Wayne Valley’s 2020 Fall Play: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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Nicole Giardino, Editor in Chief

Wayne Valley Theatre’s 2020 fall play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, underwent drastic efforts to create a safe and fun experience for everyone, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every aspect of the theatre program, which the Wayne Valley actors had become accustomed to, had to change. For instance, while audition material is typically received weeks in advance, this year the actors were given the audition material the same day as the audition itself. The normal theatre circumstances were also overturned, as this year there was no in-person audience viewing; instead there were two live streams. 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedy, composed of many different subplots that all directly revolve around the marriage of Duke Theseus and Hippolyta. Despite the pandemic, the cast and crew had lots of fun working on this show, and everyone was incredibly proud of the final product. When rehearsals started on September 14th, the cast, crew, and directors kept social distance and wore masks at all times—and these safety measures remained for the entire rehearsal process. In both live streams of the performance, actors maintained a safe distance, and each member wore plastic face shields.

The show was supposed to be live-streamed in addition to two in-person performances, where a reduced audience could physically attend. Due to the sudden spike in cases, the show dates and COVID-19 restrictions both changed frequently. Ultimately, the performances were reduced to two YouTube live-streams held on November 18th and 19th. Even though this situation was not what the cast had hoped for, they were extremely grateful to be able to be back in the theatre and to perform with their friends once more. 

Junior Abby Thomas, who played Titania, remarks, “I’m so grateful that I was a part of this amazing production. It was definitely different this year, but it was so much fun. It was so [exciting] to walk into rehearsal each day and be surprised at the amazing set that the crew built. Everyone who was a part of this production really made an amazing impact. It felt great to be back with all of my friends and it felt even better to be onstage together again.”

Senior Katrina Wall, who played Mustardseed, reflects, “Everything was totally different because of COVID and it was really weird at first, but we all eventually got used to it after a while. Even though it was completely different from what we were used to, we all didn’t mind because we actually got to see each other and perform. We are all just so grateful that we had the opportunity this year to even put on a show, and it was seriously amazing.”

To describe his experiences with Wayne Valley Theatre’s return, senior Frank Ruggiero (who played Bottom in addition to working with the crew), says, “The standards with COVID didn’t feel too different, except for the fact that we had to wear a mask. To be back performing was like a dream, I loved every moment of it and am so grateful that we were able to put on a show. Overall, the show went really well and I’d like to thank everybody who watched it!”

In the end, this show came together well, the result of hard work from the directors, cast, crew, and administration. Despite the situations and unprecedented times of the pandemic, the Wayne Valley Theatre Company was still able to create a wonderful piece of art. 

You can still watch this show at the link: https://youtu.be/AgXmzQwCSCk