(Mandy Dyck photo) (From left) Shawn McGrory, Cassidy Hryckiw, Melissa Harris, from Maple Ridge, and David De Leon make up the cast.

Maple Ridge actress in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Melissa Harris part of Bard in the Valley cast.

Melissa Harris, an actress from Maple Ridge, will be on stage this summer in Bard in the Valley’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Bard in the Valley has scheduled 17 performances on three outdoor stages in Langley on Thursday and Friday, of which 12 are admission-free.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, produced by Diane Gendron and directed by Darcy J. Knopp, opens in Willoughby Park on Thursday.

In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hermia is supposed to marry Demetrius, but she loves Lysander. Helena is in love with Demetrius, but he has been promised Hermia. Theseus just wants a happy wedding, but he is caught between the duties of his title and the approval of his soon to be bride.

Quince is desperately trying to put together a show for the wedding day, but she is plagued with a cast of far below-average talent.

These tangled relationships all end up in the haunted forest where the faeries rule supreme. Strife has broken out between King Oberon and Queen Titania and these trespassing humans have become pawns in a faerie turf war.

Morning promises reconciliation, but surviving until dawn is easier said than done.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream was Bard in the Valley’s first play 10 years ago and Darcy had the lead role of Oberon in that production. He has directed and been onstage in several of our productions since and we are delighted to have him back in the director’s chair for this production,” said Gendron.

“Darcy brings an understanding of Shakespeare’s plays and a passion for theatre that translate into an exciting experience for our audiences,” Gendron added.

“We’ve added one more performance this year for a total of 17. We are the opening act at the Township’s Summer Festival Series with our first performance at the amphitheatre in Willoughby Park on Thursday. We’ll have four performances there, closing with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.”

Bard will pack up and move to the Township 7 Winery for five performances, then move again to the Spirit Square Stage in downtown Langley for eight performances, with the last one on Sunday.

“For this Dream, we are doing away with cute. The concept of warm and fuzzy is on hiatus,” said Knopp.

“Instead, we will lure the audience into the haunted forest, a dangerous place where magic and illusion promise to warp the structure of reality. It’s sinister, seductive, and a great time in an outdoor theatre.”

Tanya Schwaerzle is the dance choreographer for the show.

“Her dances add an exciting energy to the production,” said Gendron.

RECOMMENDED: Society puts the ’60s into Shakespeare.

“Bard in the Valley is able to continue to offer this exciting, summer theatre admission-free thanks to generous community support. In addition, we have a terrific group of 60 talented actors, creative artists and dedicated people on the crew and production team who volunteer their time and energy for the season,” Gendron added. “This is our way of giving something back to the community.”

Chairs will be set up at the venues, and there is a concession.

• For more Information about The Bard in the Valley Theatre Company, visit bardinthevalley.com.


 


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