‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ gets reimagined at Hedgerow Theatre

Hedgerow Executive Artistic Director Marcie Brammucci is pictured.
Audrey Molineux

“The course of true love never did run smooth”—but Hedgerow Theatre Company is setting the record straight on that notion with their adaptation of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’

The whimsical Shakespeare tale is being reimagined by the Philadelphia company under Mauckingbird Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Peter Reynolds, and the story will reconceive Athens as an elite boarding school adjacent to “a forest full of enchanted flowers, fluid identities, and expansive possibilities.”

In partnership with Hedgerow Theatre, Mauckingbird is making its return to the production since pausing operations during the pandemic, and they have turned the classic tale of young love, magic, mayhem, hilarity, and discovery into one that celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community in just 90 minutes.

“Any story that involves people coming together in love and understanding is welcome at this time,” said Reynolds, who on top of being the Artistic Director of Mauckingbird also heads Temple University’s Musical Theater Department. “I am excited to revisit this play at beautiful, historical Hedgerow.”

A Midsummer Night's Dream
Mersha Wambua stars as Cobweb in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. PROVIDED/ HEDGEROW THEATRE

Reynolds will be joined by a cast of 20, and a design team, many of whom identify within the LGBTQIA+ community, and some of whom are Barrymore Award-winners.

According to a release, the Athenian students are performed by Brandon Tyler (as Demetrius), James Maloney (as Helena), Katy Robinson (as Lysander), and Nicole Lawrie (Hermia) while the Fairy world is commanded by Niambi Fetlow (as Titania) and Vanessa Sterling (as Oberon), served by Alisia Alvarez (as Moth), Lane LaVonne (as Mustardseed), Mersha Wambua (as Cobweb), and Yana Vilchynskaya (as Peaseblossom). Other cast members like Nero Eddings as Puck will also be hitting the stage to tell the classic tale.

The design team includes Barrymore Award-winning costume designer Rebecca Kanach; Joe Barsanti as composer/sound designer; Hedgerow’s resident lighting designer Lily Fossner; Mauckingbird’s resident scene designer Andrew Laine, plus Kate Fossner stepping into the role of production manager and Sophie Koester as stage manager.

“We could not be more fortunate to team up with our colleagues of the intrepid and magical Mauckingbird Theatre Company for this joy-filled, beautiful, and celebratory summer Shakespeare romp,” said Hedgerow Executive Artistic Director Marcie Brammucci in a statement.

“Peter infuses his work with joy, humor, and love. He elevates each artist and process that he is a part of. Even just after auditions, our cheeks hurt from laughing so much. This production of ‘Midsummer’ brings the pangs, thrill, and madness of love — not to mention abounding delight — to Delco this summer.”

A Midsummer Night's Dream
Juliette Nero Eddings stars as Puck in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. PROVIDED/HEDGEROW THEATRE

As the release finishes, the production will celebrate its diverse community with a full slate of events before and after performances. Hedgerow will have post-performance gatherings open to all audience members to mix and mingle among members of the cast and creative team on Friday evenings during the entirety of its run.

There will also be a special Pride Happy Hour Reception before the Aug. 1 performance at 6 p.m., and Hedgerow will additionally put on a Relaxed Performance on Sunday, Aug. 10 with a pre-show sensory tour at 1:15 p.m. On that same day, an audio description by Beth Feldman Brandt will also be available and Hands UP Productions will be providing ASL interpretation. Patrons with accessibility needs or questions are encouraged to contact the box office at 610-565-4211 or boxoffice@hedgerowtheatre.org.

Tickets run for $35 for adults and $20 for students and youth. The production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ will run from July 24 to Aug. 11 with opening night being July 26 at 7 p.m. To find out more information about Hedgerow Theatre (64 Rose Valley Road, Media), visit hedgerowtheatre.org and to find out more information on Mauckingbird Theatre Company, visit mauckingbird.org