MONTREAL — A starry sky and playful prose — pull up a park bench because the Bard is back in town.
Repercussion Theatre presents “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” its annual Shakespeare-in-the-Park summer staple with performances beginning tonight through Sunday, Aug. 4.
Repercussion Theatre artistic director Paul Hopkins chose “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for two main reasons.
“It’s our 25th anniversary,” Hopkins said. “And we started with that play.”
Repercussion Theatre first debuted back in 1988.
“And it’s pretty much the play that invented Shakespeare-in-the-Park.”
Hopkins said Shakespeare-in-the-Park productions first began in London’s Regent’s Park in the 1930s.
“Their stage was built outdoors surrounded by shrubbery and trees grown into the set.”
The play seems to mimic real life.
“The whole concept is that city people go into the forest, just like people coming into the park for the play — mixed with a little bit of magic,” he said.
Repercussion Theatre’s production offers a traditional take, detailed costumes, a cast of 11, a full set and the directing prowess of Montreal native Amanda Kellock, who studied theater at John Abbott College, Concordia University and the University of Ottawa. Kellock enjoys a passionate history with Repercussion.
“She saw her first Shakespeare-in-the-Park production when she was 12 years old right here in Montreal and fell in love with it,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins said Kellock, who has also worked locally directing works for Geordie Productions and the Centaur Theatre, became an actor within the company and has since directed six works for Repercussion Theatre.
“It’s very exciting to have her back,” he said.
Hopkins said that perhaps the biggest challenge he faces is to keep things running efficiently. Cost plays a big factor for this steadfast theater troupe as Repercussion productions never charge for admission.