‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ comes to life at the Midvale Performing Arts Center
Feb 26, 2020 11:32AM
By Sarah Morton Taggart
Anna Roelofs (left) plays Helena, who loves the man Hermia, played by Brittany Hubble, was ordered to marry. (Photo courtesy Candice Jorgensen)
By Sarah Morton Taggart | [email protected]
Brittany Hubble and her brother, Trevor Bird, recently found some free time during the evening and were looking for something fun to do. So they tried out for the Midvale Arts Council’s production of “Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
“I acted in high school, then took a 13-year hiatus,” Hubble said. “I was not expecting to be cast.”
Not only was Hubble cast, she landed one of the leads. Hubble plays Hermia, a defiant young woman. Her brother plays Puck, the jester to the King of Fairies.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will run March 6, 7, 9, 12, 13 and 14 at the Midvale Performing Arts Center located at 695 W. Center St. in Midvale. Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with 2:00 p.m. matinees on Saturdays. Tickets are $10 for general admission (Midvale residents receive $1 off) and $8 for seniors and children.
Hubble saw the Midvale Arts Council’s production of “Pirates of Penzance” last summer and admits she didn’t have high expectations. “To be honest, I thought, ‘oh, it’s community theater, so it’s probably not going to be that good,’” Hubble said. “But it was hilarious!”
Justin Bradley, who performed in that production of “Pirates,” nodded solemnly in the seat next to her, then smiled. He now has the role of Lysander, Hermia’s love interest in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Ryan Golding plays Demetrius, who is the man Hermia’s father wants her to marry.
“You’ve got this girl who’s in love with a guy and given a chance between marrying another man, or death,” said Candice Jorgensen, the play’s director.
That might not sound like a comedy, but the story has a happy ending. There are also fairies and a humorous play within a play. But the heart and soul of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is the friendship between Hermia and Helena, played by Anna Roelofs. Helena is madly in love with Demetrius, who is in love with Hermia. After just a few weeks of rehearsals, the two women had cultivated a fun onstage chemistry.
“She’s a role I’ve wanted to play for a while,” Roelofs said. “It’s a dream role for Shakespeare. It’s something I can relate to, a good comedic role.”
At 18 years old, Roelofs is the youngest member of the cast. The first project in her high school drama class was to research “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and perform scenes from it. She also played Queen Isabel in a full-length production of “Henry V” and Lady Macbeth in a scene from “Macbeth.” Roelofs is now a theatre major at the University of Utah.
“It takes some practice to learn Shakespearean language and digest it,” Roelofs said.
Jorgensen is also no stranger to Shakespeare. Her older sister first introduced her to the iconic playwright as a kid. Jorgensen directed “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” for the Midvale Arts Council in 2017.
“I grew up in Midvale, and I always come back,” said Jorgensen, who now lives in Millcreek. “My parents live down the street, so I can leave my kids (ages 3 and 9) with them during rehearsals.”
Shakespeare’s plays can be long. “The original script is three and a half to four hours long,” Jorgensen said. “We’ve cut it to help those unfamiliar with Shakespeare understand it. So people aren’t lost in those colorful sentences.” The production will be around two hours total, with a 10-minute intermission.
Another way Jorgensen has made the play more modern is to have actors style their own costumes with no specific time period in mind. “It’s another way to make it our own and help people follow the story,” Jorgensen said.
Roelofs will wear a magenta prom dress, while Hubble’s costume for the first scenes is a red power dress.
“At the beginning (Hermia) will be wearing a more stuffy, over-the-top dress that her father would think is appropriate,” Hubble said. “Once we get into the woods she’ll wear more casual outdoorsy clothes.”
This will actually be Hubble’s third time acting in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” She played Helena in junior high and Hermia in high school. Over the years, one line of Hermia’s has stayed with her: “I am not yet so low but that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.”
“I quote it to my brothers, all taller than me, when they get out of line,” Hubble said. “I love how fierce it is. There’s a lot of spunk.”