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PAGE finds success with 'Midsummer' rendition

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Emma Mast is Francis Flute in the Performing Arts Group of Estacadas production of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Nights Dream.'

When looking for a word to describe the Performing Arts Group of Estacada’s recent production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “innovative” comes to mind.

Though it may seem odd to describe a traditional presentation of a classic play with such a word, the production marked the first time PAGE presented a play by Shakespeare.

It was a significant undertaking that the group completed successfully.

The play took audiences to Ancient Greece, where numerous love stories intertwined. While Theseus (Josh Pardo), the duke of Athens, prepares for his wedding to the Amazon queen Hippolyta (Lesel Ayers), Egeus (Corey Marlowe) pressures his daughter Hermia (Alleah Schwab) to marry Demetrius (Neal Jeppeson). Hermia is in love with Lysander (Samantha Purvis), and Hermia’s friend Helena (Dani McMahon) is in love with Demetrius.

The plot thickens when the group heads to the forest. There, fairy king Oberon (James Dodd) has instructed Puck (Kamie Tenbush) to enchant fairy queen Titania (Ciara Schwimmer) to fall in love with Nick Bottom (James Tenbush), who has been transformed into a donkey. The mischievous Puck also points Cupid’s arrow at Demetrius and Lysander, who both fall in love with Helena.

The cast’s performance highlighted the emotions of their characters. McMahon gave a spirited performance as the lovelorn Helena, and I particularly enjoyed the lively performances of Kamie Tenbush as Puck and James Tenbush as Nick Bottom.

Several other elements worked together to make the play memorable. The play’s musical composition, written by cast members Gabrielle Recklies and James Dodd and sung by Gabrielle Paris, heightens the story’s many emotions. Additionally, the set utilized door hinges to transition practically seamlessly between the forest and Theseus’ palace.

PAGE’s first Shakespearean venture paved the way for further innovation with future plays.

Co-directors Corey Marlowe and Nicholas Hoppenbrouwers said they chose a play by the Bard in order to challenge their actors, who proved that they were up to the task.

With the group’s elevated creative abilities, the possibilities for future endeavors are vast.

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