The cast of Claremont secondary’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream rehearse ahead of the official run dates, Dec. 7 to 9 and 14 to 16. Travis Paterson/News Staff

VIDEO: Claremont stages Midsummer Night’s Dream

Students lead a fun take on Shakespeare comedy

It’s never easy putting on a Shakespeare play, but the actors from Claremont’s year-long drama class are confident they’ve figured it out.

“You have to match what your body is doing, your actions, with what you’re saying,” said Grade 12 Tess Kotchonoski, who plays Hermia.

Kotchonoski, who played Sylvia Barrett in Claremont’s February performance of Up the Down Staircase, is one of many Claremont veterans returning to the stage for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The show runs Thursday to Saturday, and then Dec. 13 to 16, with a cast of 25 from Grades 9 to 12.

“You have to realize as an actor you will understand the line but the audience won’t know what you mean,” Kotchonoski.

And so, it’s a with a lot of energy, and a lot of fun, that the drama class presents a modern take on Shakespeare’s Midsummer.

The play is set in a children’s playground – complete with swings, cedar bark mulch and a slide – and is based on characters you would find in a school. The comedy has been adapted and edited for modern audiences while keeping the vast majority of Shakespeare’s script.

At the centre of the story are the Puck, played Celina Whitney, Helena and Demetrius, played by Daniel Gallant and Elysse Pereira, and Hermia.

Aside from Pereira, who makes her Claremont stage debut (but has studied acting throughout high school), the group has been in most of Claremont’s recent shows, including Cinderella and Up the Down Staircase in 2017, Crazy for You (2016) and Grease (2015).

At the forefront of the Midsummer fun is Claremont resident ham and budding stage presence Stephen Hao, who will play Nick. Midsummer also features Daniel Gallant as Demetrius. It’s the first of two shows the duo will perform in this month as Hao and Gallant are in Kaleidoscope’s Peter Pan, Dec. 28 to 30 at the McPherson Playhouse. In Peter Pan the two combine to play a split-version of Mr. Smee (Capt. Hook’s bumbling ship hand) created just for them. It’s a reprise from their comic roles as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum from last year’s Kaleidoscope panto.

In Midsummer, Gallant plays Demetrius, whose love interest Helena isn’t convinced it’s her he’s after.

“[Shakespeare’s lines] can often seem wooden and rigid, it’s important to understand not just what the words literally mean, but what the motivation and intent is behind them,” Gallant said.

“And with that it naturally becomes much more lively. As lovers [Demetrius and Helena] are always in a passionate and excited state where there’s always so much potential for animation all the time.”

“We’re always looking for plays that provide educational opportunities,” said drama teacher Colin Plant, who’s directing the play. “It’s for all ages and we think everyone will love it.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs Dec. 7 to 9 and 13 to 16 nightly at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $7.50 and can be purchased at the door. For more information contact Plant at cplant@sd63.bc.ca or call 250-658-6672.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

HarbourCats players celebrate winning the North Division Championship Series in 2019. (Christian J. Stewart/File Photo)
Victoria HarbourCats locked out of team Facebook page

Management hires legal team to solve issue

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan Bui (left) and Kairry Nguyen at the end of the trial that found Tanessa Nikirk guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Nikirk is back in court for her sentencing hearing. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATED: Court hears letter from driver convicted of hitting Saanich girl

Leila Bui has been in a non-responsive state since she was hit in 2017

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Victoria police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

Victoria police are looking for high-risk offender Douglas McPherson. (Courtesy of VicPD)
UPDATED: Victoria police arrest high-risk parolee with history of bank robbery

Citizen alerts cops after spotting parolee on Pandora Avenue

(Black Press Media file photo)
Police arrest suspect in Saanich liquor store break and enters

Windowpane removal key component in string of thefts

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Freighter drags anchor towards Boulder Point Oct. 22. It came within 730 metres of the shore, according to maps from the Port of Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages along the South Coast

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

A view from the deck of a home in SookePoint. The property is a prize in the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery. Tickets are on sale now. (Contributed photo)
Millionaire Lottery home up for grabs in Sooke

Sooke prize home part of latest VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery

Most Read