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A Midsummer Night's Dream - Mvilledth.org

A Midsummer Night's Dream - Mvilledth.org

Perhaps time is playing

Perhaps time is playing tricks on me, but from the recesses of mymind come misty childhood recollections of sitting in the local movietheatre in my rural Wisconsin hometown and watching matinee double-features, complete with silent or early sound two-reelers. The films ofCharlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, The Three Stooges,Harold Lloyd, The Little Rascals – they all occupy my memories likeflickers of light glinting off a sunlit stream. Or so I remember…For me these silent films, as do Shakespeare’s plays, evoke amagical world, one recognizable and immediate as well as distant andtimeless. So, when asked to direct A Midsummer Night’s Dream for theManhattanville College community, I decided to present the play asthough seen through the prism of the “flickers” of the Silent Film Era,drawing inspiration from many of the movie stars of the period interms of developing the play’s characters, employing the acting style ofthese films, and fashioning the visual design of the production.This production, however, could not have occurred without thesupport of many talented and dedicated people, and I would be remissin not thanking them or acknowledging their contributions. First, myheartfelt appreciation goes out to Professor Michael Posnick for givingme this opportunity and for his unparalleled support and guidancethroughout the production process. A special nod must go out, too, toSue Fleishaker for keeping me on track with completing the million andone details that accompanied producing and directing this play. Ablyassisted by Americia Weber and Kate Zehr, Mike Lounsbery hasdesigned and built an imaginative set enhanced by a lighting design thatpresents the multiple worlds within The Dream. Complementing the setand lighting designs is Liz Prince’s incomparable costume design, andPeter Pucci’s heart-and-soul of Vaudeville choreography. Finally, I amdeeply indebted to my dear friend, Dr. Michael Dilthey, for his wonderfuloriginal musical score specially composed for thisproduction, played with gusto and aplomb by Diane Guernsey.But the real stars of this production are the students! StageManagers Lauren Cunningham and Aubrey Reason have kept rehearsalsand the production on track with diligence and good humor. Whethercoaching his fellow actors or providing advice on utilizing themusical score, assistant director Jung Han Kim has proven to be agodsend! Finally, my deepest appreciation must be expressed to mydedicated, talented cast with whom I have been engaged with this playsince early September. I consider myself blessed to have been in theircompany and to have shared with them the creative process that hasresulted in this production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which Ihope that you enjoy as much as we have enjoyed creating it.Brian Leahy Doyle, Director, earned his MFA in Theatre at theUniversity of Utah and served as first resident dramaturge ofthe Pioneer Theatre Company. He has directed productions atthe Whole Theatre, Cincinnati Theatre Festival, and Louisville’sClassics in Context Festival, and such off-Broadway venues as the IrishArts Center, Riverside Shakespeare, the 92nd Street Y/Makor, as wellas the New York premiere of composer Aaron Jay Kernitz’s The FourSeasons of Futurist Cuisine at Weill Recital Hall. He particularly enjoysdirecting Shakespeare (Love’s Labor’s Lost, Two Gentlemen ofVerona, Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, TwelfthNight, Hamlet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Brian’s book,Encore! The Renaissance of Wisconsin Opera Houses (WisconsinHistorical Society Press), focuses upon the restoration of historictheaters in Wisconsin and won a National Best Book Award, aForeWord Review Book Award, and the Theatre Historical Society ofAmerica’s Outstanding Book of the Year Award.Michael Dilthey, Composer, is Assistant Professor ofMusic at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where heteaches music theory and technology. He received hisDoctorate in Composition from Northwestern University. He alsoholds Master of Music degrees in composition and conducting. He hascomposed two operas and a musical, orchestral and choral music aswell as theatrical incidental music. Recently he had his compositionfor string orchestra premiere at Carnegie Hall in New York City and inSweden. His areas of teaching are music theory and composition.Michael lives in North Adams with his wife, Ellen, and their four sons.Michael Lounsbery, Set, Lighting and Sound Designer, holdsan MFA in Theatre Design from the University of Memphis.Over the course of his career he has had the privilege todesign lights and sound for theatres such as the Atlantic Theatre,Northern Stage, Vermont Stage, New Century Theatre, and theUniversity of Vermont. He has worked on designs for such shows asEquus, The Crucible, Piece of My Heart, A Streetcar Named Desire,Soul Repairs, and Pirates of Penzance to name a few. When notworking behind the scenes, he likes to try his hand at being in front ofthe lights in performing shows like A Midsummer Night's Dream,

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