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Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

FSS Cappies Reviews: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Phoenixville Area High School

Image+Courtesy+of+Wikimedia+Commons.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Sarah Gorenstein:

Don’t miss Phoenixville Area High School’s stunning production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for “It doth shine that night!” The company excellently captured the passion and the satire of the classic tangled lover’s tale.

Written by William Shakespeare, in 1595-96, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is comprised of three intertwining and rather farcical plots. The audience follows four Athenians who have run away into a magical forest filled with scheming fairies and troubles of love. Meanwhile, the Mechanicals, a group of Athenian actors, rehearse their amusing portrayal of “the most lamentable comedy and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe,” for Theseus and Hippolyta’s wedding.

The entire cast of Pheonixville’s production was comprised of strong comedic actors who filled the stage with vitality. The performers gave it their all, elevating each scene with energy and devotion till the final bow. Many members of the cast effortlessly switched between various roles, which displayed the skill that went into bringing their characters to life.

Kate Renny Smith flawlessly embodied Helena as she led the show with remarkable talent. Her portrayal was a standout among the lovers with her facial expressions, physicality, and lust-filled remarks. Smith displayed a clear understanding of Shakespearean English through her skilled diction and clever acting choices. Joey Curry excellently embodied Lysander, the hopeless romantic. His performance, anchored in exceptional acting, captured the audience’s attention. Further adding to the impressive cast, Anna Sivco as Hermia and Silas Swomley as Demetrius contributed to the hysterical Athenian lover’s dynamics.

Mint Both impeccably portrayed the comically overt Nick Bottom. Both characterized Nick’s amusing overconfidence and loveable ambition. His sharp physical comedy and witty deliveries captured many laughs from the audience. Alongside him, Rincon Thompson as Francis Flute and Mustardseed entertained with sizeable energy and talented comedic timing. Collectively, Thompson and Both added slapstick comedy and authentic acting to a mischievously comedic show.

The Phoenixville Stage Crew admirably executed transitions between scenes. Cues ran smoothly thanks to the impressive stage management by Audrey Tresnan and Grace Urbanski. Additionally, the dazzling hair and makeup done by Lila Deery was another standout aspect of the production and further accentuated each character’s unique personality.

Phoenixville Area High School’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was an endearing and delightful tale filled with love and laughter alike.

 


Maria Emerick:

Welcome to Phoenixville Area High School and the world of love tangles, fairies, and a donkey!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy by William Shakespeare. It was published in 1600. This play follows two pairs of lovers. There is Lysander and Hermia along with Demetrius and Helena. They are led through a wild story by the fairy Puck, who casts a spell on the men, causing both to fall in love with Helena. He also causes the fairy queen, Titania, to fall in love with Nick Bottom. Later, the spell is fixed and the men end up with the correct person.

Playing the roles of Lysander and Hermia are Joey Curry and Anna Sivco. Sivco’s portrayal of Hermia was charming, and she effectively showed Hermia’s love for Lysander. Curry’s characterization of Lysander was a good compliment to Sivco’s Hermia. The switch between being in love with Hermia and being in love with Helena was shocking, which added to the drama of the show. Helena and Demetrius were played by Kate Renny Smith and Silas Swomley. Smith was hilarious in her attempts to win the affection of Demetrius. Swomley as Demetrius was also splendid. His dynamic with Smith was always fun to watch, and it was satisfying seeing them end up together at the end of the show.

This show would not have been as full of life as it was without the ensembles. The mechanicals always brought a large amount of energy into every scene they were in. They had a great balance between being dramatic and funny. One performance in the mechanicals that stood out was Mint Both as Nick Bottom. Both energized the people around them, and he always had the crowd roaring with laughter. The fairies were also a great group. The way they interacted with each other was fun. Their interactions with Bottom were also delightful.

The show started off low energy but picked up after a bit of time. The cast all worked off of each other very well. They also made great use of the environments that were set on stage. There was not a moment when the stage felt vacant.

The stage crew was quick and efficient with moving the set pieces off stage. The lighting of this show was simple and effective. The colors suited the scenes well and added a nice atmosphere to the stage. The microphones did have some issues with static noise, but the actors were still able to be heard well.

Phoenixville Area High School’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was a funny and joyful show.

 


Sam Goldwert:

Fairies and Mechanicals and Lovers, oh my! Phoenixville Area High School’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was truly a dream to experience.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies. The story follows multiple simultaneous plots: the marriage of the royals Theseus and Hippolyta, a conflict between four determined lovers, the strained relationship of Oberon and Titania, the King and Queen of the Fairies, and a group of amateur actors preparing to perform a play at the royal wedding. Oberon instructs Puck, his mischievous fairy sidekick, to administer love potions to Titania and to a few other recipients of unrequited love, but drama and comedic hijinks ensue when the fairy makes critical mistakes and causes the lovers to fall in love with the wrong people.

Performing a Shakespearean play in the original Shakespearean English is no easy feat for a high school, but Phoenixville Area High School took to the task with admirable charm and grace.

This show boasts quite a few leading roles, each of whom were represented beautifully by the skilled actors. Joey Curry’s energy and skill stood out in his portrayal of the passionate Lysander, and his performance was complemented nicely by Anna Sivko as his lover, Hermia. Kate Renny Smith was particularly notable in the role of Helena. It can be very difficult for an actor to effectively communicate a story to the audience while performing in Shakespearean English, but Smith consistently used her expression and inflection to make sure the audience knew exactly what her character was saying.

The supporting characters truly brought the enchanted forest to life. The Mechanicals are frequently seen rehearsing for the play that they will perform at the royal wedding, and every time this ensemble of actors came onstage, they brought loads of energy and excitement to the show. Mint Both and Rincon Thompson stood out in particular as Nick Bottom and Flute respectively, both actors often leaving the audience in stitches due to their commitment and comedic timing. Ellie Yeagle was an absolute treasure as Puck, charming the audience with her humor and hijinks.

The show’s technical elements contributed beautifully to the show. Hannah Smith’s lighting design subtly created a whimsical atmosphere in the enchanted forest, and the sound, run by Elle Urbanski, was nearly flawless even with a whopping 15 microphones. Set changes were infrequent but perfectly choreographed and smoothly run each time.

Phoenixville Area High School’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was a delight to experience. Audiences will undoubtedly be sure to fall in love: no magical flower potions required!

 


Clara Gluzdov:

Fairies, magical flower juice, and chaos! Keep your loved ones close and watch where you fall asleep, for in A Midsummer Night’s Dream you never know what could happen. A remarkable cast presents this enchanting Phoenixville Area High School production.

Written by William Shakespeare and first performed four centuries ago, A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been an enchanting play for ages. The story starts when Hermia’s father forces her to marry Demetrius, but her eyes are only for Lysander, the two run to the forest. Demetrius follows suit, searching for Hermia, and Helena, who is madly in love with Demetrius, accompanies him. At the same time, Oberon, king of the fairies, and the queen, Titania quarrel, so Oberon decides to take revenge. Once night falls the lovers fall asleep, Oberon’s plans fail and his servant wreaks havoc accidentally. Nick Bottom is pulled into the mess, and given a donkey’s head. Eventually, all is resolved, and the right people love each other.

The overall production was excellent, with little to no mistakes. Although at points it was difficult to understand what was being said, the actors showed such strong emotions that it was not an issue. The energy stayed high throughout most of the show. The cast did a wonderful job keeping engaged while scenes were going on, so there was never a chance to see anything but the character they were playing.

Kate Renny Smith played Helena with a sassy, captivating charm. She had incredible body language and conveyed Helena’s strong emotions the whole time. They were especially remarkable in the love square scene when they were convinced that they were being mocked by both Lysander and Demetrius. Joey Currey did a great job embodying Lysander and blended well with Anna Sivco and her wonderful performance of Hermia. Silas Swomley added to it all with his convincing love for Hermia, and later Helena.

Ellie Yeagle brought comedy, lovability, and sweetness to Puck. She spoke loudly and clearly, and there was never a moment of uncertainty about her intentions. Mint Both had outstanding stage presence as Nick Bottom. They were incredibly funny, had great, expressive body language, and showed emotions well. Some other notable mentions are Tryfena Weiah as Peaseblossom and Nadia Formica as Snug.

The lush, detailed greenery brought life to the forest, and the lighting topped it all off. The costumes were spot on, particularly the color coding at the end between couples. The sound was well done throughout the show, and the set transitions were quick and smooth.

Phoenixville Area High School’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was enchanting, despite the difficulty of pulling off Shakespeare. The sets, lights, and exceptional actors made this show a terrible thing to miss.

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About the Contributors
Sarah Gorenstein, Game Master

Sarah Gorenstein is a senior at Friends Select and the Game Master for the Falcon. She is also the lead Cappies Critic which specializes in theatre journalism. Her favorite movie is Clue and she is the leader of JSU.

Sam Goldwert, Assistant Editor
Sam Goldwert is a junior at Friends Select and an assistant editor of The Falcon. Sam covers everything from important news updates to fun crosswords and games. They're also a member of QSU and a diversity clerk for the Neurodiversity Club. When not writing, Sam can be found overanalyzing song lyrics or starting countless new art projects.

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