A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Actors from the London Stage paid a visit to the UTSA main campus from Wednesday, Oct. 13, through Saturday, October 16. The actors held a performance of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” each night in the Recital Hall of the Art Building and visited literature classes each day to host seminars. Theirperformance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was unusual compared to traditional plays, but nowhere near disappointing.

UTSA was the second university on the eight stop tour of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The audience consisted of more than only UTSA faculty and students who attended the performance for extra credit. Busses brought loads of high school students from the San Antonio Independent School District and the audience turnout was very high.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” consists of 24 different characters, thus requiring 24 different actors. However this rendition of Shakespeare’s play was performed with only five actors, each actor playing the roles of at least four different characters. Memorizing the different roles presented a challenge to the travelling actors, but their struggle wasn’t apparent onstage.

Devon Black, who played Hyppolyta, Helena, Quince, Moth, Mustardseed and the First Fairy said that acting in this play was, “very difficult, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything.”

The only visuals this performance used were a few minor props such as hats and scarves to represent the different characters that each actor was playing. The scenes were created only by imagination, rather than a visual set and the costumes for this play were held to such minimum that in fact they could hardly be considered costumes at all. More as uniforms, each actor wore black pants and a green shirt, with the exception of Julian Rivett (Theseus, Puck, Snout and Peaseblossom) who wore green pants and a black shirt. The lighting was minimal, yet drastic, and created elongated shadows on the walls that served as backdrops and all sound effects were impressively created by the cast members themselves, including background music during scenes in which the fairies performed.

The impressive acting was more than enough to draw the audience’s full attention and with limited lighting and no apparent set design; this cast had everyone wishing to see more.