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Gerald Carpenter: SBCC Stages Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

Through Dec. 1, the Theatre Arts Department of Santa Barbara City College will present a new production of William Shakespeare’s fantastic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The play is directed by R. Michael Gros, with sets by Patricia Frank, technical and lighting direction by Ben Crop, and costumes by Pamela Shaw.

The show will draw on both established community actors and talented students for the cast. Among the former are Leesa Beck as Titania, Katherine Bottoms as Puck, Bill Egan as Bottom and Brian Harwell as Oberon. They will have the able and enthusiastic support of Shabnam Ayoubi, Doug Caesar, Christina Chiafalo, Chloe Canyon Clements, Samantha Corn, Colton Fair, Sanna Forsen, Alyssa Hadfield, Charlie Kate Harper, Joshua Hershfield, Sandra Johansson, Kathleen Leary, Richard Lonsbury, Megan McCorkle, Pelle Petersson, Oliver Rotunno, Joe Sacks, Craig Scott, James Stenger, Brendon Stewart, Allan Stewart-Oaten and J.T. Torre.

Shakespeare may or may not have believed in ghosts — the dagger proffered to Macbeth, the blood on Lady Macbeth’s hands, the ghost of Hamlet’s father were likely as not chimera spawned by the characters’ subconscious — but he took fantasy very seriously.

Comedies they may be, but The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream are among the Bard’s most meaningful plays, and some of his most stinging social criticism is put into the mouths of monsters and faeries, as when Caliban in The Tempest says: “You taught me language, and my profit on’t is, I know how to curse.” Or when Puck, in Midsummer, exclaims, “Lord what fools these mortals be!” The Dreams is about metamorphosis, about transformation, about turning reality on its head to see how everything looks upside down. Few among us can wake up from this dream unchanged.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream will play at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays, with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, Dec. 1.

Tickets are $16 for general admission, $13 for seniors and $8 for students. Click here to purchase tickets, or call the Garvin Theater box office at 805.965.5935.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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