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Midsummer Night's Dream at Cloverdale Performing Arts


Midsummer Night's Dream
at Cloverdale Performing Arts

Lovers played by Adriano Brown & Andrea Rosales-Jacinto

By Harry Reid and Linda Reid

There’s fine Shakespeare to be found in Ashland, yet, just up the road in its handsome theater, Cloverdale Performing Arts are revisiting that charming smorgasbord of delights: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM with its quirksome switching of lovers, braggadocio of Bottom, shenanigans of the Fairy King, mischief of Puck, and more and more. The 99 seat theater is expansive yet intimate. The acoustics are excellent, great stage lighting and air-conditioned. It should be in the scopes of all traveling troupes.  

The play deals with the universal theme of love and its complications: lust, disappointment, confusion, marriage. The plot focuses on three parallel stories: the trials and experiences of two sets of lovers camping in a magical forest, the world of the Fairy King and Queen and a group of rough craftsmen attempting to stage a production of "Pyramus and Thisby" for the wedding of the Duke of Athens.

You enter a dreamland the moment you step into the theater. Music-box sounds spur the  imagination. A beautiful Grecian set with pillars, ruins, and rippling diaphanous curtains is bathed in green, purple and blue lights that play off artful wood-branched areas. The vision of directors Amy Lovato and Yave Guzman has been to “make their version modern, more accessible, more understandable and enjoyable for a wider audience.”


“Oh, what fools these mortals be,” says the impish Puck (John Slinkert), captivating in his role obeying Oberon (Dan Stryker) who makes a large and effective presence as King of the Fairies. His Queen Titania (Dawn Gibson) skillfully handles her brief affair with Bottom turned ass, while fairies flutter about, graceful, petite and sometimes posing stone-still for complete acts!

The play of course revolves around the four lovers. Hermia (Andrea Rosales-Jacinto) is fiery fun, Audrey Rink plays the willowy confused Helena with frantic skill. Demetrius (Nick Enriquez) is demandingly handsome as a straight man, and Adriano Brown a standout as Lysander, played with athletic grace. Here, the directors, along with choreographer Alysia Ramirez puts the four through hilarious contortions.

The steampunk attire of the acting troupe (costumer Holly Werner) lends a perfect mix of trendiness and comedy. Led by Nick Bottom, played with enticing energy by Jonathan Graham, each of the five are convincing in their friendship and quest for fame.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a huge play with too many characters to mention.  Strikingly, each has carried his or her part with enthusiasm and skill. The play is delightfully fast paced, if perhaps on occasion, the dialogue could be less so.

We were well entertained. 

Show runs June 12, 13, 19, 20 (7:30pm);  June 14 & 21 (2:00pm).

Cloverdale Performing Arts
209 N Cloverdale Blvd, Cloverdale
(707) 894-2214

Photos by John Gobeille