2016 - A Midsummer Night's Dream



ALL SHOWS ARE SOLD OUT!  If you are lucky enough to have tickets, think about bringing water, bugspray, and maybe a small flashlight for walking across the uneven terrain in the dark.

  • July 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st at 7:30 PM
  • Admission is $10.   Tickets can be purchased at the North High School main office between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. beginning Monday, July 11th and at the door one hour prior to each performance.
  • The Refuge, the former Monte Alverno,1000 N Ballard Rd, Appleton, WI 54911

Helena loves Demetrius who loves Hermia who loves Lysander.  Hermia and Lysander run off together to the forest followed by the jealous Demetrius who is in turn pursued by Helena.  In the forest Oberon and Titania, the King and Queen of the Fairies are quarreling while a group of hysterically bad amateur actors meet in the same woods to rehearse a play.   A magic love potion is introduced, the four star-crossed lovers become uncrossed—and crisscrossed, and the worst of the actors has his human head replaced with one from a donkey. 

 And then things get really complicated….  

Summer Shakespeare Theatre will present one of the Bard’s most popular comedies, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, July 21st – 31ST at The Refuge, 1000 North Ballard Road.  This marks the thirtieth season of the program sponsored by the Fox Valley Summer School Consortium.  Each summer a cast and crew students from area high schools spend six weeks learning about Shakespeare and the theatre of the Renaissance while preparing a play for public performance.   Appleton North High School theatre instructor, Ron Parker, began the program in the Fox Valley after founding and directing a similar program in Kenosha for 13 years.  “It’s a wonderful opportunity for students interested in theatre to study and perform the work of the greatest playwright in the English language,” Parker states.  “In addition, students from various schools in the area have a chance to meet and work together.  Our previous season’s productions have been very well received.  We look forward to even better things in the future.” 

 Audiences who attend this summer’s performances of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM will be treated to a special “environmental” production which takes place on the grounds of The Refuge, the former Monte Alverno, the one-time Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph retreat center and now the home of the Fox River Environmental Education Alliance and artist retreat run and operated by well-known musician, Cory Chisel.  “Environmental Theatre is very popular on the East and West coasts—essentially it is performing a play in the actual location that it is set.  A murder mystery play that takes place in an old mansion would actually be presented in a real mansion with the audience moving from room to room with the actors.  For the 30th anniversary, we wanted to do something different, so our production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM this year will occur in the beautiful chapel on site and in the surrounding woods.  To my knowledge this is the first time this type of theatre has been done in our area.  It is very exciting to take a play originally set by Shakespeare in a forest at night and perform it in an actual evening forest!” 

Those attending performances of the play will follow actors from location to location becoming part of the action as well as observing it. They should be prepared to walk short distances outdoors in a wooded setting across dark, uneven terrain. Audience members will be led by student cast and crew carrying lanterns.  The play will begin and end in the chapel with the majority of time spent in the adjacent wooded area. In the event of inclement weather, those in attendance will remain indoors.   Audience size has been limited to 50 per performance.   In addition, one of the student actors will portray Shakespeare himself and will provide pre-play commentary as well as mingle with audience members during the show.   

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM is a hilarious, romantic romp in the woods among bumbling rustics, smitten lovers, and the enchanted fairies who bewitch them all. Shakespeare weaves a chaotic and comical tale of misunderstanding, mischief and magic in which, like the dream-state it mimics, no harm is permanent, and all is pleasantly resolved by the play’s end. This is a joyous celebration of love, language, and life itself.

Performance dates are on July 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st at 7:30 p.m.  Admission is $10.   Tickets can be purchased at the North High School main office between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. beginning Monday, July 11thand at the door one hour prior to each performance.    For further information, contact Ron Parker, director at 707-0487 or by e-mail, parkerronaldc@aasd.k12.wi.us .  Further information about the Summer Shakespeare program can be found at 

https://foxvalleysummershakespeare.wordpress.com/ .