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FUSE Productions Presents ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

on August 15, 2019 6:18 PM

STATE COLLEGE — Does it seem like everyone you know has a history of complicated romantic entanglements? You can take heart from a situation more complex than yours — Shakespeare’s classic comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which will be presented by FUSE Productions from Aug. 16-18 at Foxdale Village Auditorium, 500 E. Marylyn Ave.

The public is welcome, and $10 tickets are available at the door or online at fuseproductions.org. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

“We need comedies,” said the show’s director, Eli Yurman. “The world seems so sad right now.”

The driving force behind the upcoming production, State College Area High School graduate Yurman is returning to State College this summer from his acting and writing undergraduate studies at NYU to direct Shakespeare for a third consecutive August. His previous productions of “As You Like It” (2017) and “Hamlet” (2018) have been well received, and several cast members will be returning for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

“We’re very lucky to have fielded such a talented — and large — cast, including several repeats from last year,” said Yurman. “It takes a certain type of person to commit to a summer production.”

Featured will be Fiona Mulley as Puck, James McCready as Oberon, Clara Hanahan as Titania, Lauren McKee as Lysander, Abby McGuire as Hermia and Jonathan Perini as Demetrius. Elena Gomez, Brian Cunningham, Mary Rose Valentine, Claire Bing, Devon Tighe, Kate Horn, Rachel Kaneshiki, Hilary Appelman, Veronica Rosenberger, Amy Farkas and Austen Auriemma round out the ensemble cast.

FUSE’s production will be performed in the round, allowing for a heightened viewing experience.

“Shakespeare really benefits from this,” said Yurman. “It allows the audience members to see each other react to the show and feels more intimate. This year, we’ll also be using lighting and costuming to provide a unique ‘look’ for each group of characters within the show.”

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta (the former queen of the Amazons). These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors (the “mechanicals”) who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies that inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. Like many of Shakespeare’s comedies, the humor comes from the situations themselves and the characters’ lack of self-awareness.

“To the people in the play, the stakes are high,” said Yurman.

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