"A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” William Shakespeare’s comedy of fantasy and fairies, is about to be performed in a whole new way.
The Salem Chamber Orchestra and the Willamette University Department of Theatre are collaborating to debut the perennial favorite Nov. 16 — with an open dress rehearsal Nov. 15 — in the Rogers Music Center’s Hudson Hall.
For their version of the theatrical and musical mashup, the Salem Chamber Orchestra will play music by Felix Mendelssohn, while Willamette actors will perform excerpts from the play.
"As a former Willamette student, it brings me great joy to see the Salem Chamber Orchestra collaborate with Willamette University departments,” says Nikolas Caoile ’00, conductor and artistic director of the production. “Attendees should expect to have an engaging, rewarding experience.”
The comedy portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Duke Theseus and Hippolyta. The action takes place in a forest, where fairies manipulate and spy on the people they encounter.
Director Jonathan Cole says theatregoers can expect an untraditional performance, where the cast will romp through the audience and orchestra. Assisting with the production is Willamette’s own women’s chorus, Voce Femminile, directed by Christine Welch.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to see a significant orchestral work, commingled with scene work from one of Shakespeare’s most fanciful texts,” Cole says. “Hopefully, this will pave the way for future collaboration.”
Admission to the open dress rehearsal on Nov. 15 is free for students, kids and Oregon Trail Card holders. General admission is $5. For the Nov. 16 performance, ticket prices range from $20 to $45 for adults and $10 to $23 for students.