LINDSBORG — Bethany College Theatre will kick off its 2017-2018 season with a theatre for young audiences’ production of Ed Gracyzk’s “The Rude Mechanicals,” a free adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
The play focuses on the six “mechanicals” or craftsmen, secondary characters who provide comic relief in Shakespeare’s play.
Playwright Graczyk takes more than a few liberties with Shakespeare’s original work. In doing so, “The Rude Mechanicals” achieves its own unique comic style.
Peter Quince, a carpenter without so much as a single customer, decides to use these idle days to pen a drama about the ill-fated lovers Pyramus and Thisbe and compete for a prize that Theseus, the Duke of Athens, is offering for a play to be performed at his upcoming wedding.
Quince convinces the other “rude mechancials” to help him stage the play and thereby reverse their failing fortunes.
Meanwhile, the Duke is having problems of his own when his bride to be, the fair Hippolyta, decides to run off to the forest, fearful of marrying a man she’s never met. Manipulating much of the delightful mayhem is the playful sprite, Robin Goodfellow. Will the Duke be able to win Hippolyta’s heart? Will the dramatically inept rude mechanicals manage to write a play worthy of first prize?
Taylor York of Pueblo, Colorado is the down-on-his-luck Peter Quince. His fellow mechanicals include Duncan Anglin of Salina as Snug the joiner, Sydney Walker of Bartlesville, Oklahoma as Robin Starveling, the tailor; Joshua Christian of Wamego as Francis Flute, the bellows-mender; Michael Holland of Santa Clara, California as the tinker, Tom Snout, and Christian Cooper of Effingham as wildly egocentric weaver Nick Bottom. Appearing as the Duke and his perhaps-bride-to-be, Hippolyta, are Noah Parks and Katelynn Zuercher, both from Salina. Sabrina Wollenberg of Hesston appears as the playful and mischievous sprite, Robin Goodfellow. Kalyn Powers of Lindsborg rounds out the cast as “Props,” a mute who not only distributes props and changes scenery but occasionally even becomes a prop.
Performances of The Rude Mechanicals will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 and 2 p.m. Oct. 21 in the Burnett Center. General admission tickets are $5, with children 12 and under at admitted free of charge. There is no charge for Bethany College students, staff, and faculty.
Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The mission of Bethany College is to educate, develop and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning, and service. Bethany College is on the Web at www.bethanylb.edu.