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‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ will tour locations in Southern Indiana for free in April

Three actors appear on stage in costume.
Martin French
A touring production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" will take place in public space across Southern Indiana.

Weekends in April just got a bit more dramatic with a touring production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” showing at parks and libraries in Southern Indiana.

The production is part of Theatreworks of SoIn and the Arts Alliance of Southern Indiana’s SoIn Shakespeare Spring Tour, which presents the playwright’s works across Southern Indiana for free.

“We can't expect people to care about theater, or Shakespeare, if they've never encountered it, if it's never been shown to them how beautiful it is,” said Anna Meade, who plays Helena, Robin Starveling and Cobweb.

She said that if those who already care about the arts want them to continue to be supported, they have to give people a reason to be invested.

Martin French is one of the directors of the play. He grew up in a small town in Ireland, where his access to the theater was limited.

“Shakespeare was something for wealthy people. The arts were something for wealthy people,” French said.

French counts himself lucky to attend college in a place that let him experience art at a lower cost.

“That's for me, a huge mission in my career as an artist, is to ensure that everybody has the same fortune … and chance that I get to be an artist,” French said.

Show producers made the choice to take the show on the road so that “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is available to the widest range of people for free.

Performance dates and locations are:

  • April 8th: Greenway Park in Charlestown at 2 p.m.
  • April 13h: Floyd County Library at 6 p.m. 
  • April 15th: JPAC at Big Four Station Park at 6:30 p.m.
  • April 15th: Jeffersonville Public Library at 2 p.m.  
  • April 22nd: Corydon Capitol Historic Site at 6:30 p.m. 
  • April 29th: Sellersburg Wilkerson Park at 6:30 p.m.   

Something different in every setting

“It's actually been a really interesting exercise,” said Fløren K, who plays Nick Bottom and Egeus. “It activates a different kind of creativity in your brain when you know, it's not going to be the same every time it kind of allows you to explore in ways that are different from another.”

The play’s cast and crew prepped by rehearsing in several different spaces, both indoors and outdoors. Fløren said the ever-changing venue leaves room for more improv.

The cast will also invite children in the audience to participate in the show as fairies.

By creating an opportunity that is easily accessible, engaging and interactive, organizers hope people can understand the importance of theater and art in society.

“We're not just creatures with brains, we're creatures with souls and our arts are for the soul,” said Kim Sanders who plays Titania and Theseus. “You have to have something that nurtures that part of yourself, that keeps you wanting to do the other things in your life.”

Cast members said they want to give people an escape from the real world.

“Whatever, horrible stuff going on outside of that, right now, it doesn't matter. Because in this moment, there's a unique experience that's being created just for you, that will never happen again,” said Magnolia Hensley, who plays Hermia, Peaseblossom and Peter Quince.

Fløren added even if people are trying to escape reality per se, they are creating shared memories with a large group of people.

“You want to feel something good with someone you care about,” Fløren said. “You go see a play, you go to a museum, that's the stuff you do, and that's the stuff we need.”

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” performances run every weekend through the end of April.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.

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