Arts & Entertainment

Learning Theater to Present ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’

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By David Thompson

Creative Cauldron’s Learning Theater ensemble will again show the product of their training on the stage. This month at ArtSpace Falls Church, the young theater enthusiasts in this program will be inviting audiences into the magical world of William Shakespeare’s classic comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Longtime Creative Cauldron designer Margie Jervis leads the way in creating the look and feel of the production, bringing the timeless forest of Shakespeare’s play to life.

“The costumes have been the most fun and the most challenging parts of this production from the design point of view,” Jervis said. “I chose to set [“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”] in the time period of ‘then’ as opposed to ‘now,’ the main influences in style being the 19th-century’s Romantic period with a dash of modern high fashion and ancient Greek style.”

Over the years there have been many adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays. His works have been brought into the modern world and set in the here and now in a variety of ways. Such examples include the 1999 film “10 Things I Hate About You,” based on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” and the 1994 Disney animated feature “The Lion King,” based on “Hamlet.”

While the play will be set in a magical past, that doesn’t diminish its ability to connect to our lives today.

“It is a timeless story of the foibles of love and romance, as true today as it was yesterday,” Jervis said.

On the success of the Learning Theater workshops, Creative Cauldron Producing Director Laura Connors Hull decided mid-season to add “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to this season’s productions.

“We have so many talented and enthusiastic young people who want to continue the Learning Theater experience,” Jervis said. “I have also started a Theatrical Design Class for kids ages 9 and up, once a week after school.”

Jervis’ new design students have been learning the process of designing for a theater, and giving her a helping hand. Jervis is the main designer for Creative Cauldron’s productions, which limits her time in between performances to create the sets and costumes. Due to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” being a late addition, Jervis had less time than normal to implement her design.

“The opportunity to volunteer on the Saturday mornings of Learning Theater to help on sets, costumes and props is extended to my design students,” Jervis said. “They have been some of our most productive and committed volunteers.”

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” runs June 6 – 22. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays and Sundays. The play will be performed at ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 S. Maple Ave. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for students and seniors.

For more information, visit creativecauldron.org or call 703-436-9948.