As the actors of Fullerton College Theater Arts Department take the stage at the Bronwyn Dodson Theater, it is normal to see them wearing the disposable blue masks we’ve all come to know. Of course, this is the norm, but that doesn’t stop the actors from putting on an enthralling performance, and it luckily does not stop audience members from enjoying the show.
Despite watching a live play with masks that aren’t part of the costume, theatergoers can prepare to drift away into the humorous world of fairies and magic. For nearly two hours, your mind can be elsewhere while being entertained by a somewhat modern take on one of William Shakespeare’s most well-known plays.
The story follows an upcoming marriage, but the bride-to-be is in love with someone else. So the two plan to run off but get entangled in some fairy drama and get caught in a love spell. Meanwhile, a group of townspeople prepares to put on a play for the big wedding and fall victim to Puck the fairy’s ways, who turns one of them into a donkey.
Set on a unique stage that rotates in between scenes to signal the passing of time or storyline, masked audience members sit around the stage made to look like a sparse forest.
The overall set design matched the mood of the play. It’s crafty and homemade in a warm and inviting way. Perhaps it was to parallel one of the storylines of townspeople creating a play.
In between scenes were instrumental songs, like “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie, which made this play slightly modern. The costumes worn were also a slight nod to a more modern take on the play. At one point, the actors even take an audience member’s phone to ask Siri if there will be a full moon the next day.
The actors’ use of the stage and audience interactiveness was seamless. Although it could sometimes be difficult to hear all the side remarks made by characters if their backs were towards you, the actors did a great job projecting their voices despite being masked themselves.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is the perfect choice as the first live performance since 2019 because it encapsulates a magical and fun storyline. Despite the Shakespearean accents that can sometimes have you aimlessly trying to translate, the overall themes of love, mischief, and togetherness are strong.
You can catch the last two performances on Dec. 2 and 4 at 7:30. Tickets and live stream information can be found on their website.
It may make you think, “Were the last couple years all just a dream?”