An online dramaturgical casebook.

Feedback from Somerset High School

On Friday, Dec. 3, CMU did a special performance of Midsummer for high schools from the Pittsburgh and western PA area. Some students came from as far away as Somerset County. For many of these Somerset students, it was their first chance to see live theatre. Later in the month, we received some great letters from the students. Here are a few of their comments.

Dear Cast,
   I have never been at such a loss for words. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, what an epic production. All of you have stunned me into oblivion. Hello, my name is Emily [H]. I am a senior at Somerset High School. I was fortunate enough to see your production and I am so thrilled that I did. This whole cast was so professional and this really stunned me. I was expecting this show to be well done, but not THIS well done.
   As a senior in high school, I am now applying to colleges. I am hoping to major in musical theater and I am now considering Carnegie Mellon because of how professional this production was.
   After the production, myself, my drama teacher, and a few peers stayed in the lobby and we spoke with the actors and actresses. The student who played Hippolyta was kind enough to give me pointers on my college auditions. She said I needed to show them a spark, the spark that says, “I want her.” I could tell that each individual on the stage, from Puck to the ensemble, had that spark that I needed.
   I admire all of you and I hope to make it in the industry as far as I know all of you will. Good luck in all that you do. I know that I will be seeing many of your faces either on television or playbills. Thank you for having such a great production.
     -Emily H.

Dear Cast,
   You have no idea how many lives you have touched. Most people never get the gift of Shakespeare, but because of your cast you made a whole auditorium fall back in love. My name is Haven and I am a senior at Somerset Area High School. CMU gave us free tickets and an amazing experience. THANK YOU! I am a part of the Shakespeare class and we got to choose a character and I was Portia from Merchant of Venice. We also had a Puck. When the final speech was delivered in the moon I think my world turned upside down.
   It was really creative how Puck used transportation devices. It was really funny and made all of us keep wondering what he was going to use next.
   I think what made the play is the whole cast. There was never a dull moment because I think that everyone had the mentality that there were no small parts.

Dear Cast of Midsummer Night’s Dream,
   I can’t even BEGIN to describe how out-of-this-world AWESOME your production was. Every single actor went above and beyond with their parts, and everyone was hysterically funny. I loved every scene, every actor, every LINE.  The lighting and the set were incredible, and the costumes were gorgeous. Puck, You made my life! You were SO funny, and I thoroughly enjoyed all your epic modes of transportation. You rocked the segway, my friend.
   All of my friends are still talking about how awesome the play is, and we wish we could come back and see you all again.
   Keep being epic!
     Love,
     Anna B.

Dear Cast,
   You’re great. I attended your performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Friday, December 34d. By the way, my name is Rori [M.], a senior at Somerset Area School District.
   Your show was stellar, hilarious, and breathtaking. I’ll admit that I have only briefly studied this play, and the way that you delivered it made it easy to understand, yet true to the Shakespearean taste.
   If I were to choose a favorite performer, it would have to be Ben Ferguson as Puck. Although overall as an ensemble you all did a superb job.
   I’d go into a more detailed review, but I’ll leave you with this. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re great at what you do.

Dear the Cast of Midsummer nights dream,
   I’d have to say I thought the play was fabuluous [sic]. I don’t think I could’ve done the same outstanding job. It was quite different and funny.
   My favorite characters were Puck because of all the rideable things he kept bringing out, Oberon he was so cunning it just made it so excellent, Titania she is so beautiful and at times quite funny. Also all the fairys [sic] that were copying the humans made it humorous.
   My favorite scenes was [sic] when Puck was teasing Demetrius and Lysander.
   From seeing West Side Story and Midsummer’s night dream, yours was the best out of the two. I could watch you guys over and over again.
   Great show and best of luck to you all in the next.
     Sincerely,
     Kristy U.

Dear Cast,
   Your proformance [sic] of A Midsummers Night’s Dream was amazing. I stayed on the edge of my seat the whole time. The way the fairies always stayed in a constant fluid motion without taking the main characters focus away took talent and practice. Bottom or Tim Harrington acting was great. Always staying in character while being funny and not going overboard and taking away from the story. Helena and Hermia both played their parts perfectly reacting exactly how a girl would and keeping character through all the funny parts. The tech and stage crew did an awesome job on setting the stage and creating al the effects needed to make the show fantastic! Great job everyone.
     Sincerely,
     Cody

Dear Cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream,
   My name is Brandy [H.], I am a student from Somerset Area High School. I attended your performance on December 3rd. It was by far the best performance of Shakespeare I have ever seen, hands down.
   Shakespeare is hard to understand unless it is done well. You guys rocked it! I loved the modern spin that was put into it. And not to mention every actor and actress played there [sic] part perfectly! I must say the set was amazing; plus all of the lights and special effects really set the mood.
   All of you had me sitting on the edge of my seat laughing like crazy. When the performance was over I wanted to watch it again, it was outstanding. Bravo everyone!
     Sincerely,
     Brandy H.

Dear Cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream,
   My name is Payal [P.] and I am writing from Somerset Area High School. I am a senior and fortunately for us our school allows us to go see productions like yours and ocassionally [sic] groups come to perform at our school as well. Out of all the Shakespeare plays that I have seen, this is definately [sic] my favorite. The play was not only humorous but also very easy to follow.
   Some of my favorite things about your production would include how the fairies mocked/imitated the main characters when they spoke and all the small details with the lighting and sound when ever Puck cast a spell. I also liked the Idea of the pool of water in the woods. I did not realize it was there until Helena fell into it.
   Thank you for working so hard to provide us with the pleasure of getting to watch your recreation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I would definately [sic] like to watch another play at Carnegie Mellon, and I hope all of you are successful with your next shows.
     Sincerely,
     Payal P.

Dear Cast,
   My name is Bethany [S.] and I attended your performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I am writing to tell you how much I enjoyed your performance. Wonderful, spectacular, magical, exciting, all are words that describe your performance of this play. Personally I am usually lost when it comes to Shakespeare, but seeing your performance I was able to follow and understand it thoroughly. I was in absolute awe and fascination as I watched the play. To just sit and think about all the work you all put into it, just to make it possible is incredible! The Shakespeare language is not an easy skill to master either, however all of you were fluent and amazing with your lines. I know I wouldn’t have been able to do that without getting tongue tied. The sets, and costumes, and props were all very creative. I loved the modern costumes. the Lovers wore.
   I thank you for your performance of this play as it was mesmerizing, and magical. You all did such an amazing job in your performances as well. I think all of you are amazing actors and I hope that you continue on performing as incredible as you did.
     Sincerely,
     Bethany S.

Dear Cast,
   I thought your play was absolutely amazing! The whole time I was just staring at the stage and couldn’t look away. I loved how you integrated jokes and modern things into it. The settings were just awesome, and I love how the moon changed with the mood of the scene. The lifts were also such a great part of the show.
   Which brings me to my favorite character, Puck. I thought you were just awesome – too great to put into words. The way you talked and the motions you went through were so believable. Also, I loved all the different modes of transportation you used. I also can’t go without mentioning the rest of the fairies as well: The way you all moved looked like you would jump up and fly at any minute. I loved all the stances you took, and how you were never just standing there. No matter what the scene, the faeries added to the movement, and acted like scenery themselves.
   When Demetrius and Lysander were fighting for Helena, I laughed so hard. When you called Hermia “dwarfish” and high-fived, it was great. All four of you were so amazing together I loved that while Helena talked, the two guys were all “♥ I love you” and when Hermia did, they backed off like “…ugh…”
   The construction men were all fantastic. Bottom was just hilarious! I loved when you performed Pyramus & Thisbe. We were laughing like crazy. There were so many great moments (like the wall scene!! haha) I don’t even know what else to say. It was just golden. And “snug” was just so timid and adorable 🙂
   Oberon looked so great for his part, and he just looked perfect for who he was playing. Titania was great as well. I loved how there was like two sides of fairies – the Oberon side and the Titania side. Oberon had such great chemistry with Puck.
   If there’s anyone I forgot to mention, I’m sorry! But everyone was just too amazing for words. From costumes to acting, everyone was just mind-blowing.

Thanks to all the students who came to see the show! We loved having you there.

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