Seton Hall’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ nears perfection
The Seton Hall Theatre Company brought Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to life on the stage of the South Orange Performing Arts Center October 25-28. Alexander Carney’s depiction of the romantic world of jealousy, friendship and love carried the audience away into a night of passionate reverie.
Keeping along the classic borders of the comedy, the exceptionally cast actors portrayed a powerful display of energy and talent, stitching together a seamless and truly entertaining work of art.
Despite the first night jitters of a few misplaced deliveries, the student performances were near perfect. Among the four quarreling lovers of the cast, senior Iame Manucci offered an exceptional characterization of the neurotic Hermia whose love stricken heart longs for the evasive Lysander (Quemars Ahmed).
At the root of the sweethearts’ agitation, Raphael Glazov’s Oberon leaped out at the audience in one of the most powerfully impassioned roles of the show. Raphael’s delivery of fluent iambic pentameter infused with a vocally pronounced rage proved his ability to lose himself completely in the role; draping a professional quality over the entire production. And his fairy queen Titania (Stephanie Vargas) added an entrancingly exotic flavor to the mix.
The band of Athenian craftsmen led by junior Chris Motto sparkled in comedic hilarity derived from an energetic goofiness not overdone, but smoothed over with sincerity that was by far one of the highlights of the production.
Behind the curtain the technical staff did a wonderful job of tying the acts together with well-queued music and proper illumination. They provided a natural background and creative costumes that further accented the dream like properties of the play.
Overall the company as a whole did more than just accomplish the daunting task of spicing up this time-honored classic; it was a unique interpretation that twined together the magic of unity, hard work and personal achievement. A Midsummer Night’s Dream displayed a fun and captivating journey that not only the company but the entire body of Seton Hall should be proud of.
Benjamin Rader can be reached at Benjamin.firstname.lastname@example.org.