How Do You Perform Shakespeare with Six People?

How can six people perform William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream? That is exactly the question director Aaron Cromie, The Servant of Two Masters, Or, and On the Verge, set out to answer when he took on this project.

The majority of the cast from The Servant of Two Masters returns, and is excited to get back to work with this talented cast of characters.

Built for the Hedgerow Company, the show features veteran Hedgerow actors Susan Wefel, Egeus and Bottom, and Zoran Kovcic, Theseus, Oberon, and Peter Quince, at the helm of the performance.

This is not the first time Bottom has been genderbent, but there has never been an actor more prepared to play Shakespeare’s fool. Wefel is a graduate of The School of Theater at Boston University and is a 38 -year veteran actor and company member of Hedgerow Theatre.  In Delaware County she is known for her critically acclaimed performances as well as her summer farces.

“I love the theatricality of Bottom. It’s a person that wants to be in the spotlight all the time,” says Wefel, “With all Shakespeare, especially with Bottom, the language is poetic and the stories are beautiful…Every generation should be exposed to Shakespeare Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s Romeo and Juliet but with a twist – everything ends happily. I think the comedy of Bottom being turned into an Ass’s head is hilarious…These are characters so full of themselves that their arrogance turns into stupidity.”  

Philadelphia actor Madalyn St. John, Clarice in The Servant of Two Masters, returns to play a “bucket-list role” Hermia, among others.

“Between the short jokes and dealing with men in authority telling me what’s ‘best,’” says St. John, “I get to explore a lot of circumstances that I’ve experienced in my own life. In this production in particular we get to do a lot of physical comedy, which is a ton of fun.

This will be her third time working with Cromie as this cast builds upon Company and familiarity.

“I just love working with him. He’ll never tell you that you can’t try something in rehearsals and is really conscious of giving positive feedback even when those ideas don’t pan out. He has a great sense of comedy and is really adept at communicating that to his actors.

Company members Allison Bloechl, Mark Swift, and Josh Portera tackle the rest of the roles, sharing the wily Robin Goodfellow “Puck.” With just six actors the Hedgerow Company seeks to create all the myth and magic of Midsummer. By employing the tools and tricks of commedia and theatre magic, the cast is primed to bring the illogical and sensual nature of the play to life.
All tickets are $20. Tours begin May 12 and are available for bookings, Opening Night is May 25 and the show closes June 11. For groups of 10 or more, tickets are $18. Prices include all fees and are subject to change. For reservations or more info, call 610-565-4211 or visit www.HedgerowTheatre.org. Hedgerow Theatre is located at 64 Rose Valley Road in Rose Valley (near Media).