Semester’s play is four-plot comedy


Mary-Lynn Retassie

Senior Benjamin Berkebile (left), junior Renee Riley (center) and junior Jarod Shark (right) rehearsed last Wednesday for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Alyssa Coleman, News Editor

Shakespeare’s work is to come to life April 4 to 6 as Pitt-Johnstown Theatre Department members put on a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

According to junior Laken Burkhardt, the play has four main plots—the first is a comedy surrounding the marriage of Greek heroes Theseus and Hippolyta.

The other three plots include King Oberon plotting against Queen Titania, the Mechanicals putting on their own play within a play and four lovers who are poisoned into falling in love with the wrong people.

Auditions for the Shakespearean play were held the first week of January.

Rehearsals have been held three hours a day from Tuesday to Thursday.

The show is to be performed in the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center.

Burkhardt, who is stage manager for the play and is to play Hippolyta and Titania, said she is excited for the production.

“We wanted to do a year of comedies since we did two serious shows last year,” she said.  “We’ve been wanting to do Shakespeare for a while.”

Junior Renee Riley said she chose to participate in the play because she was looking for something fun to do and to meet new people.

“I had never been in a production at (Pitt-Johnstown) before,” she said. 

“It’s different from the stuff I did in high school. It’s definitely more demanding than anything I’ve done before.

“I’m super excited to actually perform the play and show everyone how hard we’ve all been working.”

Burkhardt said the idea for the play came from theater professor John Teacher, who is to play Egeus and Philostrate in the production.

Teacher did not immediately respond to email requests for comment.

Burkhardt said she expects a good turnout for the play this spring.

“Our audience attendance has been up lately,” Burkhardt said.  “But we usually get a better turnout for comedies than dramas.”

Burkhardt said she is in a Stagecraft class and a Painting and Rendering class that is helping Teacher build the set.

In the fall, mold found in the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center destroyed some theater furniture, but Theatre Department members were able to replace the furniture necessary for this show before rehearsals began.