This fall, Butler University Theatre is collaborating with I Nyoman Sedana, this year's Christel DeHaan Visiting International Theatre Artist, and the result, his vision of A Midsummer Night's Dream, is nothing short of a dream. It's as playful a performance as you'll ever see, with characters breaking the fourth wall, chatting with the musical accompaniment; for all I know they've broken the fifth wall, whatever the heck that might be.
It's a massive cast of Butler students, many of whom I've seen before. I can only imagine what it must be like for them to be working Sedana, a professor at the Indonesian Arts Institute at Denspasar, whose handful of weeks on campus will end too soon (next week).
The production was replete with dancing, singing, puppetry, live music and slapstick physical comedy. And... the masks were fantastical. Sure, it makes for great fun, but the production also illuminates and exaggerates various themes of Shakespeare's oft-produced work: most prominently, the drug-like state of being in love.
Thought it strikes me as a bit unfair in such an impressive ensemble to pick out a few standout performances, but I must. Megan Medley's portrayal as Puck had the audience mesmerized with her mad dance through various cliche steps. She elicited spontaneous applause the night I saw the show. Logan Moore, now a Junior, is always a force on stage; here is prolific comic talents are fully realized. Thomas Benoist had me nearly in tears with his portrayal as the delightfully dim-witted Snug/Lion.
That's just a taste, folks, of the hilarity and magic on stage right now through Sunday: Friday and Saturday night at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.
[A+E] Theater + Dance, Written + Spoken Word