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updated: 2/18/2011 6:28 PM

'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in Batavia

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  • Batavia High School students rehearse "A Midsummer Night's Dream." From left are John Shueneman playing the character of Bottom, Jessi McCluskey as Titania, and Leslie Billing as Puck.

      Batavia High School students rehearse "A Midsummer Night's Dream." From left are John Shueneman playing the character of Bottom, Jessi McCluskey as Titania, and Leslie Billing as Puck.
    Courtesy of Gary King

 
 

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" heads into Batavia High School this weekend with the talented Toni Hix taking on the directorial duties.

This isn't the first time the popular Shakespeare comedy has been staged at the high school. Hix brought the production to life in 2005 and the memory of the magical staging with the fairies still lingers.

Hix promises many surprises in this production. She has more than 12 years experience in staging Shakespeare at various venues around the Chicago area during the summer with her semiprofessional Midsummer Theater Troupe. Most important, Hix has a real love for the Bard's many plays.

"It's a beautiful language that is open to all types of interpretations," she said. "And the stories are timeless, often being reproduced in modern stories."

Hix was quick to reference the animated feature "Gnomeo and Juliet."

"That's a perfect example," Hix added. "Shakespeare wrote for the masses and he used myths and folklore for his inspiration."

Toni Hix prefers doing comedies and interprets Shakespeare in a family friendly way, often editing the plays or incorporating new devises. This production is no different.

"I am attempting a Cirque du Soleil feel, encouraging the actors to get out of their human form with big characteristics that (are) indicative of their character," she said.

Toni Hix feels that high school productions are inexpensive way to introduce Shakespeare to children before they have to study it in school.

"It's so much better to experience the play before reading it in middle school or high school," she added. "And this play has so much going on -- the magic of the fairies, a love triangle that ends up causing some great comedic moments and of course some fight choreography as well."

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" combines love potions, mistaken identities, buffoonery and chaos which are the ingredients for a fun evening on a cold February night.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18-20, at the high school, 1201 Main St. Tickets, $7, can be purchased at bataviastage.org or by calling (630) 937-8600, ext. 7949. Tickets can be purchased from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today in the Batavia High School atrium.

Cast members include: Trevor Felchner, Alex Santoro, Megan Cave, C.J. Chandler, Emma Kegerris, Jeff Heise. Doug Burrichter, Megan Scharlau, John Shueneman, Nick Coussens, Charles Grimse, Megan Warren, Blake Spitz and David Gotfryd, Jessi McCluskey, Riley Ano, Leslie Billing, Kelsey Skomer, Mary Alcott, Katie Bertness, Alison Cruz, Jordan Morgan, Charlotte Chesters and Claire Heronemus.

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