Revere Players performs A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Maggy Messner

Players bow after their last show.

Lovers, quarrels, magic and royalty: rainbow, fluorescent backdrops accompany the party as they face fate, chaos and a little bit of magic. The actors combine the old, classic tale with new, modern props and meaning, dancing and speaking with a unique 70s twist. 

Fairy queen Titania wears white platform boots and a bright jumpsuit, accompanied by her glowing blue hair and a 70s-inspired flower headpiece. Similarly, the king and his male accomplices wear tunics and sashes, and a pair of converses or two are in sight. The traditional costumes of gowns and ruffled collars are a thing of the past.  

Although Shakespeare’s classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream was written in the 1590s, Revere Players chose the comedy to be their fall play, adding a new spin to the old show. 

Although the Revere Players have performed Shakespeare in previous years, this year’s performance comes with a new addition and expert: director Sarah Pine. Pine began her career with Players last fall, directing Radium Girls, but outside of Revere, she shares a special connection with Shakespeare. 

“In my time when I’m not at school, I work with the Ohio Shakespeare Festival as an actor, writer and director. Shakespeare is something that is hugely important to me and I love very much,” Pine said. 

Pine has worked with the Ohio Shakespeare Festival since 2013, working in many different roles. The OSF is based in Akron and often performs at Stan Hywet. However, Pine’s experience with literature and performance does not stop there; Pine teaches English language arts at both Revere Middle School and High School. 

Pine explained why Midsummer was an easy choice for the fall play. 

“Midsummer is such a great fit for a high school because, one, it has a lot of roles, so we can get a nice big cast, and two, I just find it to be very funny. It really comes alive on stage. For me, it was an obvious choice,” Pine said. 

Although the Shakespearean comedy has been preserved for decades, Pine chose to add a twist to their performance, setting themselves apart from the standard production. 

“We’re doing this Woodstocky, 60-70s inspired Midsummer, so it’s a little bit different. [The actors] aren’t just in the ruffled collars with the puffy shirts. You’re going to see tie-dye, lots of colors, and the forest is a rainbow, so it’s kind of a fun, trippy Midsummer, which might not be what people are used to or were expecting to see. It’s our little twist,” Pine said. 

Sophomore Bane Thurman was excited to be performing Midsummer but understood the concerns a potential audience member may have about the show. Thurman further elaborated on their backing behind the unique theme for the show. 

“The 70s sort of theme is [because] we understood that maybe a traditional William Shakespeare play in this day and age may not go as appreciated as it might have been if it was completed in a more modern setting,” Thurman said. 

Thurman continued, explaining how Pine’s leadership has added to the atmosphere. 

“She had that idea in the beginning to make the play super wacky and weird. Working with Mrs. Pine has been great. She’s had a clear idea of what she’s wanted to do from the start. I like that she’s been very open with our acting decisions and what to do with the sets,” Thurman said. 

Out of all the potential twists the players could add, they decided to go with a Woodstock theme, as it matched the magical aspect of show. 

“Since this play sort of has fairies and all this magical stuff going on, we decided to go for a very colorful 60s/70s theme in order to match with the sort of magic of the play. I think once people see it, they’ll understand why we did it,” Thurman said. 

Pine agreed, sharing why the 70s theme matches the theme of Midsummer. 

“I wanted to highlight that some of the ideas were timeless and to me, just going in the forest and trying to find yourself and experience magic and love; it really kind of spoke to me with music,” Pine said.  

With the complicated language and multitude of plot lines of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pine wasn’t sure how the actors would take to it.

“I was a little bit concerned coming in. Practicing Shakespeare can be a little bit intimidating sometimes, but the actors are handling really well. They took to the language really well and are doing a great job with their lines,” Pine said. 

The show features three different stories, all ultimately intertwined into one. This complex story can be difficult to convincingly portray, yet Pine is confident in her actors. Pine gave a quick run down of the plot. 

“All the different storylines that all come together in this really wonderful way [excite me]. You have this plot line with the lovers, just trying to end up with the person they love, and then you have this plot line with this silly kind of group of Athenians who are just trying to put on a play and one gets given the head of a donkey, and then you have this feuding, fairy family in the forest,” Pine said. 

Senior Grace Deliberato played one of the lovers: Helena. Deliberato explained what Helena adds to the plot. 

“I play Helena. She’s kind of a little crazy. She is in love with the guy her best friend is supposed to be married to, and so she spends the whole play chasing him around, trying to make him fall in love with her,” Deliberato said.  

Deliberato has been in Players since their freshman year. Although Deliberato began their journey in makeup crew, they quickly realized the cast was a home for them. Outside of the cast, Deliberato also has taken on many Players-related leadership roles.

“I’m the student director and the Player’s president. Student director is a lot of organization and paperwork, making sure everyone has their forms in, putting together dates and times, making sure everyone’s props are in the right place, costumes in the right place, etc.. The president is more about setting up board meetings, fundraising, things like big and little sibs, more events within choirs,” Deliberato said. 

Within Midsummer, Deliberato appreciates the way the three different groups seamlessly merge together within the play, explaining how one small fairy has a big role in connecting the plotlines. 

“The mechanicals put on a play for the king’s wedding, which is kind of where the story happens. They’re working on the play and then Bottom, who’s kind of their leader gets turned into a donkey. Then Puck, who kind of runs the whole show. He’s the one who’s making everyone fall in love and turning people into donkeys. It’s just a lot of magic and shenanigans happening,” Deliberato said. 

Thurman plays Puck. Although only a sophomore, Thurman has taken on big roles in Midsummer and past Player’s performances and was elected a member of the Players board this year. 

Thurman explained the influence of his character for this fall’s performance. 

“Puck is a very mischievous character. He lives for chaos. He absolutely loves causing chaos, and he honestly loves nothing more than to see what crazy consequences come from his actions,” Thurman said. 

The Revere Players put on four successful showings of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and looks forward to their production of Mamma Mia! the musical this spring.