There has been great acclaim for the Middle School Drama production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, showing in the Glen Forrest Performing Arts Centre from 24-26 August.
Directed by drama teacher Thea O’Keeffe, Shakespeare’s most popular comedy played to mostly full houses over the four performances.
Congratulations to Thea, the cast and creative team who performed A Midsummer Night’s Dream… it was an outstanding success, on so many levels… a new generation of students has now become enamoured of the work of William Shakespeare.
Christian Hansen, Head of Department – Arts
There were two casts for the production, performing alternately, after auditions brought interest from a large number of students in Years 6-10. Ms O’Keeffe was thrilled to see their confidence and their appreciation for traditional theatre.
As director, she set a challenge for herself and for her cast, in staging the play as theatre-in-the-round. It paid off. The performers were comfortable with their physicality in the intimate setting and worked hard to engage all members of the audience, right to the back rows. The genesis for such a successful approach began in rehearsals, with the students contributing their own dynamic ideas to bring this play to life.
This was never about reciting Shakespeare – it was about the story. At the same time, the very youthful students in each cast have taken on the poetic language and monologues with an impressive gusto.
Thea O’Keeffe, Director
There was praise for the younger members of both casts, tackling Shakespeare for the first time.
Shakespeare strikes fear in the heart of directors and even accomplished adult casts can fail to create an entertaining and understandable show. Thea has worked with an exceptionally young cast, many from Years 6 and 7 and has managed to mould them into a really great performance. I am in awe of what she has done with such a young cast and if you didn’t go, you surely missed out.
Tracey Wood, Helena College teacher
Such an amazing performance from students of any age, but to stage it with such a young cast was particularly special.
Ian Lyons, Helena College Principal