A Midsummer Night's Dream
Nicolet Players’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream spans the generations
Making the leap from high school productions to community theater with the Nicolet Players to perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream was more than a little intimidating for Adam Bloom and Somerset Seymer, who are 16 and 15, respectively.
“Every other play I was in was with my friends I went to school with,” said Bloom, a junior at Rhinelander High School. “There was a comfort level there. I pretty much knew what to expect.”
Ditto for Seymer, a sophomore at Northland Pines High School in Eagle River.
“Nerve wracking,” is how she described the transition. “I was used to being in plays with fairly close friends who I saw all the time. Now there’s this group of complete strangers.”
Nicolet College Theatre Director Jim Nuttall has been putting together plays at Nicolet for more than 20 years. He’s seen this dynamic before.
“They go from being in plays with only kids their own age to now sharing the stage with just about every age group, including people old enough to be their grandparents,” Nuttall said. “That’s a pretty big leap. But over time, you see this common bond form. Everybody supports one another, they learn from one another, and that’s when they really start to gel.”
With more than a month of rehearsals for A Midsummer Night’s Dream behind them, both Bloom and Seymer said they are finding their groove and appreciating the tips the veteran actors share with them as they work through scenes.
“It’s really nice to learn from people who have been doing this a long time,” Seymer said. “Even something as simple as moving from one side of the stage to the other, there’s an art to it.”
And move a lot they do.
Bloom and Seymer play opposite each other as the young couple Lysander and Hermia in this classic Shakespeare comedy.
“There are a lot of different ways to put on this play,” Nuttall said. “We’re doing a very physical adaptation. It’s very dynamic with lots of action. It’s definitely not stand-and-deliver Shakespeare.”
When close to 30 high school students auditioned for a dozen parts for younger individuals, Nuttall said he recognized an “energy” between the two.
“Somerset is a real fireball and Adam is really great playing off of that,” he said. “It’s hilarious to watch those two go at it, the back and forth and this little magical world they create.”
Their parts in the play revolve around four young lovers who find themselves wrapped in the dream-like arms of an enchanted forest. Sprites and fairies rule the woods, casting spells and sprinkling magic dust to stir the pot of love.
Seymer said in many ways she can relate to her character, seeing herself in many of Hermia’s traits.
“I try to be a fairly calm person,” she said. “But it doesn’t always work out that way. I like how Hermia is so headstrong, opinionated and can have a very quick temper. It’s a lot of fun.”
Bloom is also enjoying perfecting his character.
“I like how my character can be serious, comedic, and clueless all at the same time,” he said. “There’s a lot of room for interpretation with the character and it’s exciting to put on this face of someone who you are not.”
The cast of 21 includes individuals from many parts of the Northwoods, including Tomahawk, Crandon, Minocqua, St. Germain and Cavour, along with Rhinelander and Eagle River.
Performances in the Nicolet College Theatre are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 4 and 5, and Thursday through Saturday, May 10 through 12. Sunday performances May 6 and 13 will take place at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $7 and $9 and can be purchased online at nicoletlive.com or by calling (715) 365-4646.
Beer, wine and other refreshments will be available before the performance and during the intermission.