On Friday, November 12, the Drama Association performed A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Latorette Library Auditorium for a large audience after months of hard work.
Family and friends gathered in the auditorium to support the actors and all others involved. In addition to supporters of Providence, many students from the International High School on the William Carey International University campus as well as others who live or work on the campus came to watch as well.
The Drama Association was started last fall by Henry Delaplane, a sophomore at Providence who has been involved in theater since he was young. It began as a club, but after two successful productions last year that gained much support from the student body, the Student Life department offered it’s support and it became an association. Delaplane said that it was exciting to become an association because they now receive more money which allows them to give better performances and do more plays. He is glad that the school is supporting them.
Max Belz, the Drama Association advisor, and Delaplane, the director, want the association to educate people about theater. They chose to do a Shakespeare piece because he is a classical writer, and they chose A Midsummer Night’s Dream because they thought it was practical and had a good arrangement of characters. Delaplane said, “It was easy to turn characters into girls,” which was helpful because there are more female than male actors.
In September, Delaplane and Belz held auditions and casted the actors. As the play progressed, Belz said that all the actors were very well cast for their parts. Delaplane said that he faced the challenge of encouraging people after rough practices and pushing them to memorize their lines. During the semester, the Drama Association met for two hours three times a week. During the week preceding opening night, however, they practiced for about three hours every night. Most of the actors and actresses believe that the time spent was worth the enjoyable experience of acting, having fun with other people, and coming together to put their gifts into a project like this. Delaplane said, “I like to see everyone putting their talents together.”
Sara Fleeman, the costume and make-up supervisor, enjoyed her job because she got to cultivate her artistic side. She also said, “I am a business major so it has helped me organize and take criticism.” The team had 24 costumes to make in eight weeks with only three or four people working on them. The others on the costume team also felt that they got to use their creative side in making the costumes. Fleeman said of the finished work, “I sat in the audience and I was really happy. It looked a lot more professional this year. A lot of it was the setting and that we had one big play.” The costume department received many complements for their work.
Actress Evelyn Vane, who played a mischievous character named Puck, said that one of the difficulties she faced was pronouncing some of the older Shakespearian words. Vane had to use creativity in finding facial expressions for all the different emotions that Puck experiences in the story. “It was fun being the narrator and being part of the play,” she said. Actor Josh Dykstra, who found that his character Oberon was a very complex character to play, said, “It allowed me to just have fun. My angry evil side is not something I show regularly. Playing around with it is a way to let stress out. Being Oberon taught me to let loose.”
Providence is thankful to Sovereign Grace Church for allowing the association to use their auditorium, and also for the people from the church who donated time and energy helping with some of the technical aspects of the play.
The first performance of the play was a huge success. This Friday, November 19, they will be performing the play a second time at 7pm in the Latorette Library on Providence’s campus.