‘Midsummer/Jersey’ opens in Newnan July 11

On July 11, Newnan Theatre Company hosts the Georgia premiere of Ken Ludwig’s “Midsummer/Jersey,” an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Katherine Kicklighter is directing a cast of teenagers in the second of NTC’s Summer Series – 2013.

Ludwig wrote “Midsummer/Jersey” specifically for high school students, and the play received its world premiere in November, 2011, at James Robinson High School in Fairfax, Va. One of Ludwig’s considerations was to provide lots of roles for girls, who greatly outnumber boys trying out for parts in America’s high schools. There are no real starring roles – every part has its tale to tell.

The setting is the boardwalk of a seaside town in modern day New Jersey. Audiences may pick up references to the MTV reality show “Jersey Shore” and other elements of pop culture. Puck – the mischievous sprite from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – narrates the story. His monologue at the beginning explains everything that’s going to happen, so even people unfamiliar with both Shakespeare’s comedy and the MTV series will be able to follow the plot.

It’s a universal tale about couples falling in love. After stumbling through multiple comic situations involving fairy mischief, they eventually get married and live happily ever after. As in Shakespeare’s comedy, there are two sets of “mature” lovers: the governor of New Jersey and his fiancée, plus Oberon, king of the fairies and his intended Queen Tatiana. Oberon is angry with Tatiana because she refuses to buy him a muscle car. Throw in four beach-bound high school students with complicated crushes, the staff of a local beauty salon putting on a play and hoping for stardom, rock music and an Iphone-obsessed wood sprite, and the potential becomes as explosive as any popular reality TV show.

Ken Ludwig’s plays and musicals include “Lend Me A Tenor,” “Crazy For You,” and “Moon Over Buffalo.”. He has won many awards, including three Tony Award nominations, and his plays have been commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Bristol Old Vic.
To purchase tickets, and for show dates and times, visit Newnan Theatre Company’s web site at http://www.newnantheatre.org or visit the box office before or after any performance.