A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Magical LGBTQIA+ Take at Hedgerow Theatre

TheatreImage by Gerd Altmann

ROSE VALLEY, PA — This summer, in the sunny heart of Delaware County, theatre lovers are in for a treat as they embark on a magical journey. Shakespeare’s enchanting tale of young love and playful fairies, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” has been imaginatively retold by Hedgerow Theatre Company in partnership with Mauckingbird Theatre.

The Philadelphia-based Mauckingbird Theatre, renowned for its affordable and inventive LGBTQIA+-themed productions, teams up with Hedgerow Theatre Company, inviting audiences into a whimsical world where love and magic intertwine unpredictably. Directed by Peter Reynolds, who returns to Hedgerow after directing “Tartuffe” and “The World According To Snoopy,” the tale is set in an elite boarding school adjacent to a mystical forest filled with amorous flowers, fluid identities, and endless possibilities.

The play, which will run from July 24 to August 11, opens on Friday, July 26 at 7 p.m. The ticket pricing is all-inclusive, at $35 for adults and $20 for students and youths under 18 years old. Tickets are available online at the Hedgerow Theatre website.

This is the first production Mauckingbird Theatre Company has undertaken since operations were halted due to the pandemic, and what better way to return to the stage than with Shakespeare’s timeless story of love, hilarity, and discovery. In a fitting celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community, Reynolds offers an exciting 90-minute version of the classical tale where young love blooms unexpectedly.

The story unfolds as Hermia, under her father’s command, is set to marry her classmate, Demetrius. But Hermia loves Lysander, a young woman in her school. Hermia’s best friend, Helena, has feelings for Demetrius. When the four students escape into the forest filled with mischievous fairies, they encounter a world far removed from their own – full of enchanting visions and delightful mayhem.

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The esteemed producer, Marcie Brammucci, Hedgerow Executive Artistic Director, praised the effects of the partnership with the formidable Mauckingbird Theatre Company, ready to offer audiences a summer Shakespearean spectacle filled with joy, beauty, and celebration. Reynolds’s work infuses every act with joy, humor, and love, promising a performance that will leave audiences grinning from ear to ear.

The production team comprises 20 members, including several from the LGBTQIA+ community. The Athenian students are played by Brandon Tyler (Demetrius), James Maloney (Helena), Katy Robinson (Lysander), and Nicole Lawrie (Hermia). The fairy world features Niambi Fetlow (Titania), Vanessa Sterling (Oberon), and the mischievous Nero Eddings (Puck). The comical “rude mechanicals” characters include August Hakvaag (Bottom), Elliot Colohan (Flute), and Kevin Lara (Snug the Joiner), among others.

The stellar design team includes Barrymore Award-winning costume designer Rebecca Kanach, composer and sound designer Joe Barsanti, Hedgerow’s resident lighting designer Lily Fossner, and Mauckingbird’s resident scene designer Andrew Laine. They’ve crafted an enchanting world that blends the human and the magical seamlessly.

Alongside the spellbinding production, Hedgerow Theatre Company looks forward to celebrating the diverse community with various events. These events include post-performance gatherings and a special Pride Happy Hour Reception before the August 1 performance. There’s also a relaxed performance on Sunday, August 10, complete with a pre-show sensory tour, an audio description, and ASL interpretation provided by Hands UP Productions.

So, theatregoers, prepare to be enchanted this summer as you dive into the magical world of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” reimagined by Hedgerow and Mauckingbird Theatre Companies. It’s a blend of Shakespeare’s timeless realm and the modern world – an evening of love, laughter, and magic you won’t forget.

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