Act One opens in the king's court at Athens. “Here we meet Lysander and Hermia, who wish to be married against the wishes of her father, Egeus.” Director/teacher Michelle Mengler sets the stage as her fourth and fifth grade high ability students act out a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Wea Ridge Elementary School.
The class first performed an adapted version of the play for fourth and fifth grade classes, then held an encore performance for parents in the evening.
Mengler says she decided to do a Shakespeare play to expose the students to theater: “We did an extensive character study and talked about life in medieval times. Each student tried out for the roles they wanted and we practiced in our classroom for weeks.”
"The play was nerve wracking, but fun,” says student Marissa McCord. “It's always been my dream to be an actress and being nervous just comes along with the show. I learned that the original Shakespeare plays are much longer than ours."
Classmate Kyler Clawson says “I was very nervous, but it was fun because it was a new experience.”
Mengler says she would love to see the students in future high school productions. Student Jaden Waltz might be one of them: “My role was Peter Quince who was the director of a play within the play,” says Jaden. “I would like to do another play sometime.”