LMU players to present Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

HARROGATE, Tenn. — The Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) Paul V. Hamilton School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the LMU Players will present the 2018 Appalachian Shakespeare Project production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream July 12-14.

The Appalachian Shakespeare Project is a part of LMU’s Arts in the Gap summer programming. Under the guidance of Assistant Professor of Theater Joe Gill and Dr. Natalie Spar, assistant professor of English, students of LMU have adapted the Bard’s classic into Appalachian dialect, translating the dialog and changing the setting to East Tennessee. For the program’s fourth production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream brings Shakespeare’s most celebrated comedy into the 21st Century East Tennessee region.

“The course of true love never did run smooth,” is the famous line spoken by Lysander, a character who encounters the difficulties that often accompany romantic love. This classic comedy is also the source of the line “And though she is but little, she is fierce,” used to describe the main character, Hermia. The production will offer love triangle antics, interconnecting plots, a wedding celebration, and a fairyland setting, all under the light of the moon. Adapted to include relatable elements of Appalachia, this special production will feature a whimsical trailer park setting.

The cast includes a mix of LMU students and community members. Aiden Johnson will play Puck’s helper, while Alexa Livesay takes on the role of Puck. Beth Johnson will play Titania/Hippolyta. Casey Cosgriff portrays Flute/Honeysuckle. Clayton Baker is Bottom; Courtney Hay is Snout/Dust Bunny. Dave Jones will play the role of Egeus, and Elias Rasmussen will portray Lysander. Jameson Cosgriff and Brigham Cosgriff will play forest elves. Joe Johnson stars as Oberon/Theseus, while Kendell Daniels plays Quince. Laurana Duncan stars as Helena with Mark Smith as Starveling/Cobweb. Petchula Ford will star as Hermia and Shawn Williams as Demetrius. Sonia Sayani will play the main fairy.

The performances will take place on the campus of LMU in the Amphitheatre (near the Spring House) at 6:30 p.m. on July 12-14. Admission is free, and audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating and refreshments from home. In case of rain, the production will take place at the Sam and Sue Mars Performing Arts Center in Duke Hall of Citizenship.