Shakespeare Under the Stars – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

City Theatre of Independence in conjunction with the Independence Square Association presents its first ever live reader’s theatre Shakespeare production.
By Lizzie DeShaw

The course of true love never did run smooth. – A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

This summer, City Theatre of Independence is producing an outdoor reader’s theatre production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This show, however, is probably very different from what you may be used to seeing. Each actor will be portraying multiple characters. There is no set and the costume pieces are minimalistic. The script is an original adaptation by CTI members Lynnae Andersen and Lizzie DeShaw. The original story and its Shakespearean language are still intact, but Lynnae and Lizzie have added modern dialogue throughout and  have given the character “Puck” an important job as narrator. Lynnae Andersen describes the adaptation as “an irreverent, interactive reader’s theatre presentation.”

Interactive? Yes! The audience will be part of the play. Audience members are encouraged to arrive at the show dressed as fairies. The audience, or “fairy court” as they will be called, will be asked to sing and cheer throughout the course of the play. A few audience members will be selected to come up and act alongside the actors.

The play will be performed three different nights throughout the summer: June 17th, July 15th and August 19th. Performances will be held outdoors at the Liberty Lounge on the Independence Square at 7:30pm. Admission is free, but donations will be graciously accepted. Bring a lawn chair and a picnic to enjoy. Photos and videos are encouraged! Feel free to upload any photo or video to social media using the hashtag #CTIShakes.

Meet your playwrights!

Lynnae Andersen – As a junior in high school, Lynnae was mentored by a theatre teacher who saw directorial talents within her. In college, she minored in dramatic productions, which required directing her own show and assistant directing a major campus production. Her college mentor, Jeffrey Miller, created his own script for “The Mystery of the Yellow Room” by Gaston Leroux. After teaching theatre for two years at a private school in Independence, she was inspired by Miller and wrote her own script based on her favorite book, “The Wizard of Oz”, which was produced by the school in 2015. That same year, Lynnae was introduced to City Theatre of Independence where she has been involved as a volunteer, actor, and director in around a dozen shows. She hopes to write and adapt more stories for the stage in the future!

Lizzie DeShaw – Lizzie has been acting on stage since she was ten years old. She credits the 1990’s children’s television series Wishbone as her first introduction to Shakespeare. Since then, she has always loved Shakespeare’s work. As a teenager, Lizzie read Shakespeare’s plays for her own enjoyment and had the privilege of playing Beatrice in her high school’s production of “Much Ado About Nothing.” In college, she played a spirit in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” under the direction of her acting professor, John Wilson. She believes John’s own enthusiasm for Shakespeare solidified her passion for performing the classic playwright’s work. This is Lizzie’s first time writing a play and she is so thankful to have such an incredible co-playwright by her side. She hopes that this play will be the first of many Shakespeare adaptations she will write.

Join us June 17th, July 15th, and August 19th at the Liberty Lounge at 7:30pm for a silly Shakespearean evening. 

The Liberty Lounge
110 S Liberty St
Independence, MO. 64050

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