Fittingly, one of Shakespeare’s most performed and beloved comedies can be seen under the stars this summer at venues from Oliver to Summerland.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is being put on through St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church starting with shows Aug. 5 and 6 at Saxon Estate Winery in Summerland, followed by Tinhorn Creek in Oliver Aug. 9 and 10 and wrapping up at Township 7 Winery in Penticton, Aug. 11, 12 and 13.
Church pastor Colin Cross is directing the play with a cast of about 20, who have been rehearsing for two months.
“It’s always wonderful to do a play outside,” said Cross. “Summer Shakespeare outside happens throughout the world from Central Park, New York City to you name it. It’s a longstanding tradition.
“I’ve been involved with summer Shakespeare for awhile and we’ve kind of found our way around most of the comedies but I’ve never been involved in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and it just seemed time to do it.”
Reportedly Shakespeare’s favourite play, written around 1600, the comedy is actually a series of four connected plots.
Taking place for the most part in a forest under the light of the moon inhabited by resident fairies who ply their impish antics around the wedding of Duke Theseus of Athens and Amazon queen Hippolyta.
“It’s a lot of work but one good thing about the play is because it has all these plot lines the actors can rehearse them separately,” said Cross.
Participating in this play will be young actors from Holy Cross School. Some of its students also took part in the St. Andrew’s Christmas production of the The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
“One of the neat things about A Midsummer Night’s Dream is it’s a really good play for giving children a first experience with Shakespeare and there are actually seven children in the cast,” said Cross.
This will not be the first show at a winery for the church, having performed Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night two years ago at SummerGate Winery in Summerland two years ago.
“Situating these plays at wineries is wonderful because people can take a picnic supper, enjoy wine and watch the play,” said Cross. “It’s a destination-kind of event in the summer time.”
Tickets for A Midsummer Night’s Dream are available at Dragon’s Den on Front Street.