From Shakespeare to Simon, local high school thespians are honing their craft, learning literature and enjoying the magic of live theater, as Dearborn Divine Child High School presents “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Grosse Ile High School stages “The Good Doctor.”
DC PRESENTS ‘A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM’
From a faerie queen falling for a donkey, to mortal lovers chasing their enchanted better halves, Divine Child High School presents William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
The show runs 7:30 p.m. Nov 21 to 23, and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 24 in the DCHS auditorium, 1001 N. Silvery Lane, Dearborn.
Director Kenneth Overwater said it has been 18 years since DCHS staged a Shakespearean production.
“We were long overdue,” he said. “We chose ‘Midsummer’ because we knew there were myriad opportunities for students to express themselves, while learning to perform a classical theater piece.”
Overwater said he annotated the script to provide the students with context and definitions, and at the first read-through, they discussed the text and its meaning, its historical context and references in the language.
“From there, we helped the students use the language to develop their characters,” he said. “We want the students to have an experience they will always cherish, and hopefully engender a love of theater and literature. Obviously, we want them to learn about the historical and literary significance of Shakespeare, but we also want them to connect with people who lived over 400 years ago and to see how many of the same joys and concerns we share.”
Overwater said he hopes audiences enjoys the show’s stunning, funny and heartfelt moments without feeling the need to be an Elizabethan scholar.
“Don’t be scared of Shakespeare,” he said. “Our students, teachers, parents and volunteers have striven heroically to create a show that will thrill and entertain our audiences. Come and see it.”
Connor Kozlowski, who plays Oberon, said he has enjoyed discovering the jokes and the physical comedy in his role, while learning the dialogue was his biggest challenge.
“I have done everything I could think of, from writing them out, to recording myself and listening to it,” he said. “The show is incredibly funny.”
Hanna Young, who plays Hermia, said it is a fun show in which to perform.
“While Shakespeare is unlike any show I’ve ever been in, and is quite difficult, it has enabled me to learn, and develop new skills and techniques,” she said. “This play has taught me to appreciate Shakespeare in a way that you cannot grasp when just reading it in school.”
Young said every line and word are filled with meaning, and while memorization has been challenging, she said it has been exciting to see Shakespeare come alive.
“This show has so many unique and interesting characters,” she said. “I am so blessed to be able to perform in this show.”
Rhonwyn Martin, who plays Titania, said it is amazing to watch the show come to life, and to learn the hidden meanings in Shakespeare’s writing.
She said it has been a challenge for her to learn to act like a queen.
“I am used to listening to what others tell me, and to following orders, and very rarely making them,” Martin said. “Being a commanding figure who also falls ridiculously in love with a beast is a challenge, but I am so grateful for this amazing part.”
She said she loves the humor in Shakespeare’s work, and “Midsummer” is no exception.
“Every scene has something in it to make you laugh,” Martin said. “The costumes and set add a magic tone to the show, and bring the piece to life.”
She said performing Shakespeare onstage is a dream come true.
“This show will definitely be one of my favorites for years to come,” she said.
Six roles are double cast.
On Thursday and Saturday, Nora Nieman plays Hippolyta, with Emily Walker as Helena, Hanna Young as Hermia, Rhonwyn Martin as Titania, Jana Rida as Puck, and Cass Dickey as Peter Quince.
On Friday and Sunday, London Bermudez plays Hippolyta, with Allie Nold as Helena, Avery McKelvey as Hermia, Sydney Porada as Titania, Rachel Rudzinski as Puck, and Emily Davidson as Peter Quince.
The cast also includes Luke Duncan as Theseus, Jack Aaron as Egeus, Lana Elzein as Philostrate, Noah Trapp as Demetrius and Ben Noethlich as Lysander.
Maddy Woods plays a faerie, with Sydney Schropshire as Peaseblossom, Natalia Torres as Cobweb, Madeline Gertsen as Moth and Natalie Hess as Mustardseed.
Broadie Kielb plays Nick Bottom, with Nick Maccani as the understudy. The Mechanicals include Eddie Gawlik as Francis Flute, Claire Reinhardt as Tom Snout, Nicholas Maccani as Snug and Joseph Rea as Robin Starveling.
Zemina Treglowne and Jasmine Velazques are attendants, and Natalie Nikolajevs, Gabby Pizzino, Jordyn Coury, Lea Saad, Savannah Fish, Emma Hunt, Ella Hall, Mary Bustamante, Stella Arsenault and Claire Schultz play faeries.
Tickets are $10, with a $2 discount for students, and are available at the door and online, at divinechildhighschool.org.
GROSSE ILE HIGH SCHOOL PRESENTS NEIL SIMON’S “THE GOOD DOCTOR”
Neil Simon’s “The Good Doctor,” popular short plays based on the short stories of Anton Chekhov, will capture the imagination and tickle the funny bone of attendees while it challenges the acting acumen of its cast.
The show runs 7 p.m. Nov. 22 and 23 and 2 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Grosse Ile High School Auditorium, 7800 Grays Drive, Grosse Ile Township.
Director Kelly Komlen said the show, which combines the storytelling talents of Simon and Chekhov, introduces audiences to characters that are relatable, absurd and strikingly human.
“‘The Good Doctor’ is, by turns, a charming, hilarious and touching play, exploring the eccentricities and frailties of being human,” Komlen said. “It consists of a series of short plays, based on short stories by Anton Chekhov.”
She said the stories are narrated by an unnamed writer, meant to represent Chekhov himself, who is wrestling with writer’s block and his own artistic demons.
“Throughout the play, the writer speaks to the audience as his confidante, sharing these stories through one day,” Komlen said. “The stories are from his childhood, from his family and friends, and his own life experiences.”
Joshua Baxter, who plays the husband, Nicky, in “The Seduction,” General Brassilhov in “The Sneeze” and Anton in “The Arrangement,” said he feels connected with the other actors.
“The cast feels like one big, dysfunctional family,” he said. “It’s really funny, and we get to say and do things you wouldn’t think the school would allow.”
Caleb Matkovich, who plays the Narrator, Kuryatin, Peter and Father, said the most challenging aspect is the personality changes he makes throughout the show.
“I play a writer who transforms into various roles, such as an unqualified medical student, a seducer of men’s wives, a condescending casting director and a father,” he said. “The show is very unique, and the constantly changing plot keeps the audience interested.”
Kit Waddell, who plays the Mistress in “The Governess” and Kistunov in “A Defenseless Creature,” said she’s enjoyed the challenge of becoming a better actor by playing roles which are markedly different from her own personality.
“We have worked hard putting this show together, through learning curves and unexpected situations, and we have persevered and tried our best to make it amazing,” she said.
Jess Roekle as Cherdyakov in “The Sneeze,” said while memorizing lines is challenging, he enjoys bringing the characters to life onstage.
“It takes time, but when you step foot on the stage, the adrenaline kicks in,” he said. “It will make for an exciting night out.”
The cast also includes: Quinn Murphy as Madame Brassilhov, Emily Bailey as a wife, Alia Bast as Julia, Arianna Cook as the Sexton, Lexi Yager as a wife, Jessica Fraczek as a sailor, Nevaeh Jose as a policeman, Christina Cobb as a girl and as the assistant, and Kat Wright as a girl.
Tickets are $8, with a $2 discount for students, and are available at the door.