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A Preview into USC Upstate’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Avery Beaton


“And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays.” Shakespeare’s most famous comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, tells the story of four young lovers: Hermia, Helena, Lysander, and Demetrius. Set in Barbieland (Athens, Greece, in the original text) the characters are divided into four key groups: the lovers, the court, the mechanicals, and the fairies. Over the course of five acts, the characters' lives end up entangled in each other’s, unknowingly causing chaos for everyone. In the final act, they all come together for a wedding, and everything is resolved, “no more yielding but a dream.”


Working as an assistant stage manager for this production has been an incredible experience. I have had the opportunity to work with the theater’s finest actors, designers, and crew. For this story, I sat down with Krischan Taylor, who plays Lysander. I asked him about his character, and he said, “Lysander, to me, is a well-mannered character… who wants nothing more than to spend his life with his star-crossed love, Hermia.” This changes throughout the play, affecting himself and several other characters. I then asked him about the production and acting process, and he said, “It’s been a fun process… the language makes the acting process easy as long as we give it the energy it calls for.” 


Despite being a Shakespearean play, A Midsummer Night's Dream is not horrifically convoluted. The actor’s energy keeps the show’s pace while also keeping the audience engaged. This production has the play set in Barbieland, from the 2023 film Barbie. The set, costumes, lighting, and sound design all encapsulate the setting and theme of the play. To see a show about romance, comedy, friendship, and magic, be sure to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream on April 11-14th in the Humanities and Performing Arts Center. 

Purchase Tickets here.



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