Monday, March 21, 2011


A Midsummer Night’s Dream
By William Shakespeare
Adapted and Directed by Prof. Gail Winar

WHEN: March 30 to April 3 (scroll down for performance schedule) 
WHERE: University Center Little Theatre on Kean University’s main campus at 1000 Morris Avenue, Union
TICKETS: $15 and can be purchased from the Kean University box office at 908.737.SHOW (7469) or on-line by visiting For further information on the College of Visual and Performing Arts, visit

night 2A Midsummer Night’s Dream is believed to have been written around 1590 to 1596 by William Shakespeare. It portrays the madcap events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of amateur actors, who are manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world. (Left: [clockwise from top L] Samuel Spare, Robyn Lee and Jason Gillis)

night 6Professor Gail Winar adapted Shakespeare’s comedy into a playful 70- minute version that engages young audiences. “Kean students are involved in every facet of the production,” said Winar, who also directs the play (with student assistant Megan Bandelt) and teaches the course. “Everything from designing and distributing the promotional materials, to reaching out to school groups for bookings, to building the costumes and scenery, to developing a study guide for teachers and audiences. All this is in addition to their work in the spotlight and behind the scenes.” (Right: Robyn Lee as Titania and Victor Martinez as Bottom)

Following the on-campus run, the troupe will bring their production to schools in the region, including Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark, West Essex Regional School in North Caldwell, Iselin Middle School, Bogota High School and Bloomfield Middle School.

Kean Players on Tour presentations are created in a semester-long theater department course that combines learning in both performance and production. The cast and crew not only rehearse, adapt and perform the piece; they also handle the producing aspects which include budgeting, marketing, design, technical production, and the particular demands of taking the show on the road.

This completely inclusive approach to show business is an important thrust of the Players on Tour program, which has been part of the department of theatre curriculum for nearly twenty years. Productions alternate from year to year in terms of age appropriate subject matter and style. Last year’s A Very Hairy Situation was geared for elementary school children. Midsummer… is targeted to high and middle school aged audiences.

The cast of Kean Players on Tour’s production includes: Jason Gillis (Westfield) as Puck, Anthony Crouchelli (New Milford) as Theseus, Robyn Lee (Plainfield) as Titania, Lucas Pinner (Glen Gardner) as Lysander, Ziara Albritton (East Orange) as Snug, Rebecca Bowe (Highland Park) as Hermia, Joseph Farella (Middletown) as Flute, Cara Ganski (Vineland) as Helena, Patrick Getty (Metuchen) as Snout, Samuel Spare (Howell) as Oberon, Victor Martinez (South Amboy) as Bottom, Raven Dunbar (South Brunswick) as Egeus, Brenna Singman (West Orange) as Hippolyta, Brandon Elia (Woodbridge) as Demetrius and Josh Schnetzer (Asbury) as Quince. The assistant director is Megan Bandelt (Bogota) and costumes designer is Dori Strober (Springfield).

March 30 at 12 PM. and 8 PM
March 31 at 8 PM
April 1 at 12 PM and 8 PM
April 2 at 2 PM and 8 PM
April 3 at 2 PM

April 8 at 11:00 AM: West Essex Regional School North Caldwell
April 13 at 1:30 PM: Iselin Middle School Iselin
April 15 (time TBD) Bogota High School Bogota
April 27 at 10:00 AM: Arthur L Johnson High School Clark

Photos by Harvey Glick.