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(Left to Right) Mishi Banerjee, Tristan Smith, Franki Valentine, Alex Bickham and Tyler Ussery practice at their dress rehearsal in the Mary and Al Danos Theater for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on October 11.

Nicholls Players to perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

October 13, 2016

The Nicholls Players will debut its 2016-2017 season with a performance of Shakespeare’s comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Mary and Al Danos Theater tonight at 7 p.m.

This will be the first time the acting group performs in the recently renovated theater in Talbot hall. Anna Broussard, speech and theater instructor and director for the Nicholls Players, said she feels comfortable directing this play because she is very familiar with Shakespeare’s work.

“I never directed the full Shakespearian version of this play, but I’ve directed a smaller version of it before for the Nicholls Performing Arts Camp two years ago,” Broussard said.

The choice of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as the play scheduled for the fall coincidently will celebrate this year marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of Shakespeare’s best-known works. The play takes place in Athens and revolves around the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, with Hippolyta, and the adventures of four young lovers and six amateur actors.

“It is a romantic comedy, so it feels like it is a good opener for the theater to do something fun,” Broussard said.

The preparation for the season started right after the cast was selected and lasted for about six weeks. The actors participate in a read through, table read and table work.

“We spend a week talking out characters and reading again to make sure everybody understood their lines, since Shakespeare’s language can be a little bit difficult,” Broussard said.

The next step is to start rehearsing to eventually establish deadlines to when the actors should have their parts memorized, along with the technical components of the play that have to be figured out for the running of the show.

“When you think Shakespeare, some people think boring, but this show will actually be really interesting,” Chelsea Jackson, Nicholls Players stage manager and mass communication student, said. “The costumes are beautiful, the actors are great and we put a lot of hard work into this.”

The Nicholls Players acting group cast and crew consists of mostly students, some community members and faculty members. Twenty-one students compose this play’s cast, 20 of them are Nicholls Students and one is still in high school. Students are also involved with preparations that happen behind the scenes before and after the play starts, including costumes, scenario and production.

“Once that curtain opens, it is my job to make sure the show goes smoothly, that the actors are there for their cues, the props and the sets are where it was supposed to be,” Jackson said. “I am behind the scenes to make sure everything happens when it is supposed to happen.”

The Nicholls Players performed Shakespeare’s comedy in front of a selected audience for the first time on Wednesday night. Jackson said the preview night is an opportunity for the group to work out the final details and ensure the plays runs well.

The acting group will perform three other times, including showings at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14, and Saturday Oct. 15 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16. Tickets are $10 for general admission or $5 for students who present their Colonel Cards.

Other performances planned for this season includes the Night of Student One Acts at the end of the year and a musical during the spring semester.

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