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L.A. Beat

Shakespeare in the Park’s Midsummer Night’s Dream triumphs over distractions

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It is a challenge performing outside. You have to worry about a variety of distractions including the weather, police sirens, fire trucks and perhaps a few perhaps, more over-exuberant or over-lubricated audience members, who want to get involved.

Danielle Gurr plays the mischeivous Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photo by Richard Amery
“ We’ll have things like cops sirens and firetrucks. The distractions can be very difficult. We just have to be more entertaining than the distractions,” said Andrew Legg, who is directing a production of Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Nights Dream in Galt Gardens this summer.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is unabashedly a love story.

“It’s just a great play. There’s love, forbidden love, love denied and love being chased after. It’s very lovey dovey,” Legg laughed.

While people expect Shakespeare plays to be long, Legg found a good adaptation and trimmed the cast down to 22.
“There’s a lot more fairies in the original,” he said.

“I found a really good adaptation. It’s about  one and a half hours long,” said director Andrew Legg who is enjoying tackling Shakespeare.

 They began performing July 6 and finish their performances on Aug. 10.
In the two weeks they were rehearsing the play in the park before opening on July 6, they already had to deal with a lot of those distractions.

‘We get some really friendly people. There’s some guys that like to sort of be part of the play and others who will just sit and watch and enjoy it,” he observed.

“Well, we have pretty good security too,” he continued.
 The set is sparse, so in case of rain, which did strike once, can be moved under shelter rather than in the bowl, where all the running about takes place.
 Producer Kate Connolly had been waiting for someone to pick up the reins for Shakespeare in The Park.


Producer Kate Connolly has been waiting for the opportunity to bring Shakespeare back to Galt Gardens as a group called Theatre Works was performing Shakespeare in the Park  in  the late ’90s, but stopped doing it.

So, 13 years later, she got funding from a variety of sources including  the BRZ, Heart of the City and Playgoers of Lethbridge to do it.
“We were able to do it with a lot of support and encouragement from from the city,” she said.
The performances takes place rain or shine.

The cast is enjoying this energetic production which allows them to run all over the gardens.

 Ali DeRegt, who plays Titiana’s attendant Pease Blossom is looking forward to performing a show which families will enjoy.

“It’s always nice to be part of an ensemble cast. It’s nice to be part of something families will enjoy,” DeRegt said, who just graduated form the University of Lethbridge in May with a BFA.

“I’m excited to perform  Shakespeare in front of an audience,” she said.

 A MidSummer Night’s Dream runs every Friday and Saturday until Aug. 10. There is no charge to attend though a donations will be taken.

A version of this story appears in the Aug. 1, 2012 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times.
— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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