The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Broken Box Rehearses Upcoming “Midsummer Night’s Dream” Play

From March 21 to 23, the Broken Box performance cast, led by drama teacher Nancy Moran, will perform William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the Eagle Theatre, starting at 7 pm each night.

The play is a comedy centered around the love lives of four Athenians. Demetrius is played by senior Cory Moran, Helena is played by senior Amanda Spielman, Hermia is played by senior Blaine Dzwonczyk and Lysander is played by senior Prashant Nathaniel.

“The rehearsal process always starts with a read through of the play and discussion of the vision,” Moran said. “With Shakespeare, we also spend a lot of time on speaking the language and how to try to get the plot across not only through the spoken word, but also through body and facial expression.”

This play is the first Shakespearean piece to be performed by Broken Box in recent years.

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“I used to do Shakespeare every year back in the early 2000s, and recently have done more modern pieces,” Moran said. “I think it is an important aspect of acting to experience performing Shakespeare, so I have chosen to go back to it.”

Instead of the traditional forest setting used in original screenplay, the setting for this year’s play is on a tropical beach, with the events taking place in modern times. The characters in the play are also given a modern feel. The equipment used for the production is minimal.

“Shakespeare’s work is all about the language, so I try not to overload the production with special effects or even too many props,” Moran said.

In addition to the change of setting, the play will run an hour shorter than the original time.

“I have omitted parts of the play to keep it moving and entertaining for the audience,” Moran said. “I think the audience will get the full impact of the show even with the cuts.”

The actors in the play started working on the performance in December. Like rehearsing for any Shakespearean play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” requires a good knowledge of the language used. The performance’s plot needs to be expressed with body and facial expression in addition to spoken words.

The critiquing process is a critical part of perfecting the show before performances.

“The first time we started by going through the show and adding blocking,” Prashant said. “Right now we are running each scene and getting critiqued by the other actors so we can understand our strengths as well as what we need to work on.”

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