The play features not one, not two, but three, casts of characters and takes place in and around a mythical Athens.
There are Athenians, amateur actors and fairies. Each has a story and all are mixed together for the enjoyment of the audience.
Theseus, Duke of Athens (Jordan Edwin Andre) is about to marry Hippolyta (Eline Cotter). He is approached by Egeus, father of Hermia (Mike Yocum), who has problems with Hermia (Laura Plyer). She is betrothed to Demetrius (Alex Dorf) but in love with Lysander (Angel Lozada), who loves her. Egeus wants his daughter to marry Demetrius and requests permission from Theseus to have her marry Demetrius or be put to death. Theseus agrees but adds a third choice. She can become a nun.
Hermia and Lysander plan to run off and marry. When Hermia meets Helena (Kira Lace Hawkins), who is in love with Demetrius, she tells her the plans. Helena tells Demetrius and the fun begins. Adding to the Athenians fun is Phiolostrate, master of revels, (Kristen Yasenchak).
The amateur actors: Peter Quince (George O. Vickers V), Bottom the weaver (Scott Fuss), Flute the bellows mender (Sean Watkinson), Snout the tinker (Keaton Eckhoff), Starveling the tailer (Asher Dubin) and Snnug the joiner (Dylan Troost) meet to discuss a play they will present at the duke’s wedding reception.
The fairies are busy in the woods with their own problems. Oberon is king (Danny Burgos) and Titania is queen. Puck (Jennifer Dow) does Oberon’s bidding. Other fairies include Peaseblossom (Alison Schiller), Moth (Kristen Yasenchak), Mustardseed (Elaine Cotter), Cobweb (Katie Yocum) and Bloodroot (Johdan Edwin Adnre). Obreon and Titania are at odds.
Hermia and Lysander are lost in the woods. Demetrius follows and Helena follows him. Oberon observes Demetrius and Helena and sends Puck after a magic flower, instructing him to put dust on the eyes of the Athenian. Puck mistakenly puts the dust on Lysander’s eyes and he falls in love with Helena. Sent to correct the problem, she pours the dust on Demetrius and he, too, falls in love with Helena. The two men fight over Helena and Hermia is left to fend for herself.
Oberon puts dust on Titania and she falls in love with a donkey — Bottom, who came to the woods to practice the play and Puck changes him into the donkey.
When the spells are broken Theseus declares there will be three weddings. He rebukes Egeus and allows Hermia and Lysanders to marry. Helena and Demetrius will also marry.
End of play. No, there is more. And the ending scenes keep the audience in stitches.
The play is directed by Ben Dicke and Andy Robinson who do a super job. Everyone turned in an outstanding performance, space will not allow me to comment on everyone.
Plyer, Lozada, Dorf and Hawkins are superior as the young couples. Not to take away from any of the other actors, but the character the audience falls in love with is Puck. Dow is funny. She’s delightful. She wins the hearts of the audience quickly and keeps them wondering what she’s going to do next.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be on stage through Aug. 8. For information or tickets call (574) 267-8041 or (866) 823-2618 or online at wagonwheelcenter.org.