THEATRE TAKES MIDSUMMER ON WINTER TOUR

ANDREA CONOVER

amconover13@ole.augie.edu
 
midsummer

Augustana Performing and Visual Arts will explore the professional world of theater this January, as it

takes the production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on tour.

Assistant Professor Dan Workman directs the cast of 10 students, all of whom will be joining him on tour

during interim. Auditions for the play took place in late September and rehearsal began in early October.

Performances at the college will take place Nov. 20-24 and in January, the cast will pack up the show and

hit the road. In addition to the tour, the cast will perform part of the show with the South Dakota Symphony

in March.

The tour will visit the towns of Pierre, Hill City, Box Elder, Lead and Harrisburg, South Dakota, along with

Luverne, Minnesota. In addition to these performances, the cast and crew will attend the Kennedy Center

American College Theater Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska where they will have the opportunity to attend

workshops and possibly put on a performance.

With such a small cast, nearly every member plays multiple characters. With the exception of senior

Katelynn Kenney, who plays Puck, and junior Matt Stoffel, who plays Bottom, each cast member has a

principal and a mechanical role. Several actors even have three roles.

As head costumer for the production, sophomore Beth Schleusener, is in charge of making sure all the cast

members are in full costume at all times, a complex task when eight of the 10 actors have numerous parts.

“The cast is very intimate,” Schleusener said, “They work really well together and are all good friends.”

The cast is eager to take the production on tour. “It’s finally a really solid example of what life in a

professional theater company would be like. You don’t get that in high school,” freshman Claire Avery

said.

Upon arriving at each town, they have three hours to unpack, set up and prepare for the show.

“I’m really excited to go to each high school and set up and tear down like a professional touring

company,” sophomore Ian Curtis said.

As with any production, especially a touring production, difficulties are apt to rise up.. “There will be

challenges, but none are unexpected,” Workman said. “We have been very deliberate with planning.”

According to several cast members, the entire rehearsal process has felt short and the task of not only

memorizing, but comprehending Shakespearean language has been difficult.

“It was cool though, because Dan was usually pretty okay with how we interpreted things,” freshman Eli

Yackel-Juleen said, “I think that’s why Shakespeare’s so popular, it can be translated into so many time

periods.”

In order to tour, the size of the company had to be cut down, but this has been an advantage so far. “It’s a

very cohesive cast,” said Curtis.

“One reason we work so well together is Dan sort of fit us perfectly,” Yackel-Juleen said, “The only

drama’s on the stage.”