Coffield casts ‘A Midsummer/Jersey’

Students+looking+for+a+part+in+Rock+Bridges+upcoming+production+Midsummer%2FJersey+auditioned+in+Room+408+after+school+today.+Callbacks+are+scheduled+for+tomorrow.+Photo+by+Asa+Lory

Students looking for a part in Rock Bridge’s upcoming production “Midsummer/Jersey” auditioned in Room 408 after school today. Callbacks are scheduled for tomorrow. Photo by Asa Lory

Maddie Magruder

Students looking for a part in Rock Bridge's upcoming production "Midsummer/Jersey" auditioned in Room 408 after school today. Callbacks are scheduled for tomorrow. Photo by Asa Lory
Students looking for a part in the upcoming production “Midsummer/Jersey” auditioned in Room 408 after school today. Callbacks are scheduled for tomorrow. Photo by Asa Lory
AEThis Monday and Tuesday, students gathered in the Performing Arts Center to audition for the winter play, “A Midsummer/Jersey.” The play is a take on William Shakespeare’s classic, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, but with a modern twist from playwright Ken Ludwig to include some modern dialogue and even some characters influenced from the television show “Jersey Shore.”
Acting and Children’s Theater teacher Mary Margaret Coffield, the director of the play, said she chose the play after accidentally running across it this summer while helping a friend find a script. She said she doesn’t usually look at Ludwig’s plays, as they are usually aimed at older audiences and have very small casts, but this particular script struck her.
“I saw something really exciting because it was written for high school, and it uses lots and lots of kids,” Coffield said. “I thought this is a great opportunity to promote performance for kids who have not really gotten a chance yet to do that kind of thing yet at Rock Bridge.”
The play still has all the elements of the Shakespeare original, but it is set in a more modern time with modernized characters. Coffield said the script makes Shakespeare more relatable to high school students.
“I think [the script] makes Shakespeare accessible to a wide variety of audiences,” Coffield said, “and is also a great opportunity to learn some acting skills too.”
Senior Courtney Nowlin, a student in the Acting II-III class, has participated in many plays at RBHS. It was a no-brainer for her to audition.
“First and foremost, I love being involved in the theater,” Nowlin said. “I particularly really like playing comedic roles, and am familiar with the play ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream.’ So when I heard about the Jersey twist to it, I knew I had to audition. It’s the perfect marriage between Shakespeare and comedy.”
Coffield said the cast list will be posted tonight or tomorrow before school. Rehearsals start tomorrow with a read-through of the script, followed by a character development workshop on Friday.
Performances are March 8 and 9 at 7 p.m. and March 10 at 3 p.m.
By Maddie Magruder
What is your favorite Shakespeare play? Are you looking forward to this updated version?