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Student-actors will tackle A Midsummer Night's Dream in their return to the stage this week.

PMG PHOTO: MIA RYDER-MARKS - In 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' the four lovers face conflict after both men fall in love with the same woman. William Baarsch, a junior who plays Demetrius, said being on stage is exhilarating.Teddy Skyler said he might feel nervous performing for the first time in front of a live audience, but once the stage lights hit him he will slip into the role.

The Wilsonville High School drama department is back, and this time it is tackling Shakespeare. On March 2 and March 5, the student-actors will take the stage to perform "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which tells the story of two sets of couples — Hermia and Lysander and Demetrius and Helena.

Audience members will watch the Atherian lovers run off to a forest, only to have a mischievous fairy make both boys fall in love with the same girl.

"I get some nerves going on stage just when we're practicing. But when I say my first line, it just feels like I entered another emotional state," said Skyler, a junior who plays Lysander.

On Wednesday, Feb. 25, the students practiced Act 2 of the lengthy play. They worked together to nail down the Old English language and deliver punch lines that made co-director John Fitzgerald laugh repeatedly from his seat in the audience.

"I feel like Shakespeare motivates us to look into what the lines actually mean, because we need to deliver them in a way so that the audience will understand," said Keira Kerner, a junior who plays Helena.

On the stage, with a backdrop of a prop forest, Rorey Dederiam (playing Oberon) and Courtney Lawernce (playing Puck) practiced a scene where their characters formulate the plan to cast a spell on the lovers and create chaos.

PMG PHOTO: MIA RYDER-MARKS - Following in their dad's footsteps, Rorey Dederiam, will play Oberon in Wilsonville High's performance of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.'

"This is my first time doing Shakespeare, but my parents are actors and my dad has actually played this part (Oberon) himself," said Dederiam. "But it's been really fun … when else can you yell on stage or someone and then high five them after the scene ends?"

Due to COVID-19, the theater department migrated to online performances in 2020 and Jason Katz, co-director of the drama department, said they chose the play because they wanted something airy and humorous to ease the students back into being on stage. And the students have been eager to tackle Shakespeare's complicated scripts for some time.

The students agreed that this was the right choice.

"I feel like in the wake of finally being able to come out on the other side of all the stuff that happened in 2020,a really fun, light-hearted, whimsical Shakespeare show is such a great show to bring back performing live," said Ainsley Mayes, who plays Titania — the queen of fairies.

PMG PHOTO: MIA RYDER-MARKS - Natalie Caddell said her main goal of being on stage is being the most entertaining version of her character.

IF YOU GO

What: Wilsonville High School's production of "A Midsummer's Night Dream"

When: 7 p.m. March 2-5 and 2 p.m. March 5

Where: Wilsonville High School auditorium

Tickets: $10 at teachtix.com/wilsonville/a-midsummer-nights-dream


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