December 06, 2012In the 80-year history of the Grosse Pointe South High School Pointe Players, the theater organization has never performed a Shakespearian play.
Come this weekend, that's about to change, as the Pointe Players present Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," as adapted for high school by Leslie Price, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, all showings at South's auditorium.
Seniors Emma Hintzen and Finn
McComas share a moment as Hermia and Lysander,
"I just thought they were ready," director Lois Bendler said of the history-making production. "I wanted the challenge, and I just had a feeling they could handle it."
"Lois has said she's always wanted to do Shakespeare, but she never felt she had the right cast for it," said Emma Hintzen, a senior who plays Hermia, daughter of Egeus. "I feel really special that we're that cast."
Grosse Pointe South High School’s Pointe
Players rehearse a scene from Shakespeare’s “A
Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Hintzen is one of 23 cast members — the largest cast in Bendler's tenure at South — attempting to weave through the complex comedy of three interlocking plots that includes Athenians, Fairies and Mechanicals.
"Of all the Shakespeare, this is pretty ambitious," said Finn McComas, a senior who plays Lysander, Hermia's love interest. "It's something you really have to experience. Most stories are kind of like a rollercoaster, but they're still pretty linear. This is kind of like a schizophrenic parade."
junior Jack McCoy plays the role of Nick
Bottom, a weaver who doubles as Pyramus in the
Mechanicals, an acting troupe.
Others in the 23-student cast include: David Gilbert as Theseus, Duke of Athens; Shannon McGhee, Hippolyta, his fiancé; Josh Alexander, Philostrate, his Major Domo; Connor Reinman, Egeus, a senior gentleman of Athens; Hintzen, Hermia; Drew Meeker, Demetrius, a young gentleman; McComas, Lysander; Nicole Bade, Helena, a young woman of Athens; Jack Kay, both a priest and Quince, a carpenter; Brian Fennell, Snug, a joiner; Jack McCoy, Nick Bottom, a weaver; Nate Turner, Flute, a bellows mender; Patrick Flanagan, Snout, a tinker; Kenny Schmidke, Starveling, a tailor; Eva Doherty, a produce vendor; Jack Daley, Puck; Maddy Moylan, Peaseblossom; Christian Scillian, Cobweb; Claire Zimmeth, Moth; Giovanna Posselius, Mustardseed; John Leo, Oberon, King of the Fairies; Maggie Bickerstaff, Titania, Fairy Queen; Frankie Thams, Oaken; and Matt Loechner, as Chestnut.
Reinman doubles as stage manager, while Doherty is assistant stage manager, Christina Koehler is sound tech and Adam Campau the house manager. Posselius maintains the program. Dan Vicary serves as technical director and designed the set.
"There's a lot of pressure because Shakespeare's obviously Shakespeare," Fennell said. "Getting the emotions right is harder because you have to figure out what you're saying first, but it's really rewarding once you understand the material. It's been a really interesting experience."
Tickets are $12, $10 for seniors and students, and are available online at seatyourself.biz/pointeplayers or at Posterity: A Gallery.
"I have concentrated on doing what I felt was valuable material for them, using very significant playwrights, historically important pieces, socially important pieces," Bendler said. "This is not that. This is Shakespeare. Certainly a historic playwright, but it's probably of questionable social value, except it's fun."