Shakespeare in style—Samantha Nicole Yedor (Oberon) wears a costume headpiece she created for Desert Foothills Theater's youth production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with feathers from Fred, a peacock belonging to fellow cast member Leanne Brodie (Snout). The production starts May 2 at the FCF-Holland Cabaret Theater, 34250 N. 60th St. in Scottsdale.
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Actors, pet peacock contribute to DFT play
Staff Report~ 4/30/2014
Desert Foothills Theater will present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” May 2 through May 11 at the FCF-Holland Cabaret Theater in north Scottsdale.
Director Amy Serafin said that she knew from the start that, in order for the production to be successful, her cast needed to enjoy the experience and understand Shakespeare.
“The biggest challenge was getting the kids over the fear of Shakespeare’s language and embracing the dialogue,” Serafin said. “There is much more work with Shakespeare versus contemporary plays. Actors not only have to translate the 400 year-old language and poetry, but they must put the dialogue in their own words. If the actors are just speaking lines and they don’t understand what they are saying, then the audience won’t understand it either. The actors have to know what they are saying and why they are saying it to bring the story and characters to life.”
Another challenge related to making the production youthful, current and fun, said the director.
“We have incorporated cell phones, iPods and even a light saber in this production to make it more modern and relatable to everyone,” she said.
Serafin said it has been thrilling to watch “the kids genuinely falling in love with Shakespeare” and heartwarming to watch the camaraderie amongst the cast. She cited an example of how Leanne Brodie, 14, of north Phoenix, who plays the character Snout, helped 19-year-old Samantha Yedor, of Scottsdale, by donating feathers from her pet peacock, Fred, for Yedor’s headpiece.
“Samantha plays Oberon, the Fairy King, and she is also a costume designer,” Serafin said. “We wanted Oberon to be more like a rooster or peacock with his plume of feathers and that’s when we learned that Leanne has two peacocks, Fred and Ginger, at home. The feathers fall off naturally, and she was kind enough to collect them from Fred. The headpiece is just incredible!”
Serafin encouraged people of all ages to open their minds and come to the show prepared to laugh.
“It is not just Shakespeare. It truly is a magical, light-hearted and fun play acted by some hard-working and talented young actors,” she said.
Friday performances are at 7 p.m., as is the second Saturday show. Sunday performances are at 2 p.m., as is the first Saturday show.
Tickets range from $15 to $21 for adults and $11 to $16 for youth and students. A special 2 p.m. performance, featuring a question and answer session after the show, will take place on May 4.
Visit dftheater.org or call 480-488-1981.