UNA Theatre puts modern spin on Shakespeare

by Student Writer Breanna Littrell

The cool fall evening of Oct. 14 was opening night for the UNA Theatre production of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” As I walked into the George S. Lindsey Theatre with my boyfriend and best friend, I could not have been more excited.

As the lights dimmed, I was delighted to hear pop music begin to play. My excitement grew as I realized they were going to put a present day twist on my favorite classic. While keeping very close to the Shakespearean script, they performed as if the events took place in 2016.

The four storylines intersect with the Athenians fighting about the upcoming wedding, the Fairies arguments amongst each other, their ultimate interference with the Athenians’ love and the Mechanicals working frantically to prepare a play for the wedding of the duke and the queen.

The opening scene began with two young Athenians who are set to be married, although the girl does not love the boy. In true 2016 fashion, one awakes the other via text message.

I loved seeing text messages in Shakespearean language on the projector screen. In addition to the cell phones, one of the characters used an iPad in a couple of scenes. Also, several Snapchat images were shown of the young lovers, which I felt was an ingenious touch.

The wardrobe was very modern, which updated and added humor to the show. Short denim overalls and a tie-dyed t-shirt was worn by one of the actors, and another wore a denim jacket. The male actors wore khaki pants and blue jeans. One wore a t-shirt saying, “Vote for Pedro,” which was taken from the movie “Napoleon Dynamite.” Another wore a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” t-shirt.

In the scene where the Mechanicals are performing their play for the wedding, one of the characters was dressed as Princess Leia from “Star Wars.” They also managed to make light of some current political situations. In the same scene, another of the characters was dressed to resemble Donald Trump, wearing a cardboard brick wall.

Overall, the play was very updated and comical. It is difficult for me to choose a favorite part because I truly enjoyed it from beginning to end. The modernized aspect that they incorporated was imaginative. The actors did an incredible job. They poured their hearts into their performances, and it showed. I highly recommend this play.