Poster art created by Piper Charron for the Acadia Community Theater production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which opens Friday at the Northeast Harbor Marina COURTESY OF ACT

Dreamy midsummer nights



MOUNT DESERT — Acadia Community Theater (ACT) will perform Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on July 26-28, and Aug. 2-4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Northeast Harbor Marina.

“A feuding king and queen set the night alight with mischief and romance in this classic tale of would-be love gone wrong,” a press release from the company said. “As the sun sets behind the harbor our runaway young lovers, mischievous fairy folk, and everyday handymen turned actors invite you to delight in their tangled stories as their escapades grow wilder until all is finally mended with a true happy ending.”

The production is directed by Casey Rush, Mount Desert Island High School’s drama director. Rush first directed “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in 2001, for the school.

Three actors from the 2001 show have returned to Shakespeare again in this production, with Mike Perlman reprising his role as Bottom, the talkative handyman with a donkey’s head; Annie Leonardi taking a spin with Titania, Queen of the Fairies; and Melissa Burkhart stepping into the powerful Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.

The cast is full of other MDI Drama alumni and current students, such as Mia Jeannotte and Axis Fuksman-Kumpa as Helena and Hermia, two close friends who cannot seem to agree on their love for Demetrius and Lysander, played by Zach Uliano and Griffin Graves. A bevy of ACT regulars complete the ensemble, including Wendy Littlefield, Ethan Leonard, Sherri Carignan and more.

The production “has provided me an amazing opportunity to work with former and current MDI Drama students from the past 20 years of my time at MDIHS that I imagined I would never have,” Rush said. “It is the key reason I signed onto this project.”

He has also enjoyed working with colleagues from the high school, including Littlefield and Mark Carignan.

Cast member Axis Fuksman-Kumpa said of working with Rush: “he can’t help but to stop and talk about the poetry in a scene or take time to analyze the wordplay. It’s like being in class again, but better!”

ACT board member Heather Dillon is producing the show. Doug Van Gorder is the stage manager, and Matthew Hochman and Ed Dillon are the technical directors for lights/sound and scenery, respectively.

The costumes, designed by Patti Savoie and Sydney Roberts Rockefeller, emphasize the difference between the wealthy ruling class of Athens and the more bohemian fairies, while providing modern and easily recognizable outfits for the workers, known as the Rude Mechanicals. The posters are designed by MDIHS senior Piper Charron.

The performances are at the Northeast Harbor Marina and are open to all, with a suggested donation of $10. Blankets or folding chairs are welcome. Visit acadiacommunitytheater.net or contact [email protected]

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