This weekend, magic and misbehaviour will come knocking at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium as Gallery 7 Theatre presents their modern rendition of William Shakespeare’s hilarious comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Gallery 7 is ecstatic to announce the production as this conclusion to their 2018-2019 “Back to Classics” theatre season is also their very first presentation of Shakespeare in their 28 seasons of producing live theatre.
Gallery 7 Theatre’s artistic director Ken Hildebrandt stated in a press release that Gallery 7 thought it fitting to conclude a season featuring classics with one of Shakespeare’s most popular and accessible plays. According to Hildebrandt, the directing and design team took a decidedly modern take for the production.
“I think audiences will get a kick out of the plight of the young lovers as they sort through hilarious misunderstandings,” Hildebrandt said. “Audiences will revel in the mischievous antics of Oberon and his trusty companion, Puck, and will enjoy the well-intentioned attempts by Bottom and his friends as they desperately try to rehearse a play to be presented before royalty. The show promises to be an outstanding conclusion to our season and the perfect way to welcome the summer season.”
Trinity Western University’s chair of the theatre department, Kate Muchmore Woo, is directing the production. This is Woo’s third time directing for Gallery 7 Theatre, having also worked with them on Enchanted April and The Mousetrap.
“I am honoured to direct Gallery 7’s first Shakespeare production,” Woo said. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream is funny, magical, boisterous, and full of relatable themes. It invites us into our imaginations to frolic with fairies and dream of true love. Who can deny that at its heart, this play is about love triumphing over all obstacles?”
Joining Woo on the production team are Jeff Kiers for set design, Charlene Crawford for props design, Shannon Tauber for costume design, Matthew Piton for lighting design, Gabriel Kirkley for sound design, and Becki Cormier as stage manager.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream will also feature performances by artists from across the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland, some of whom hail from UFV. The lead roles of the young lovers are set to be portrayed by Tiani Foster, Curtis Maciborski, Autumn Mastin, and Braedon Sunnes.
Presenting the roles of the king and queen of the fairy world, Oberon and Titania, are Mark Kroeker and Deanne Ratzlaff respectively. Playing the role of the ever-meddling Puck is Nicola Prigge, and the part of Bottom is being played by Chris Taylor. Also featured are Tamara Charman, John Dawson, Angel Duron-Heron, Lora-Lynne Frewing, Kenzie Hall, Jessica Milliken, Dylan Grace, Cara Straforelli, Shannon Tauber, Cassie Unger, and Alex Walker.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream will run for two weeks starting this Friday, May 17. On May 17–18 and 22–25, shows start at 7:30 p.m., and on May 18 and 25 matinee performances begin at 2:00 p.m. The production will take place at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium in Abbotsford. For tickets and more information, please visit www.gallery7theatre.com or call House of James at 604-852-3701.
Image: Dianna Lewis