Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing one of William Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed beautifully at the Los Angeles Repertory Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. At first glance, this performance space looks more like an industrial warehouse than an art house, but walking in you are transformed to the magical land of Midsummer.
The play was originally written by Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman and tells the story of aspiring actresses who live together in a boarding house in New York. It is set in 1937 the beginning of the great depression and economic downturn and includes themes of struggle, the inequality of gender and class, struggles of poverty whilst also living a noble life. Even though the story is set in 1937 it had come relevant to the practice of each individual student as they complete their academic career here at UCLan and begin to think about their professional career in the current economic climate.
Once seated the lights fell you were welcomed by jazz music easing the audience into the theme, the setting of the play and filled the audience with anticipation. Once the music had stopped, the play leaped into dialogue and the play had begun. Without sitting on the fence, in my opinion, each actor and actress played a leading role to the play. Whether it was adding comical affect with stage presents or ensuring the play flowed and kept the audience alert, each actor/actress made the play a success. After joining the caste in rehearsal only a few days before the first play, I was blown away and wasn’t disappointed by the final product. The sheer level of talent shone through the play accompanied with a high level of energy and dedication which, to my understanding, never failed. I think the caste would agree when I say much appreciation is to be had by the director of this production, Darren Tunstall.