This is a huge week for a handful of students and even a few staff members at LMU! After weeks of set building, costume fittings, and scene rehearsals, we are finally in the middle of performing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream! A few of us are particularly excited as it is our first time ever appearing on stage. Fellow blogger Alex and I decided to audition together back in September for the chance to be in a production and we both ended up getting parts. We both got more than one part each- we are responsible for learning the lines, blocking (the movement parts of acting), and different personalities for three characters each. I have three very different characters, so for my first time acting I have found it a little difficult. However, I love each of my characters and enjoy being able to switch back and forth from each of them depending on the scene. In one length of the play, I get to be a mechanical who is part of an acting troupe, a fairy, and a love interest! I’ve never acted, and let alone acted Shakespeare, so this is definitely a new experience for me. In a previous post, I described how I told myself I was going to try and do one thing every semester that scared me. This wasn’t because I necessarily wanted to be scared, but I wanted to expand my horizons and do things I never would do otherwise. In high school, I always wanted to be part of a play or musical but never had the time and, quite frankly, never even got the guts to go try out. I’ve enjoyed what Shakespeare I’ve read, and so many of my friends were trying out for the play. I needed to find a way to get out of my comfort zone anyway, so I had little excuse to not try out. Thankfully, the Bard has given me just the right way to complete my goal!
The first character I come out as is Francis Flute, the bellows mender. He is the youngest of the five mechanicals and is quite disappointed that later in the play he must play the part of a woman named Thisby. I love playing Flute since I get to be on stage with very good friends of mine and I get to act in a way I normally never would. People have asked me if I mind playing a man in the play, but I don’t at all. When I auditioned I made it clear that I would not mind one bit to play a male part– it adds a challenge and I already have the hair for it!
My second character is Cobweb, the fairy. The only thing I do not like about this particular character is that I must wear a skirt. I’ve never been one to enjoy dresses and skirts, but it isn’t so bad as a fairy. I get to have a dagger on stage for one of my fairy scenes, so I can put the skirt out of my head for that at least!
By the end of the play, Francis Flute, my first character, must play a woman. This is my favorite character to play! It is incredibly strange because I must play a man who plays a woman. It’s quite strange to explain it to those who are not in the play with me, but the characterization is so odd and challenging to complete, but I think that is what makes it most enjoyable.
Last night we had our last rehearsal, which was open to LMU students to attend. While it was far from perfect, each of the cast members and crew thoroughly enjoyed the experience by the end of the night. I wish I could lie and say I was not nervous at all before the performance! I was actually quite nervous even though I knew I had my lines and blocking down. What surprised me the most, however, was how I wasn’t just nervous- I was also really excited! I knew that this was my first time performing on stage and for once I actually volunteered to speak in front of a lot of people. I have come so far from where I was when I first began my life here at LMU and I am beyond thankful for that. I am not yet sure how the rest of our performances will go, but I have complete faith in myself and the others in the cast and crew to deliver awesome performances.
Other performances of A Midsummer Nights Dream include:
Friday, November 21, at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 22, at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
All performances are held at Duke Hall in the Sam and Sue Mars Performing Arts Center. Admission is free for LMU students with ID and kids under 12. For high school students, tickets are $3. For community members, staff, and others who are interested in seeing the performance, tickets are $10 at the door and $5 dollars in advance. Advance tickets can be bought at this link. It’s almost time to break a leg!
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, feel free to email me or leave a comment on my blog. If you want to see more posts like this one, subscribe to my blog to receive a new post every other Thursday!