Pace Drama Alliance’s Play to Put Modern Edge on an Age-old Tale


Pace Drama Alliance

Pace Drama Alliance is adapting Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with a modern twist.

Kwadar Ray , Managing Editor

By any means necessary, the Pace Drama Alliance (PDA) is finding a way to assure their winter play, Mid-Summer Jersey, turns out successful. The cast now holds rehearsals in the Gottesman Room in the Kessel Student Center, but have found a variety of areas to rehearse throughout the campus, whether it be the Kessel Bourdea Lounge or a lounge in Alumni and Elm Halls.

It is not the most desired form of rehearsal, but sophomore Eily Jones, who is one of the directors of the play alongside Kaylyn Fountain, says that along with it being a bonding experience, the rehearsals have been a success.

“They’ve done actually a really great job so far,” Jones, a digital film making and cinema major, said. “We’ve had about two rehearsal every week. They seem to be going pretty well, almost everyone has memorized their lines and getting the hang of things.”

The play, which takes place on Dec. 3 and 4 in the Gottesman room at 9 p.m., is an adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, Mid-Summer Night’s Dream,  a comedic fantasy based in Athens surrounding four lovers who find themselves bewitched by fairies causing jealousy and ill-timed love.

Instead of being set in Athens, PDA’s play is set on the Jersey Shore to give it a more modern twist. Jones hopes the play’s setting, along with other qualities of the show, will make it more entertaining than the average Shakespeare play through jokes and keeping acts condensed.

“We as humans have short attention spans,” Jones began. “Especially with a Shakespearean play, we’re knocking out in the first five minutes. So you want to keep it concise, you want to keep it entertaining, if it just drags on, it’s no fun for anyone.”

“I think that the playwright putting it in the Jersey Shore kind of does it on its own and helps make it entertaining, but we’ve tried to come up with different ways of saying things, having props and from doing read through, we’ve sort of come up with certain inside jokes for the play, so I’m sure those will come out,” she continued. “When the cast starts cracking up, maybe the audience will too.”

There are 11 cast members performing in the play, which means some will have to play multiple roles. Jones admits it is not the ideal predicament to be in, but the club is making it work.

“It definitely has to be hard for them, but what’s good is they knew about it from the beginning,” she said. “It’s definitely a challenge getting from one person to the other, but they’ve been able to handle it really well.”

Among those cast members playing multiple roles will be plenty of newcomers to PDA and the theater stage in general.

“A lot of our cast consist of freshmen, I’d say a majority of them are, actually,” Jones said. “And then we have some transfer students and students who haven’t done PDA before, and they’re just exploring their theater sides and not just attend the meetings. They’ve been really good.  One thing I like about this is that even the newcomers feel welcomed because we try to encourage everyone to participate and if you have notes on how someone can do better with this, or how maybe someone can stand like this instead of this, or even notes on how to be better directors. I think for the newcomers, it hasn’t been that great of a challenge.”

As the play approaches, Jones says she is not feeling too much pressure as the play’s co-director.

“I’ve been kind of advised that how ever you treat this play as either a club or as this serious thing, that’s the outcome,” she said. “So I’m trying to do a mix of both. But I’m putting time and effort into this, and so is everyone else, so we want it to come out well.”