'Midsummer' casting announced, read the synopsis and more

August 20th, 2014

Midsummer Night’s Dream

Choreography: Mark Godden Costume Design: Anne Armit 

Lighting Design: Greg MacPherson

Scenic Design: Andrew Beck

Music: Felix Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Incidental Music, Op. 61; EMI Classics.

Cast:       

Titania: Crystal Brothers

Oberon: Travis Bradley

Puck: Kendall G. Britt Jr.  

Hermia: Julie Niekrasz

Lysander: Rafael Ferreras Jr.

Demetrius: Brandon Ramey

Helena: Virginia Pilgrim Ramey  

Writer: Ben Slayen

Bottom: Steven McMahon

Father: Alberto Gaspar  

Fairies: Anwen David, Alexis Hedge, Hideko Karasawa, Elizabeth Mensah, Lauren Pschirrer, Ashley Hannah Davis, Natalie Kischuk, Valerie Walker    

Mark Godden (Choreographer) was born in the U.S. and now lives in Canada. He has created original works for Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, Ballet Florida, Compania National de Danza–Mexico, Ballet Contemporania–Argentina, Ballet Memphis, Alberta Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, BalletMet, American Repertory Ballet and North Carolina Dance Theater. He is the permanent guest choreographer with the Harid Dance Conservatory, and many of his works have won awards in both Varna and Helsinki ballet competitions. He is a Choo San Goh award recipient, and his full-length Dracula, originally created for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet then filmed for Canada’s Opening Night, won an Emmy for best performing arts film, as well as the award for best choreography in the Monaco Film Festival. His Magic Flute for Canadian Broadcast Corporation was released in February 2006. Godden also directed the Canadian portion of the closing ceremonies for the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy. For Ballet Memphis, Godden also has set his Angels in the Architecture and created Firebird, Carmina Burana and Two Jubilees.   Anne Armit (Costume Designer) was born in St. Andrews, Scotland, but moved to Ottawa at age four. She attended Seneca College in 1972, was named Student Designer of the Year in 1975 and was awarded a scholarship to the Ontario College of Art. After graduation, she worked for one year in the fashion industry before obtaining work as a seamstress at the St. Lawrence Centre. Anne also freelanced for organizations such as the National Ballet of Canada, Shaw Festival, Stratford Festival, Charlottetown Festival, the National Arts Centre and the Canadian Opera Company. A promotion to Junior Cutter at the St. Lawrence Centre was followed by an offer of employment from the National Ballet of Canada. From 1979 to 1989 Anne owned her own business creating costumes for film, television and theatre, including the contract for Cats. She joined Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet in 1989 as Director of Wardrobe and this position has given her the opportunity to travel and design productions such as L.I.F.E., La Bayadère, Raymonda, Creaturehood and more. Anne also created the costumes for Ballet Memphis’ 2014 premiere of Peter Pan.   Andrew Beck (Set Designer) was born in Staffordshire, England and was brought to Canada as a child in 1967. He was educated in the Fine Arts Department at the University of Manitoba and completed a thesis in painted sculpture in 1983. Since that time he has worked on landscape painting and sculptures which have been exhibited in parallel and commercial galleries across Canada. His work is included in private collections in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom and in public collections such as Great-West Life, Power Corporation, Manitoba Legislature and Manitoba Arts Council Art Bank. His most recent set design was for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Peter Pan. In addition to his own work Andrew has worked as a scenic artist and designer for 15 years. In this capacity he has worked at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Manitoba Theatre Centre and Rainbow Stage. Other credits include the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards and the TV series Falcon Beach.   Greg MacPherson (Lighting Design) Recent designs include Roulette, at the John Houseman Theater, the New York productions of The Rooster in the Henhouse, Broad Channel, and Ensemble Studio Theatre’s annual Marathon of One-Act Plays (since 1985). He also designed the New York and Los Angeles productions of Tape, and the New York and Chicago productions of Killer Joe. Past work includes In Transit at LaMama, The Pitchfork Disney at Here, Easter for Naked Angels and Masha No Home, Summer Cyclone and Moving Bodies at Ensemble Studio Theater. He designs the lighting for the ongoing Las Vegas production of Penn & Teller. Greg has worked with directors Jerry Zaks, Trip Cullman and David Esbjornson designing new plays by Warren Leight, Christopher Durang, Romulus Linney, Horton Foote, Jose Rivera, and John Guare. He has enjoyed designing for The 52nd Street Project since 1988 and has taught lighting design at Sarah Lawrence College since 1990. Greg also designed Wizard of Oz for Ballet Memphis.   PRODUCTION STAFF DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION: Allan Kerr STAGE MANAGER / PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: Kristen Greene TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: Robert New MASTER ELECTRICIAN: Josh Kosmicki WARDROBE ASSISTANT: Gabriella Moros   Scene 1: “The course of true love never did run smooth.” Hermia and Lysander are in love. Demetrius is in love with Hermia. He used to be in love with Helena, who is in love with him now. Hermia’s father prefers she marry Demetrius, so Hermia and Lysander run away. Meanwhile, Helena is desperate to win Demetrius’ love, so she reveals to Demetrius the escape plans of Hermia and Lysander. Scene 2: “We will meet; and there we may rehearse most obscenely and courageously.” Elsewhere, The Writer is busy working on a script. Bottom, an aspiring actor and The Writer’s friend, loves himself, and wants nothing more than to perform. Impatient for his lines, Bottom steals the script from The Writer. In a moment of passionate expression, Bottom accidentally kills a flower. Scene 3: “I’ll meet by moonlight, proud Titania.” Titania, Queen of the Fairies, loves her magical ability to give life, so she revives the fallen flower. Oberon, King of the Fairies, loves his ability to control life. Oberon and Titania are having an argument as Oberon wants Titania’s source for giving life. She refuses. Scene 4: “Yet mark’d I where the bolt of Cupid fell. … Fetch me that flower.” Oberon enlists Puck, another Fairy, in his revengeful plot against Titania. At Oberon’s request, Puck retrieves a flower with supernatural abilities. The flower’s juice, when dropped into Titania’s eyes, will cause her to fall in love with the first thing she spies. Oberon hopes it’s an ugly beast. Scene 5: “I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.” Helena is rejected by Demetrius. Invisible to humans, Oberon takes pity on Helena. He breaks the flower in half and orders Puck to anoint Demetrius’ eyes while he sleeps. When Demetrius wakes, he will fall in love with the first person he sees. Oberon assumes this will be Helena as she is following Demetrius. Scene 6: “What thou seest when thou dost wake, Do it for thy true-love take?” Titania falls asleep and Oberon anoints her eyes. Hermia, Lysander, Helena and Demetrius also fall asleep. Puck mistakenly anoints Lysander’s eyes. The next person Lysander sees with his anointed eyes is Helena. Hermia wakes to find that her lover, Lysander, is wooing Helena. The lovers exit. Oberon has witnessed the confusion among the lovers and orders Puck to correct the mistaken identity. Scene 7: “What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?” Meanwhile, Bottom and The Writer enter, looking for a place to rehearse. The Writer expresses his interpretation of the script; Bottom rejects his ideas. The Writer leaves dejected. The Fairies enter to transform Bottom into an Ass. Walking with freshly anointed eyes, the first person Titania sees is Bottom. Titania falls in love with the Ass. Scene 8: “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” Puck corrects his mistake by guiding the lovers back to sleep and anointing Demetrius’ eyes and reanointing Lysander’s eyes. Upon waking, the right lovers fall in love with the right partners. Scene 9: “But we are spirits of another sort: I with the morning’s love have oft made sport.” Oberon enters and removes the spell on Titania. Whe she wakes, Titania is humiliated to discover her indiscretions with an Ass. Oberon and Titania forgive each other. Scene 10: “Trip away; make no stay; meet me all by break of day.” The Ass head is removed from Bottom, who is thankful to be reunited with his friend The Writer. The fairies exit. The Writer has fallen asleep and wakes with a brilliant idea. As he starts to write fairy dust falls from his script.