Theatrical magic in Shakespearian fashion | PostIndependent.com

Theatrical magic in Shakespearian fashion

Brian Pettet
Submitted Report
Patrick Keleher, front, plays Nick Bottom and Ella Gruel plays Tom Snout.
Courtesy Asha Ironwood |

There are times in life when a single idea is met with uncontrollable variables, and this combination results in something magical to behold. SoL Theatre Company is currently experiencing this magic as it produces William Shakespeare’s funniest play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The performances should prove to be a mystically hilarious evening for the whole family.

What makes this show special compared to other productions by SoL is the combination of adult professional actors with a group of theatrically talented youth from around the Roaring Fork Valley. Production director Jennifer Michaud said, “Some people thought we were crazy, attempting a full Shakespeare production with young people. The poetic language Shakespeare used can be difficult, but no-one told the kids … and they are nailing it!”

The adult actors that have been teamed up with the young folks are locals Lee Sullivan (who has performed with Thunder River Theatre Company, Aspen Community Theatre and The Hudson Reed Ensemble) as Oberon; actor Brian Kelleher (who recently portrayed Thomas Jefferson in ACT’s production of “1776”) as the “Donkey” version of Nick Bottom; and SoL’s own Artistic Director, Logan Carter, as Titania. Carter just finished her first year as the theatre teacher for Aspen Middle and High schools.

Michaud said that the perfect casting combination of talented individuals has created a captivating artistic endeavor. “Magic is happening in this production. Given the casting at hand, I just needed to get out of their way and let it flow. I have been witnessing a thrilling collaboration — it’s a joy to watch,” she said.

“Magic is happening in this production. Given the casting at hand, I just needed to get out of their way and let it flow. I have been witnessing a thrilling collaboration — it’s a joy to watch.”
Production director Jennifer Michaud

The play is really three stories in one, which are woven together masterfully in Shakespearian fashion. One is about the “mechanicals” that portray an endearing acting troop within the play and who are controlled and manipulated by mischievous fairies that inhabit the forest — and who provide a second storyline as their king and queen battle jealously throughout the play. The third story is about the romantic adventures of four young Athenian lovers. The three separate stories come together in the end and will leave the audience enchanted (and possibly believing in mischievous controlling fairies), as it has since the 1590s.

“The course of true love never did run smooth.” Find out why when William Shakespeare’s timeless sentiments come to life July 10-12 at the Carbondale Waldorf School on old State Highway 82, just upvalley from Catherine Store. This intimate venue was chosen specifically as it appears to have been “carved out of a tree,” and adds to the magic of the play. However, seating is limited, and advance ticket purchase is encouraged to guarantee a seat at soltheatrecompany.com.

Performance times are 7 p.m. Thursday, July 10; 7 p.m. Friday, July 11; and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, July 12. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children under 12.


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