E-Newsletter | A Midsummer Night's Dream | Student Spotlights | Alumni Spotlight

Dear friends, alumni, and supporters,
Scholars surmise that A Midsummer Night’s Dream was probably commissioned for a noble wedding, where it was first performed with Queen Elizabeth I herself the guest of honor. Considered to be Shakespeare’s earliest masterwork, Midsummer is a play of overwhelming originality and power, with an elaborate plot and a dramatic interweaving of characters. “So musical a discord, such sweet thunder,” aptly describes the play’s many dichotomies; the world of Athens and the forest environs, the three pairs of human lovers and the fairies Oberon and Titania, the quintessential Everyman, Bottom, and his antithesis, Puck, the timeless debate about whose “dream” is being enacted? Shakespeare’s extraordinary poetry, his expansive and eclectic perspective, and his broad inclusiveness create a work of comic extravagance, celebrating the wonderful nonsense of love in every era. Under the direction of Professor Augustine Ripa, this production has been a magical experience for the team of students and staff involved in mounting it -- and is likely to charm audiences as well, “as imagination bodies forth the form of things unknown.”

Please join us for this stunning and lush production!
--Erica Hoelscher

Tickets FREE for LU students!

Buy Tickets
The Mechanicals discover Bottom has been translated.

Will Hassell ‘19 – lighting designer
Finance and Economics majors
Minor in Theatre
A Midsummer Night’s Dream


I first became interested in theatrical design in high school when I took a stagecraft class. What I like about theatrical lighting design is that it pushes the boundaries of what I think I can do. I enjoy seeing the reaction of the audience to my design. I am also a lighting designer for a DJ – it reinforces to me that I can design things that excite people.
A main idea for Midsummer was something that the director brought up, when he said that in the world of this play we don’t know what is magic and what is nature. This inspired me to create a forest that seems natural and yet can also turn magical at times. This encompasses the theme of Midsummer as well, which, in my opinion, is how people often have misconceptions of nature, including human nature and our perceptions of love.
Collaborating on this show has taught me the importance of expressing my ideas to others. This was a challenge for me as I have often held back and kept quiet in the past. Professor Will Lowry has been my mentor several times over the past two years; he has always encouraged my communication skills. Will is a fantastic mentor!

A Midsummer Night's Dream - Lighting Diagram

Claire Ternes ’20 – scenic designer
IDEAS major with concentrations in Materials Science Engineering and Design
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I became involved in technical theatre in high school building sets and designing lighting for dance shows. I love being "behind the scenes,” so I took painting, lighting, and theatrical design courses at Lehigh, and soon had the opportunity to design scenery.
I love the freedom that theatrical designing allows me to create unusual environments and visual experiences. Inviting an audience to step away from their reality and experience an exaggerated world that you helped create is powerful and thrilling. Our production team is composed of both professionals and students, but those of us who are less experienced are treated with the same respect and have the same expectations. That autonomy can be overwhelming, but is ultimately very rewarding. I know that my mentor, Mellie, will support me when I have questions and uncertainties.
Midsummer has surreal and magical elements that seem distorted and unrealistic but come together into a cohesive world. My goal was to create a world where perception is distorted, and where there is confusion but no evil. Our design motifs for Midsummer are a combination of hippy-free-love, boho, earthy, and magical vibes. 


A Midsummer Night's Dream - Scenic rendering

Major in Theatre, minor in Earth and Environmental Sciences

When I chose to attend Lehigh University, the Department of Theatre and Mustard and Cheese Drama Society made my decision easy. I was attracted by the close-knit department, with professors and students knowing each other on a personal level, but I also liked that the majority of students involved were not theater majors. I came into contact with a diverse group of people who all really cared about the outcome of our shows and projects. I was exposed to unique perspectives about material and problem-solving that I don’t know I would have found anywhere else.
I am the Assistant Manager of Show Production for the Dolphin Venue at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. As a theatre major, I was well trained to know my job, and also to know how to adapt my role to suit the requirements of any type of production. In the Department of Theatre I worked on a small period play and on a large musical, in Baker Hall I assisted on large-scale load-ins and events, and on the M&C executive board I learned to lead an organization. All of those skills have come into play in my current job.
My advice to Lehigh students is to try something a little out of your comfort zone; you can always decide it’s not for you, but at least you tried!

Department of Theatre - Faculty and Staff

Department of Theatre | Zoellner Arts Center, Room 301 | 420 East Packer Avenue
Bethlehem, PA 18015 | Phone: 610-758-3640 | Fax: 610-758-6543

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