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UW Theatre and Dance to Present Virtual ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’

March 12, 2021
dancers rehearsing on stage
Caleb Daly, of Cheyenne, as Oberon, and Caitlyn Murray, from Cody, as Puck, rehearse a scene for a new dance adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” from the University of Wyoming’s Department of Theatre and Dance. Performances are March 18-21. (Caitlyn Crum Photo)

A new dance adaptation of Shakespeare’s beloved and fantastical comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” from the University of Wyoming’s Department of Theatre and Dance, takes to the stage next week as a virtual production.

Choreographed by Professor Marsha Knight, the production will be performed and streamed live from the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts main stage at 7:30 p.m. March 18-20, with afternoon performances at 2 p.m. March 20-21.

Virtual tickets are $5 for the public and can be purchased at the Performing Arts Center box office by calling (307) 766-6666, Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., or emailing www.uwyo.edu/finearts. Box office personnel will provide viewers with instructions on how to access the livestream. UW students can receive free virtual access -- with a valid “W” number by calling the box office.

Originally envisioned as a traditional, full-length dance production, the virtual “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” has been developed into an “evocative, artistic expression of the times in which we live."

“While the premise of the story is built on woodland fairies and young lovers, how to manage distancing while storytelling and masking and expressing came to me as a creative challenge and an artistic opportunity,” Knight says. 

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” depicts the romantic adventures and misadventures of two pairs of mortal lovers and a troupe of amateur actors. They are caught up in a quarrel between the king and queen of fairies, Oberon and Titania, and move between dream and reality with hilarious consequences. 

“For this spring’s production, the creative team endeavored to integrate responsible social distancing and mask-wearing as prime tenets for choreographic and theatrical design invention,” Knight says.

For example, masks serve as the “design center” for the performers’ costume ornamentation, and props such as garlands, vines and netting are designed to support the 10 feet of requisite distance between cast members, both practically and narratively, Knight adds.

“Colleagues have reinvented livestreamed delivery and design in clever and graceful ways -- rather wonderful to witness,” Knight says. “I am quite serious about how impressive invention is around here when it comes to production.”

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