delighting audiences for well over 400 years but is still as fresh and sassy as ever. Now Anna Smulowitz will put her directorial panache on this play this summer at the Firehouse Center for the Arts.*
Meet Theseus and Hippolyta, soon to be newlyweds; Oberon, king of the faeries and his Queen Titania; and of course, the mischievous Puck who errs in his mission to spread love-in-idleness, a flower that possesses magic powers and if spread on one's eyelids causes the affected one to fall in love with the first living thing seen upon waking.
Mayhem ensues when lovers, faeries and a troupe of actors rehearsing their play for the upcoming wedding festivities all collide in the forest and give credence to the words of Lysander: "The course of true love never did run smooth."
This is a very special production for Ms. Smulowitz who has been staging plays and teaching acting in the Port City for more than thirty years -- her own grandchild, Elizabeth Clopton will be making her acting debut in this play. Elizabeth is also the grandchild of Marc Clopton, Director of the Actor's Studio (Newburyport).
"Passing my love of children's theater down to Elizabeth is a great joy for me," says Smulowitz. Clearly this is true judging by the Smulowitz alumni that have turned out for her this year.
Several other performers in the current production of the Shakespeare classic started their theatrical careers with Smulowitz when they were young children and have now returned to play leading roles in the current A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Andy Blaustein and Joe Berardi both went on to study theater after leaving Ms. Smulowitz's tutelage, Blaustein at Emerson College and Berardi at Circle in the Square theatre.
Jason Novak is another Smulowitz protégé who performed Terezin in Auschwitz for her 18 years ago when Smulowitz took a young troupe of performers abroad to stage her award-winning original play. Novak, an equity actor, is Smulowitz's Assistant Director for this production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. He recently starred in Proof at the Firehouse and has returned to the Port City after 10 years as an off-Broadway actor.
John Sheedy, now a local artist, will be taking the role of the Duke. He played a major character role in Smulowitz’s first season in Newburyport (1979), and he performed at Newburyport High School during some of the school's theatrical productions before graduating from there.
Linda Zirin, who has collaborated with Anna Smulowitz for 15 years and has worked on her productions such as Oliver! and Millyard, Massachusetts will provide the choreography for A Midsummer Night's Dream.
As the students of Anna Smulowitz, both past and present, take to the stage there is sure to be much ado about A Midsummer Night's Dream. Don't miss this great cast under the direction of one of the area's most beloved theater instructors as they bring Shakespeare's most popular play to the Firehouse and to North Shore theater-goers.