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The fairies — First Fairy (Alicia Adams), Peaseblossom (Elyssa Constance), Cobweb (Bianca Anderson), Titania (Elise Hamilton), Moth (Aimee Mayeaux) and Mustardseed (Kyla Standley) — tend to Bottom (Jonathon Richards) in a scene from ''A Midsummer Night’s Dream.''<br>

The fairies — First Fairy (Alicia Adams), Peaseblossom (Elyssa Constance), Cobweb (Bianca Anderson), Titania (Elise Hamilton), Moth (Aimee Mayeaux) and Mustardseed (Kyla Standley) — tend to Bottom (Jonathon Richards) in a scene from ''A Midsummer Night’s Dream.''

Bayou Players take different approach to ‘Midsummer’

Last Modified: Thursday, April 11, 2013 9:54 AM

By Jordan Gribble / Special to the American Press

Those who have read or seen a performance of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” aren’t likely to remember the show’s characters dancing to “Gangnam Style,” nor will they recall the Bard setting any of the play’s scenes in a swamp.

But the audience for the McNeese State University Bayou Players’ last production of the year can expect these and other changes.

The Bayou Players will present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, April 17-20, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 21, in the Shearman Fine Art Performing Arts Theatre.

Director Joy Pace said that in this, her last production with the university, she has tried to challenge herself by re-imagining the play for a modern audience.

“I’m giving everything I have for my students, as my last hoorah. This is one of my favorite Shakespeare pieces because it can take place anywhere; I placed it today in a Louisiana swamp,” Pace said.

“There are also two dance scenes in the original play, with characters dancing for no reason. I set these scenes to the songs ‘Gangnam Style’ and the ‘Harlem Shake,’ because they are iconic and contemporary, and like the scenes in the play, ask people to dance without reason.”

Pace said the piece is set in three different worlds — one involving couples planning to get married, a group of actors putting on a play and a group of woodland fairies.

She said it’s ultimately about love.

“This play really asks the age-old questions: Should we follow our hearts, our minds, or the law?” Pace said. “It’s really recognizable to audiences as something they can relate to because it concerns itself with the crazy things we seem to always get ourselves into.”

Tickets can be purchased by phone at 475-5040 or online at www.mcneese.edu/theatre; cost is $15 for adults, $10 for McNeese faculty, senior citizens and youth, and free for McNeese students.

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