Preparation begins, fall play set for November

Lauren Hansen, Editor-In-Chief

North’s theater program will kick off its fall 2017 performance with a rendition of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” running Nov. 17-19.

North has never performed a Shakespearian play, but “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is often performed at a high school level.

“I felt it was time to do some Shakespeare, and a comedy seemed the perfect choice,” director Christopher Crawford said.

The sets are designed by social studies teacher Sean Barber and built with the help of the tech crew.

“There are always different challenges with building a set. The stage we have at PNHS is huge, so finding the right balance of set pieces to fill the space while still doing the show justice with our vision of what we want and staying under budget is hard. Overall, though, we have been moving right along with the set,,” Barber said.

Ticket sales, program posters and costumes, which get help from the Costume Department, are supervised by physics teacher Lori Kraus.

“This year we have a fun challenge. The stage is going to transition from an auto park to a woods throughout several scenes. So, our costumes have to transition as well. Its put a unique twist on what we’re doing on our costumes,” Kraus said.

Throughout September and October rehearsals are 2-4 times a week for about 3 hours. In November they are moved up to 5 times a week with longer rehearsals.

“I like coming to rehearsals and being able to have fun with friends, but also act and put on a show,” senior Katherine Buchanan said.

Because of the ong hours spent working together, students feel a close bond with one another.

“I really like the community it [the play] brings because even if you’re new to the program, you can still find new friends,” senior Megi Mecolli said.

Some anticipated issues with the language for the actors are understanding the meaning of words, archaic allusions and speaking in iambic pentameter which is used throughout Shakespeare’s plays.

“Part of our mission is theatre education and therefore we need to offer different and challenging genres of plays for students to perform,” Crawford said.

Crawford acknowledges a possible issue amongst audience members when it comes to Shakespeare because of how the language differs from modern terms. Problems can also arise with the allusions that are no longer part of today’s culture.

To remedy these concerns, the setting was updated to 1940s Las Vegas. Additionally, sections are cut or have substitutions. The hope is that by reducing the length of the play and with a quicker pace the audience’s attention will be kept.

“[The best part is] being able to work with regular high school students to transform into the characters and put on a big show,” senior Jamie Krankavitch said.

Some of the language is updated as well. Movement will be used to clarify and advance the story. The actors will also be taught to use different inflection depending on the needed emotion of a scene.

“My favorite part is just being able to experience different people’s lives and the things they’ve gone through, and I think it’s really cool to get to know people through acting,” sophomore Bella Cruz said.

The final week covers the last minute arrangements to ensure all components are working together so the story is cohesive. The entire show is run through every night including the sets, lighting, sound and costumes.

“I like the whole thing. It’s such a warm environment. As much as I love acting, I love the people more. It’s everything I need at the end of a rough day, “senior Joseph Nuzzi said.