A PINT-sized Puck, diminutive Demetrius and tall Titania are among the many characters in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream being brought to life by The Drama Club, IntotheMask [note to subs: no spaces is correct] Theatre’s youth drama class.
Presented by Phoenix Theatre and directed by youth coordinator and teacher Alethea Bevilacqua, the 50-minute version has been adapted for the students and combines the seriousness of power and love with the silliness of magic and mayhem.
The light-hearted Shakespeare comedy follows four young lovers and a group of actors and their interactions with woodland fairies and a duke and duchess.
Taking place in a mythical Athens and enchanted forest, the story also features a handsome fairy king and queen, star-crossed lovers, wood sprites, elves and a weaver transformed into a half-donkey.
Using highly physical performance methods, A Midsummer Night’s Dream also features a flute score written and performed by 11-year-old Annie Viljoen.
“The show is a fun-filled performance by the students who have committed to Shakespeare’s language, which is an achievement in itself,” Bevilacqua said.
“The students have found it quite difficult to work out what they are saying to each other, and it’s great when that ‘light bulb’ moment happens as they finally realise.
“I’ve also helped them understand who Shakespeare was and the context of the play.”
Bevilacqua is founder of IntotheMask Theatre, a small ensemble that specialises in commedia dell'arte, an improvised style of comedy popular in Italian theatres in the 16th to 18th centuries.
The theatre has performed and conducted workshops at the Fremantle Festival, Wild West Comedy Fest and Fringe World for the past three years.
Also working with Phoenix Theatre, Bevilacqua has been the vice president for the past two years.
“Shakespearean plays have always been something I wanted to tackle as an actor, as well as in my career as a teacher,” she said.
“I never really put my heart and soul into a Shakespeare play but there was something different about A Midsummer Night’s Dream that captured my attention.
“It gave me the opportunity to explore the physical aspects of acting and performing – I love to specialise in exaggerated movement and archetypal characters.
“This play encompasses it all and inspired me to teach the students more about the physicality of characters and drawing out the comedy in action, rather than just the face and voice.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream plays at 7.30pm November 28, 29, December 5 and 6 with 2pm matinees November 30 and December 7. Tickets are $20, $18 concession plus transaction fees – book through TAZTix on (08) 9255 3336 or at www.TAZTix.com.au.
Phoenix Theatre is located at 435 Carrington Street, Hamilton Hill, within the Hamilton Hill Memorial Hall.
More information about IntotheMask Theatre is available at www.intothemask.com.au.
midsummer1: Liam Bond, left Annie Viljoen and Reuben Rivalland play The Mechanicals in a 50-minute version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Picture: Ally Reid Photography
midsummer2: Clarke Viljoen, left, and Daisy Watson-Rumbold are appearing as Bottom and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Phoenix Theatre in November and December.
midsummer4: Lucas Ienco, left, is Demetrius and Toby Beck is Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
IntotheMask Theatre is a Perth based company that provides a range of quality and innovative theatre workshops for junior, middle and senior year students.
The workshops offer a holistic experience and have been developed to stimulate and encourage creativity as well as contribute to social and moral education. We have created fun and motivating programs, which utilize the elements and principles of Drama as well as genre specific techniques such as the Commedia dell’ Arte.
The workshops have been designed in accordance with the current Secondary and Primary Curriculum and use drama- centered learning for the advancement of literacy and identifying individual excellence.
We believe the techniques in Drama are an essential catalyst in raising self -esteem and confidence, fostering creativity and high order thinking in children of all ages.
THE DRAMA CLUB! IntotheMask Theatre are also actively involved in Community based youth drama classes that provide an opportunity for children, teenagers and young adults to be a part of the growing arts culture in their local community. Held at the Memorial Hall in Hamilton Hill Perth, students from ages 5-16yrs can attend after school Drama lessons to encourage communication, social skills, confidence and building skills for the stage.
M: 0416 166 013