The midsummer of the ’70s

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Seniors Kelly Iaquinta, left, and Zach Stalcup rehearse for opening of the play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which has taken on a new twist by being set in the 1970s. photo by Samantha Cookson

by Tiffany Liao, staff writer

We see vintage elements on our clothes, furniture and even books, but this month Cal’s innovative drama class is blending the retro ’70s  with Shakespeare’s classic comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Bringing a classic Shakespeare play set in the 1500s  into the ’70s was drama teacher Laura Woods’ idea.

“I always loved disco music,” said Woods. “The ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ ’70s version can reach a larger audience, and is interesting for high schoolers.”

Woods also mentioned that it has been a while since Cal has presented a Shakespearean play, so she wanted to use the ’70s comedy to help students see the beauty in the complex old literature.

The Oregon Shakespearean festival was the first to present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” ’70s version back in 2009.

Their innovative idea of bringing such a classic play into the near past, was a huge hit.

Students are excited to present its own version at the Cal high Theatre Nov. 16-18 at 7 p.m.

Tickets cost $5 with ASB and $10 without.

The costumes, music, props, and dances are all in the ’70s fashion.

Popular songs during the ’70s such as “Let’s Groove Tonight” by Earth Wind and Fire, “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, and “Your Song” by Elton John will be featured in the show.

Bottom, a member of the clumsy craftsmen in Athens, and the fairies will be singing and dancing the most throughout the play.

All of the other actors and actresses will only be dancing in the last part of the comedy.

“It’s not a musical, but it has splashes of dance,” said junior actress Alex Dami, who plays Hippolyta, the Amazonian Queen and is the choreographer. “It’s a throwback to the ’70s.”

“It’s like Shakespeare in the ’70s,” said junior Jon Akkawi, who plays Oberon, the fairy king. “People who hate Shakespeare will still fall in love with it.”

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will keep its original humorous story while adding the funky ’70s style.

The actors will be saying the same lines as the play, but some were cut down for brevity.

“I’m really excited to be in the play because it is not as formal and traditional but still has the emotional feel to it,” said sophomore Emily Curley, who plays Thesius, the ruler of Athens. “The fun and craziness is still in the whole show.”

The comedy will also interact with the whole theatre (including the audience) by putting up disco balls and lights to bring a magnificent sensory experience.

Additionally, the drama class will also apply glow-in-the-dark paint on their faces, clothes, and sets to enhance the effect.

“It’s definitely going to be an awesome show,” said junior technician Allison Winter. “Actors tried hard to make the audience walk away happily.”