Shakespeare\’s A Midsummer Night\’s Dream, is given a twist when Dana Hills High School replaces fairies and a Greek setting with superheroes in a post-WWII-era city.
The story follows four young lovers, Lysander, Hermia, Helena and Demetrius, as they are caught under the love spell of a band of fairies. Confusion, betrayal and enchantment occur as supernatural collides with natural, and dreams collide with reality.
Melissa Bindi portrays the lovable yet awkward Helena with a raised, nasal voice and excited, gawky mannerisms, while Andrew Fajardo, as Demetrius, pushes her away in straight-faced annoyance. Meanwhile,Stephanie Argent and Chris Tusan as Hermia and Lysander plan their romantic escape, gushing with excitement as they hold hands and gaze into each other\’s eyes.
The fairy king Oberon is portrayed hilariously by Conner Kupferberg, whose intense facial expressions and over-articulation keep the audience involved as he plots his next trick. He springs into action, jumping high and swinging his cape, indicating an arrogant, powerful stage presence. Those actions especially clash with the graceful, elegant walk and voice of Shelby Grebbin as Titania, as they argue over the fate of a young boy whom Oberon wishes to take for himself.
The Mechanicals lazily and foolishly sway about, falling asleep or goofing around with surrounding objects. While they prepare to put on a play within the play, the characters display their unique personalities as they portray the ridiculous roles they are assigned. For instance, Emerson Taylor as Snug shuffles on all fours, roaring with all her might as the lion.
Kyle Small as Bottom reveals multiple facets to his character. As Pyramus, Small plays on Bottom\’s essential ridiculousness, pretending to stab himself multiple times and dying a very prolonged death. Small shows a more down-to-earth, humble aspect of Bottom with more honest reactions to his donkey transformation and Titania\’s sudden infatuation with him.
The creatively designed and hand-crafted costumes by Kim Thomas, Kristen Tucker and Julianna Guthary fit the 1940s style, each with its own unique spin on the superheroes. The classic heroes and heroines, like Wonder Woman, Batman and The Flash, are recognizable yet have a kitschy feel, from colorful painted shoes to sequined stars.
Ultimately, Dana Hills, A Midsummer Night\’s Dream, treats the audience to a very interesting take on a classic Shakespearean play.
Sara Mackenzie is a senior from Tesoro High School in Las Flores.