The Gary High School production theater class put on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare Thursday evening at the Esquire, and they’ll put it on again Saturday and Sunday at the Esquire.
The production class will perform Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Gary ISD’s junior high theater class will perform “Annie, Jr.” Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. as well.
Director Michael Powell is thrilled to be doing theater again, saying he’s caught himself singing while driving in excitement.
“I’ve been a director about 11 years; I have never gone this long without producing a show,” he said. “So our last show was like March 3, district contest, which we won and thought we would just keep going, and we’d been to state the year before, and we wanted to place at state, and then this hit, so the withdrawals have been terrible.
“I’m really thankful to be in a county that has such low (numbers of cases) where we can do this. I mean Austin and Houston and San Antonio and Dallas, they can’t do this. They’re doing Zoom productions, and I think that’s the right decision, but I’m glad that for us we can tell a story live. It’s special.”
Powell did a little inverting when it came to this play, putting the stronger people in the subplot.
“I wanted to develop these kids, and so three of the four lovers are first year production people, and I couldn’t be more pleased with them in their high school acting debut,” he said.
Freshman Bethany Kilpatrick played Hermia, and she said that acting is a lot of fun.
“I really liked being able to argue with Katie Cameron (who played Helena) a lot, that was hilarious, and we really didn’t even know each other before that, so it’s kind of fun getting to build a relationship with her through that,” she said.
Sophomore Miller Powell, who played Flute, said he didn’t really feel excited or nervous until a few minutes before the play, when it all hit him.
“It’s just so much fun,” he said. “You get to put yourself in other people’s shoes and really get to dive deep into emotions and other people, and it really helps you understand other people in your daily life, and it’s amazing, so much fun.”
Senior Dylan Essery played Bottom, the man who is given a donkey’s head during the course of the play by the mischievous Puck.
“Bottom is a very fun character because I can go as wild as I want, and it’s still acceptable for Bottom because Bottom is the type of character — even in the lines, like sometimes you would hear me switching words around, but that’s in the script that he says that your eye can hear and that your ears can see,” Essery said. “So he’s a very fun character to play because he’s just wild.”
The Esquire Theater is located off the Square in downtown Carthage at 114 W. Sabine St. Gary students will also be performing plays there in October and December.