Join Puck, Bottom and the lovers for a romp through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in this madcap version of a Shakespearian classic. Wayne Township Community Theatre presents a new take on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Ben Davis High School.

This production, set in Athens, Tenn., takes place at the turn of the 20th century. The 400-year-old story remains the same, but this time it is set to the dulcet twang of bluegrass and a backdrop of the glorious skies of the Smoky Mountains.

“For years, linguists have kicked around the idea that Elizabethan English more closely resembled a North Carolina accent,” said director/producer Gus Pearcy, who developed the concept. “I’ve even read that certain rhymes in Shakespeare work better if you use a Southern accent, so we took that to an extreme.”

While the text was pared down, Pearcy adds that only three or four words were changed in this production.

“I was amazed how well the text fit with the Appalachian lifestyle,” he said. “More than a gimmick, we tried to explore Appalachia and its people. It also grounds the text in a familiar place which should make it more enjoyable to an audience that doesn’t particularly identify with Shakespeare.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be presented July 21-29, Fridays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Ben Davis is located at 1200 N. Girls School Road. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $7 for students. For more information, call the Wayne Township Education Foundation at 317-390-0363. (Parental caution: This program is rated PG and not suitable for young children.)

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