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Classic Shakespeare Play Set at Rutgers Gardens

Final Performance of A Mid-Summer Night's Dream on July 25 in Rutgers Gardens
Rutgers Gardens

NORTH BRUNSWICK,NJ--A troupe of 23 actors has adapted Shakespeare's classic play, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and on July 25, will be putting on their final show.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is the first show produced by ReThink Theatrical, an independant theater company started by Thomas Young and Stephany Van Huss.

The play cost literally nothing to produce, according to the directors, and tickets are also free to the general public.

Without spending a dime, ReThink Theatrical put on a play that exceeded even the expectations of the artists themselves.

Producing a show with absolutely no money spent was made possible largely by re-purposing materials for the sh0w including the costumes for all characters.

Actors were encouraged to create their own costumes in character with recycled or borrowed materials.

Each actor was given thier own fairy character and was told that Rutgers Gardens, the location of the show, is their new home.

In this way, the play acts as an interpretation of Shakespeare's play in which the fairys invite the human audience into the gardens and guide them through the show, and the gardens themselves.

As an interpretation, the show is still successful in keeping Shakespeare's orignial text in every line, scene, and act.

Rutgers Gardens lent ReThink Theatrical some lights for the show, which help the audience watch the players and actors adapt the orignial play as the sun goes down.

With the gardens as a free setting, the audience is invited to follow the show through several locations in the garden where the show takes place.

After enjoying successful performances in July, scenes have been constantly re-blocked and adjusted in order to fit the large audience the show draws.

Opening night saw 150 guests to the garden to watch the play.  In the play's planning process, the artists did not expect to exceed 50 audience members.

The garden even ran out of parking before a later show, forcing the venue to close while the play commenced.

The adaptability was welcomed by actors, including Shachar May, a recent Rutgers graduate who has been acting since she was 11 years old.

May changed her charachter, Puck the Hobgoblin, from a male character to a female one, saying that the play contained more femininity in that character than masculinity.

Directors Young and Van Huss created the show by creating the characters to be like a family, very close with one another.

The show is made to feel like you are "lost in the woods" while you watch it, they said, and only the fairies can help you.

The company is putting on one final show on Saturday, July 25 at 3pm in the Rutgers Gardens open house at 3pm.