This will be a “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” like none you’ve ever seen.
Campfire Theater has taken Shakespeare’s timeless comedy and draped it with a millennial cloak. What’s more, you’ll behold the new version on foot, while walking a slow, mile-long stroll through Monument Valley Park. One of the dozen actors in the play will serve as the guide, and accompany audience members along the trail, while the show unfolds around them.
“An American Night’s Dream” opens Friday and runs Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 28. The show kicks off from the parking lot at 205 W. Fontanero St. While there’s no formal seating, you can bring a chair. The PG-13 show is about an hour and 45 minutes. Tickets are available online at campfiretheatertours.com.
“It will be very fun for people who are interested in getting into theater for the first time,” said co-director Brooke Callahan. “Bring comfortable shoes. Be ready to engage with the story and coming into this knowing it’s a different experience.”
In this modern version of the play, a group of high school seniors run away into the woods before their futures are decided at a Letter Ceremony. At the same time, a group of retail workers prepares a patriotic play for the same ceremony, hoping to win scholarships and a ticket to a better life. A third layer of the story revolves around the people of the woods and the games they play. It’s a show about the American dream — what it is and isn’t — and how every person defines it differently.
Characters still speak in iambic pentameter, but instead of thou, thee and dost, it’s modern language.
“Shakespeare’s language is hard if you’re not familiar with it,” Callahan said. “But this script brings a speaking style that’s more familiar to us, and it brings problems in the play more to our level. It’s not like this king is fighting with this king, it’s like this kid is not getting a scholarship and she wants it. There are much more relatable scenes.”
The outdoor show is Campfire Theater’s first production in Colorado Springs, though the company first produced the play in 2019 in Massachusetts. The company’s founder, Peter Storey, also is the scriptwriter. He and Callahan hope to bring more original outdoor theater to the Springs.
“We think theater is a great way to get people outdoors and get them involved with story again,” Callahan said.
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