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Milligan stages 'Midsummer Night's Dream'

March 26th, 2014 11:14 am by Entertainment Staff

Milligan stages 'Midsummer Night's Dream'

The Milligan College theater department's production of William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" opens this week in the McGlothlin-Street Theatre of Milligan's Gregory Center for the Liberal Arts.

Performances begin at 7:30 p.m., March 27-29 and at 2:30 p.m., March 30. Tickets are $5. There will be a free performance at 10 a.m., Friday, March 28 for home-schooled children and their parents.

"'Midsummer' is by far one of the most popular of Shakespeare's comedies, and Milligan's staged version lives up to the hilarity one expects of this play," said Richard Major, director and professor of theatre at Milligan.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" takes audiences on magical romp through a fairy-infested forest, complete with star-crossed young people in love, a motley crew of rustic actors and a grumpy curmudgeon who tries to put a damper on the marital merriment.

Milligan's family friendly production will appeal to audiences of all ages, and Major encourages theater-goers not to be intimidated by the playwright.

"I have tried my very best to make this production accessible to all ages, which is in sharp contrast to what many people envision when they hear that a theater group is doing a Shakespearian production," Major said. "Many people wonder how a play written half a millennium ago can have anything relevant to say to a person living in the 21st century. Well, Shakespeare wrote for the masses, and the themes in his comedies are ageless as he wrote about love, sacrifice, whimsical encounters and playful moments between human beings."

Pamela Adolphi, director of lighting, scenery and costume design, helps create those playful and memorable moments on the Milligan stage.

"Pamela never ceases to amaze me, as she always seems to design shows in a way that not only serves the needs of the play, but in a way that transports us to the magical place where the action takes place," Major said.

Headlining the cast is Laura Mixon of Kingsport as the mischievous Puck, a fairy who sets the play into motion.

Joining the spritely elf is Darcie DeLong of Indianapolis, Ind., as Hermia; Danielle Moore of Unicoi, as Helena; Christopher Heldman of Indianapolis as Lysander; and Adam Derrick of Boone, N.C., as Demetrius.

Samara Clarke of Clayton, Del., plays the beauteous Queen of the Fairies, Titania, and Lukas Williams of Newport, Tenn., plays her king counterpart, Oberon.

Christopher Boswell of Johnson City, plays the ever self-effacing role of Bottom, leading the way for a motley assortment of characters who desire to perform "a tedious brief play" for the Duke of Athens, portrayed by Ben Carpenter of Mexico City, Mexico, and his Palace Court.

Joining the cast of students is Dr. Lee Blackburn, assistant professor of history and humanities and director of the humanities program at Milligan, playing the role of Egeus. Blackburn performed in several plays when he was a student at Milligan, but 'Midsummer' marks his first role as a faculty member.

"It has been a real thrill to be back on the Milligan stage," Blackburn said. "I especially enjoy getting to see a side of my students I don't often see in the classroom. The experience has been a reminder of just what gifted students we have here at Milligan."

Tickets are on sale in the Milligan Bookstore, open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; they are also available by calling (423) 461-8733. A limited number of tickets will be on sale (until sold out) at the box office 30 minutes prior to each performance.

To learn more about arts events at Milligan, visit www.milligan.edu/arts.

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