A Midsummer Night’s Dream Comes True for Theater Students

Graduation Terrace was transformed into a magical, mythical forest in late May with the beautifully staged upper school production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Under the direction of Performing Arts Teacher Meg O’Connor, the cast of 36 upper school students engaged the audience with their modern day gags, otherworldly costumes and theatrical joy.

“One of my favorite things about this play is the magic in it,” said Natalia Shane ’22, who played Helena. “The fairies and mythology surrounding Oberon and Titania, as well as Puck and the other fairies, are fascinating, and with all of that the very relatable narratives of love, longing and duty that Shakespeare writes about, too. “

The seniors asked O’Connor, whom they fondly refer to as OC, if they could perform a Shakespeare play before they graduated. “I had several in mind but during auditions it was clear that we needed something magical, funny and physical.”

She was inspired by the theater teacher’s vast knowledge and classical training in all things Bard, noting that “OC also provided a number of helpful Royal Shakespeare Company videos on the best ways to read, understand and perform Shakespeare.”

After attending one of the performances, upper school English teacher Paul West told O’Connor that he enjoyed “seeing kids so fully living in their bodies — running at full speed, tackling each other, embracing each other and dancing.” He found it “healing to sit with a large group on the lawn laughing together and watching these astonishing young people fully live on stage.”

For Shane, the performances were “ridiculously fun and tiring” and as a senior, left her waxing nostalgic: “Leaving Masters is definitely bittersweet, and the theater has been the most important part of that journey for me.”