Publisher: Elizabeth Hurd / Managing Director: Adrienne Proctor / Editor: Jillian Pritchard Ball

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”… make that “Drink” and Party On

Keegan Zimmerman (Demetrius in “A Midsummer Night’s Drink”

Life is certainly different nowadays, but humor sustains us.  The entertainment industry, particularly live performance has been profoundly impacted by the pandemic and many theatres are not able to operate until the crisis has run its course.  While the equity houses are restricted by equity regulations along with the other precautions responsible business is taking, community theatre is unfettered by equity regulations.  Therefore it is possible to perform on a community level using common sense.  Masks, social distancing and deep cleaning are of vital importance and 3rd Act Theatre Company employs every possible protection for patrons enabling the community to receive a much-needed lift in these times.

Laughter is essential to good health. When 3rd Act Theatre partners with a responsible business to provide the public with glorious relief that can only come from a good belly laugh we are able to forget some of our troubles. At the end of the performance we go forward able to face the world through these difficult months.  Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of Shakespeare’s most amusing plays and when presented as one of the great ‘drunken classics’ 3rd Act Theatre Company is noted for healthy hilarity is the result.  The show has been retitled “A Midsummer Night’s Drink”

Dakota Lee Bryant adapted Shakespeare’s classic to be performed at a gathering place that serves a spirited crowd.  Drunken classics are improvisational and members of the audience participate by heckling and other exciting things.  One performer is designated to be the token ‘drunk’ and that person is elected by the audience.  When instructed, the hapless actor must imbibe!  (At any point the performer feels uncomfortable he may refuse further alcohol and she often chooses that option quicker.  There is always a designated driver to see the performer home as well.) 

Jerusha Brown, Hermia in “A Midsummer Night’s Drink”

Nicholas Toscani directs a delightful cast all able to think fast on their feet and change course by turning on a dime!  Keegan Zimmerman is Demitrius and Oberon.  Dani Miller is Helena and Titania.  Evan Mooney is Lysander and Jerusha Brown is Hermia.  Kat Adams is Bottom and Summer Nolan is Puck.  These six superb improvisational actors bring Shakespeare’s comedy to lofty, lusty and lushy heights.

Partnering with 3rd Act is Waters Edge Winery for the first weekend.  The local winery has an delightful  selection of locally produced wines served in a charming and friendly atmosphere.  A venue such as this can often be a challenge particularly in acoustics.  Furthermore the actors performing in masks reduces the sound level considerably.  The cast is fortunately skilled at projection enabling the audience to understand.  Unfortunately the masks do obscure the facial expressions and this challenge is met with broad physical movement.  Toscani ‘s performers rise to the occasion with skill as well as humor. Also the director is aided by Stage Manager Allyson  Kybat and Liaison Dakota Lee Bryant with excellent results. 

“A Midsummer Night’s Drink” is drunkenly showing through July 25.  On Friday, July 24th the venue is Vanessa House at 118 NW 8th Street.  On Saturday the 25th, the location is Put a Cork In It at 115 E California in Bricktown.  Curtain is at 8:00, but patrons should come by 7:00 to help elect the King and Queen of the event.  (They are honorary participants and of course, helping choose who the designated lush in the cast is!) It is not necessary to over-indulge to have a spirited evening, and the evening will certainly be spirited.  The drunken classics is a fund-raiser for 3rd Act Theatre enabling them to mount each excellent season.

Kat Adams as Bottom in “A Midsummer Night’s Drink”

The fall season for 2020 begins in August with Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple” at the 3rd Act Theatre located in The Shoppes at North Park Mall, followed by Orwell’s “1984” adapted by Owens, Hall and Miles.  Coming next is  “Frankenstein” by Vincent Hannam and “Running Mates or the Family Party” by Beth Kandor.    “Oxtiern; or the Misfortune of Libertineage” by Marquis de Sade,  follows, and then “Setting the Nation Right and Other Easy Plays for Woman” by Bell Elliot Palmer.  The final two shows announced are “Medusa Undone by Bella Poynton and “Heartbreak House” by George Bernard Shaw.  What a season!  The watchword for the season is ‘Power’ and the 3rd Act team has certainly come up with a powerful line-up in their second excellent season.

The staff, crew and actors should be applauded for their dedication to theatre and understanding the need to let the show go on.  Especially as it is not possible for all theatre organizations to present shows during the pandemic, it is important that those who can continue to entertain do so.  3rd Act is a company of semi-professional performers who have a professional approach to providing this necessary break and are able to do so as they accommodate patrons with social distancing.  The result is limited ticket sales and the bottom line is severely compromised.  Further, they limit concessions in their location at North Park also impacting revenue.  The conduct thorough cleansing, not just cleaning to ensure the safety of patrons as well as performers.  The fund raisers are important to allow 3rd Act to operate in spite of the financial costs of mounting the shows.  Thank you.  We all look forward to the return of all of the great theatrical endeavors in Oklahoma City, but thanks to 3rd Act, we won’t find ourselves out of the habit!  Live theatre is important.  Everyone needs a break, and every production from 3rd Act ensures that we get that break!

The fall season for 2020 begins in August with Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple” at the 3rd Act Theatre located in The Shoppes at North Park Mall, followed by Orwell’s “1984” adapted by Owens, Hall and Miles.  Coming next is  “Frankenstein” by Vincent Hannam and “Running Mates or the Family Party” by Beth Kandor.    “Oxtiern; or the Misfortune of Libertineage” by Marquis de Sade,  follows, and then “Setting the Nation Right and Other Easy Plays for Woman” by Bell Elliot Palmer.  The final two shows announced are “Medusa Undone by Bella Poynton and “Heartbreak House” by George Bernard Shaw.  What a season!  The watchword for the season is ‘Power’ and the 3rd Act team has certainly come up with a powerful line-up in their second excellent season.

Evan Mooney as Lysander in “A Midsummer Night’s Drink”

The staff, crew and actors should be applauded for their dedication to theatre and understanding the need to let the show go on.  Especially as it is not possible for all theatre organizations to present shows during the pandemic, it is important that those who can continue to entertain do so.  3rd Act is a company of semi-professional performers who have a professional approach to providing this necessary break and are able to do so as they accommodate patrons with social distancing.  The result is limited ticket sales and the bottom line is severely compromised.  Further, they limit concessions in their location at North Park also impacting revenue.  The conduct thorough cleansing, not just cleaning to ensure the safety of patrons as well as performers.  The fund raisers are important to allow 3rd Act to operate in spite of the financial costs of mounting the shows.  Thank you.  We all look forward to the return of all of the great theatrical endeavors in Oklahoma City, but thanks to 3rd Act, we won’t find ourselves out of the habit!  Live theatre is important.  Everyone needs a break, and every production from 3rd Act ensures that we get that break!