By Lauren Schiavone
Hometown Weekly Staff
Theater lovers in the community recently reclined on Adirondack chairs to enjoy the beautiful weather — and the Gazebo Players of Medfield’s production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” — on Sunday, July 24.
Kicking off their 20th anniversary, the Gazebo Players reprised the comedy, as it was the first show the community theater troupe put on twenty years ago, and the only repeat production. Many cast members have been with the Gazebo Players since its conception; they describe the group as being an extended family.
On the evening, the players utilized the beautiful outdoor space at the Bellforge Arts Center to deliver a delightful evening of Shakespeare.
Directed by Marianne Phinney, this play depicting far-off lands, complex relationships, and magical botanicals had audiences completely enchanted.
“Bellforge offers a unique space for creatives to come together unlike any other in the area,” program director Alex Maider-Porter shared. “We give the canvas and the artists make the magic.” Converging community and art was the evident focus of the evening.
Some children in the audience even had their first experience with the Bard — and it wasn’t a typical ‘sit still and hold your applause’ show; the Gazebo Players made it clear that Shakeapeare was meant to be experienced, not read straight through. Audience members were encouraged to emote, as the comedy lent itself to doing so. Laughter erupted when Helena and Hermia argued and insulted one another; Puck and King Oberon even sat back and watched the spectacle of it all with popcorn in hand! The play’s timelessness shined through, thanks to the actors’ delivery, coupled with the director’s vision. Costumes, music, and sound design were all gloriously executed, as well, despite difficult weather that could have posed a challenge.
The Gazebo Players aim to bring Shakespeare to the public for free. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be running through this weekend, when it will be performed at Walpole’s Bird Park. Event schedules and more information are available at www.gazeboplayers.org.