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A Midsummer's Night Dream - A Trip Back In Time

18 July 2007  
Take a "trip" back to 1967 with the Merry Pranksters and the Rude Mechanics as they decide to put on not just a play, but Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights Dream.
The lovers meet in the Woods.
Further Information:

Arizona Classical Theatre Website

Google Map to Ruth Street Theater

El Gato Azul Restaurant

Google Map to El Gato Azul

Take a "trip" back to 1967 with the Merry Pranksters and the Rude Mechanics as they decide to put on not just a play, but Shakespeare's Midsummer Nights Dream.

This reinterpretation brings the summer of love to a new millennium, and puts the 60's together with the 90's. The 1590's that is.

The play opens with an overture of hard rocking songs from Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, and the Iron Butterfly, among others. Once the music stops we are introduced to the players who seem be in a psychedelic haze. They put themselves to the acid test and take Shakespeare's classic comic romp to places even Ken Kesey and Sonny Barger could not imagine. The Pranksters take on the main lovers' story of Hermia who loves Lysander, Demetrius who loves Hermia, and Helena who loves Demitrius. Throw in the wedding of the Duke of Athens and the Queen of Amazonia, and a dispute between Hermia's Mother who wants Hermia to marry Demitrius, and a quarrel between the King and Queen of the Fairies. At this point, some people might even start to have trouble staying up with the plot, but hang in there!

Next, a motorcycle gang named "The Rude Mechanics," (a take-off on Shakespeare who calls them rude mechanicals) take the stage and start to prepare a play they call, "Pyramus and Thisbe". They hope to perform for the Duke and Queen's wedding feast.

Lots of physical humor bring the characters to an enchanted wood outside Athens, which is where things start getting mixed up with fairies, magic flowers, unrequited love and a case of mistaken identity by Puck, the Fairy King's right hand elf.

The band provided a nostalgic trip down memory lane with songs such as "Don't You Want Somebody to Love," and "Dream, Dream, Dream".

This leads to a lot of laughter, and even some bawdy humor before the scenes in the wood end and the dispute between the Fairy Queen and King is resolved. The Duke even decides to make it a triple wedding.

As the wedding feast starts and "Pyramus and Thisbe" begins, the rest of the players tuck themselves into the audience. This is when the laugh-in gets going, The audience gets a great comic performance before Puck returns to comment, and asks for well-deserved applause.

The bawdy and physical humor in this performance makes it a "parental guidance suggested" production. Certainly the humor was even more ribald when first performed in the 1590's! And, while parents may feel nostalgic as they sing along to the music, some children might be prompted to ask what the whole hippie thing is all about.

The acting is definitely not small town, and the casting is flawless. An outstanding comic performance was turned in by both Jonathan ‘JP’ Perpich, as Bottom, and Keaton S. Ziem as Lysander. Of special note is the well-choreographed slow-motion fight scene. The excellent music, set design, props, and creative motorcycle use are exceptional as well. Technically there were some sound issues that will hopefully get worked out before opening night.

Overall, A Midsummer's Night Dream is a play that leaves everyone feeling groovy.



Where: Ruth Street Theater at Prescott High School. 
Address: 1050 Ruth Street, Prescott, Arizona
Tickets: Buy online or at the door

  • General Admission $15
  • Student/Senior Discount $10
  • Children 10 & Under - Free
  • Group rates are available.

Performance times:

  • Friday, July 20 at 7:30 pm - Opening Night!!! 
    (Opening night gala follows immediately after the show at El Gato Azul, 316 W. Goodwin Street There is a $15 admission fee.)

  • Saturday, July 21 at 2:00 pm

  • Saturday, July 28 at 7:30 pm

  • Sunday, July 29 at 2:00 pm

  • Friday, August 3 at 7:30 pm

  • Saturday, August 4 at 2:00 pm
Lewis LaMaster

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