Students Fall for Shakespeare’s Comic Tale

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A scene from the high school production of "Midsummer Night's Dream," opening tonight, Nov. 14. Photo by Roark Gourley.
A scene from the high school production of “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” opening tonight, Nov. 14. Photo by Roark Gourley.

Laguna Beach High School’s Park Avenue Players perform William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” opening Friday, Nov. 14, for six performances.

Former student Erika Schindele will choreograph the show, whose music will be composed by composer and local resident Steve Wood and directed by Mark Dressler and Chris Marshall.

The play allows a cast of 40 students to participate in the show, drama teacher Mark Dressler said in explaining his selection. And while the play is filled with comedy, serious drama unfolds as well, he said. The characters represent every level of society; dukes in love with Amazon Queens, teenagers in love with the wrong people, common folks, clowns, fairies and spirits.

That aside, magic in “Midsummer” amps up its fun quotient. “What can be more fun than Love Juice? Imagine, you drop this magical love juice in a sleeping person’s eyes and when they awake he or she falls madly in love with the first live creature it sees. It could be a monkey or a cat or a weenie dog! Kids love that kind of stuff,” said Dressler, making “Midsummer” a perfect introduction to Shakespeare. He promises audiences beautiful set designs and costumes too.

“Midsummer” also holds some nostalgic sway over Dressler for another reason too.

“I performed in a wonderful summer production of this play around 1980. A cute 19 year-old girl named Penny came to see that play and ventured backstage afterwards and met the guy that played Puck. We fell in love and did a kooky thing: we got married!”

The curtain goes up on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Artists’ Theatre, 625 Park Ave., Nov. 14, 15, 21, 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 16, 23 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10-$20.

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