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Shakespeare in the Year 2020

February 25, 2010

Young women sitting on bench with cell phone looking at a boy, both in school uniforms

William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the beloved Shakespearian comedy got a Gossip Girl prep-school makeover in the new Drexel Player’s production. In our reimagining, texting and Skype are the norm and Lady Gaga and Rihanna rule the airwaves. The play ran from Thursday, February 25th through Sunday, February 28th at the Mandell Theater.

While it remained true to Shakespeare’s storyline with its chaotic love triangles, mischievous Puck’s magic love potion, chaos, love and dreams, we’ll flash forward to 2020 at the Athens Academy, a posh boarding school. Here four teenage lovers are torn away from their high-tech world, stumbling into a dark and mystical forest. The woods—where king of the fairies, Oberon, and his wife Titania reign—are a mysterious place where trees are composed of electrical computer cables and modernistic machinery.  It was ominous and Twilight-esque as suspense and confusion ensued on the road to a comically satisfying denouement.

Directed by Peter Reynolds, with ultramodern sets designed by Dan Soule, this A Midsummer Night’s Dream was not the Shakespeare you remember from high school.