First Light Theatre is presenting the first-ever Shakespearean performance in the Riverside Park bandshell at the end of May.
This version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will stand out from other shows of its kind as it will be performed in a modern outdoor setting by youth aged 13 to 21, who will have undergone an intense training program leading up to the show.
Rob MacKinnon, director and First Light Theatre’s co-founder, chose the play.
"A Midsummer Night’s Dream is an ideal play to train young actors. The fascinating characters, the challenging language and the active plot give great opportunities for development of mind, voice and body. Shakespeare’s poetic genius for rhythm and rhyme provide graceful tools to make the actor’s job easier."
First Light Theatre is not just a group that puts on plays; it has a focus on the process. Rosemary Walton and Rob MacKinnon, First Light’s founders, use drama to engage young people in an experience that will help build skills in leadership, communication, risk-taking, and commitment as well as an awareness of the power of cooperative work.
Walton and MacKinnon also enlist the help of professional theatre artists to properly train the youth. For example, to prepare for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the youth have worked with professional actors and instructors from Stratford to help them master the art of iambic pentameter.
The performance is only one of the many programs that First Light orchestrates in and out of the classroom setting. For a complete listing of First Light programming, visit guelpharts.ca/firstlighttheatre.
The show runs May 29, 30, and 31 at 8pm; June 1 at 2pm; and June 5, 6 and 7 at 8pm; and June 8 at 2pm
The suggested minimum donation is $10 and tickets are available at the gate two hours prior to performance time.
Organizers suggest people bring along a chair or blanket.
The June 8 performance will take place in conjunction with the Ontario Arts Council’s Celebrate Our Artists Weekend. Join the cast early at 12:30pm for an interactive workshop.
The show is at Riverside Park bandshell, 709 Woolwich Street, between Woodlawn Street and Speedvale Avenue)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-856-2517, or visit www.guelpharts.ca/firstlighttheatre for more information.