“A Most Rare Vision” for A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The 8th grade production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is up and running this week, and according to Theater Arts Teacher Paul Goldblatt, “They are crushing it.” Students are working from an already adapted script and infusing the story with their own humor and personality. Some 8th graders also worked with After School Music Teacher Brian Weber to add an original score. Brian used suggestions from students for chords and melodies and pulled them all together into complete songs. Theater Arts Teacher Mike Woods noted that one of the songs, “It Really Sucks to be Helena,” was written almost entirely by Ava. Humanities Teacher Dave Levy commented: “I was particularly impressed with the way the 8th graders wove original music into a very complicated Shakespeare play. Harper and Madeline’s duet was fabulous with a brilliant harmony.”
Everyone in the 8th grade appears on stage in the production and has also worked behind the scenes on tech, music, or props and set. Middle School Director Kavan Yee observed, “The craftsmanship and detail of the costumes, props, and sets were magnificent!” Teacher Arts Teacher Celeste Jones added, “They knew their lines when they needed to…They’ve put in the work, and it shows. I’m so proud of all of it.”
Getting to opening night wasn’t always smooth sailing, though. Nina, who played Puck, broke her toe the day before her debut and had to appear on crutches. Undeterred, Nina carried on: “I thought I could do it. I just had to improvise!”
As with any production, there are ups and downs, but in this case, there have been more ups than downs. Elise, who did sound for the show, described the best part of the experience this way: “On the day before when we’re doing the final practice and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to work, we’re in a hyper-focused mode. Everyone’s working hard. We’re working together. It’s cool.”
Shakespeare. High school admissions. Classes. Sports. Homework. Tests. There’s a lot to manage if you’re an 8th grader. “Still, with so many plates spinning, they have thrown themselves into every aspect of this play,” Paul observed. Bravo, teachers and students!