“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare

'A Midsummer Night’s Dream'

June 24, 2021 - July 8, 2021 | VIRTUAL EVENT

Past Event

Join us for an on-demand performance of Shakespeare's classic tale, filmed in Yardley Hall and co-directed by Heart of America Shakespeare Festival's Sidonie Garrett and Matt Rapport.

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Set in Athens, the play follows the trials, heartaches and eventual happiness of two Athenian couples and the entertaining antics of meddling, magical fairies. The main plot involves two sets of couples—Hermia and Lysander and Helena and Demetrius—whose romances are complicated by the whims of Oberon and Titania, king and queen of the fairies, and their servant, Puck.

Shakespeare's lighthearted play explores the capricious, dreamlike and sometimes ridiculous nature of love. It highlights more humor with its play-within-a-play format in which a group of Athenian craftsmen, known as the mechanicals, celebrate the upcoming marriage of Duke Theseus and the Amazonian Queen Hippolyta by putting on an amateur version of a play.

The story concludes with the fairies blessing the couples and Puck speaking directly to the audience, hoping they have not been offended by the play. He suggests that if the play has offended, it may be nothing more than a dream.

Sidonie Garrett, HASF Executive Artistic Director

Sidonie Garrett is the Executive Artistic Director of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival (HASF). She has directed their past five season’s productions – “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Hamlet,” “The Winter’s Tale,” “King Lear” and “Twelfth Night” – which were all awarded Best Play in Pitch Magazine’s “Best of KC.”

Additionally, Garrett has directed more than 13 previous HASF productions and the first indoor HASF production, “The Merchant of Venice,” a collaborative production with the Jewish Community Center and Midwest Trust Center. She’s directed other HASF collaborations with MTC, as well as Bach Aria Soloists, the Grammy Award-winning Kansas City Chorale, Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, Kansas City Actors Theatre, KC Repertory Theatre and Kansas City Museum.

Prior to joining HASF, Garrett worked as a freelance director with producing partner Jan Rogge and their company, Ground Zero Productions. Her experience working with new plays took her to New York City, where she directed the off-Broadway production of “Thanatos.” Garrett also assistant directed the off-Broadway premiere of the interactive “Aunt Chooch’s Birthday Party.”

Locally, she’s directed at Unicorn Theatre, Kansas City Actors Theatre, Coterie Theatre, American Heartland Theatre, University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), The J and Fourth Wall Productions. Garrett also directed a script-in-hand reading of “Much Ado About Nothing” as part of the First Folio exhibition at the KC Public Library, eight plays in the first KC One-Minute Play Festival and a staged reading of “Rights of Passage” as part of the KC Rep’s OriginKC, a new play festival.

Matt Rapport, HASF Director of Education

Matt Rapport has been a performing arts teacher in and around Kansas City for more than 20 years. His areas of expertise include Shakespeare, improvisation and acting, as well as physical skills including juggling, puppetry and physical comedy. He has taught in public schools, community centers and art camps. Before assuming his leadership position with the Festival, Rapport was a lead teaching artist with HASF as well as the Coterie Theatre, KC Repertory Theatre, Accessible Arts and Theatre for Young America.

Some of Rapport’s more rewarding teaching experiences have been with underserved students, including work with the Shakespeare Festival at ReStart, a homeless shelter in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City Repertory Theatre at DeLaSalle and Hilltop, both high schools for adjudicated youths. Rapport has also taught adults with Down syndrome in a program offered through Accessible Arts.

Rapport is a professional actor and musician with many local and regional credits. He was an original member of the cast of the Festival’s “Shakespeare to Go!” and co-created and co-directed the Festival’s “Romeo and Juliet to Go!” He has been seen on the festival stage numerous times, including in “The Taming of the Shrew,” “Julius Caesar,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Macbeth,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “As You Like It,” “King Lear” and “The Merchant of Venice.”

Elaine Clifford (Hermia)
Elaine Clifford is beyond ecstatic to have the opportunity to be a part of one of Shakespeare’s most well-known stories! A local Kansas City performer, Clifford was most recently involved in an original musical titled “Pedals,” which streamed live on YouTube. Other past credits include Sunny in “The Last Night of Ballyhoo” and First Fairy in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (The White Theatre); Dunyasha in “The Cherry Orchard” and Elizabeth in “The Orphans’ Home Cycle” (Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre). All her love goes to her husband, Arthur, and to her family and friends who have supported her every step of the way. 

Kitty Corum (Helena)
Kitty Corum is a Kansas City native with a bachelor's degree in theatre from Truman State University. She found her love of performing with Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s summer camps and Team Shakespeare. She recently wrote and performed in a radio theatre show called "The Voice from the Other Side" with KCART and was previously a part of Forge Repertory Theatre's “Secret in the Wings.” Corum is also an advanced actor combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors. 

J.Will Fritz (Puck)
J.Will Fritz is so excited to be part of this production. Past festival productions include: Mardian in “Anthony & Cleopatra,” Flute/Thisbe in “Midsummer,” La Beau in “As You Like It,” Time/Sicilian Servant in “A Winter’s Tale,” Curan in “King Lear” and George Seacoal in “Much Ado About Nothing.” Other notable credits include Oliver Rivers/Lordy Voldy in “Puffs” at the Coterie Theatre, Cocky Locky in “Chicken Little” at Theatre for Young America, Jack in “How to Use a Knife” at the Unicorn Theatre and Alan Strang in “Equus” at the Barn Players. Thank you and enjoy!

Joshua Gleeson (Bottom/Pyramus)
Joshua Gleeson is over the moon to be part of this production. Previous Heart of America Shakespeare Festival roles include Watchman in “Much Ado About Nothing” and Robin in “Shakespeare in Love.” He would like to thank Sidonie Garrett for creating this opportunity. He would also like to thank the production team, cast and crew on their never-ending brilliance and dedication in the arts and on this project. Of course, nothing would ever be possible without the love, patience and support of his incredible wife, Kaitlynn. Saying thank you will never be enough to repay her for all she has done. Lastly, Gleeson thanks the audience for their continued support of the arts, and truly hope this production brings you joy and laughter in these uncertain times.

Kendra Keller (Titania/Hyppolyta)
Kendra Keller is extremely excited for the opportunity to perform on stage in a theatre again! Most recently, she took part in the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s Zoom production of “William Shakespeare’s Christmas Carol.” Other HASF work includes “Hamlet” and “Merchant of Venice,” as well as educational programs, “Romeo & Juliet to Go!” and “Heroes & Villains.” At the beginning of 2020, Keller also had the pleasure of performing in The White Theatre’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” honoring HASF’s founder, Marilyn Strauss.

James Kemper (Demetrius)
James Kemper recently graduated from University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). He has been involved in a few UMKC-affiliated shows, including “King Lear,” “The Playwright Showcase,” “A Soldier’s Tale” and “The Tempest.” Kemper has also been in Heart of America Shakespeare Festival's production of “Shakespeare in Love” and in “Midsummer Night’s Dream” with the Jewish Community Center last year.

Jerry Mañan (Oberon/Thesus)
Jerry Manan graduated from Avila University, where he earned degrees in both acting and film and digital media. He has worked with theatres such as Kansas City Actors Theatre, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, New Theatre and KC Public Theatre. He would like to thank his friends and family for their constant support, as well as the countless mentors that have helped him and continue to help him along the way. He wishes everyone good health and high spirits into this year.

Keenan Ramos (Snout/Wall)
Keenan Manuel Ramos is extremely proud and humbled to be part of this project. Ramos has had the privilege to perform on many national and regional stages, including The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and The Huntington Stage in Boston. He is extremely honored to have performed on most Kansas City stages, including The Unicorn, The KC Rep, The Coterie and Musical Theater Heritage. Keenan would like to give a million thanks to Sidonie Garrett and Matt Rapport for casting him in this show.

Terry O’Reagan (Egeus/Philostrate)
Terry O’Reagan is happy and proud to be able to be a part of this production.

Austin Taylor Smith (Lysander)
Austin Taylor Smith is very excited to again be doing “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with Sidonie Garrett. He graduated from Stephens College in 2016. His most recent roles include “Swimming in the Shallows” at the Black Box Theatre, “A Midsummer Night's Dream” at the White Theatre at the J and “Love, Honor and Murder” with the Kansas City Actors Radio Theatre. He hopes that you will enjoy this filmed production of “A Midsummer Night's Dream.”

R.H. Wilhoit (Flute/Thisbe)
R.H. Wilhoit is pumped to be part of this production! A longtime Kansas City resident and Drury University graduate, Wilhoit has recently been living the virtual life, appearing in online productions, including Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s “William Shakespeare’s A Christmas Carol” and KCAT’s radio drama, “1924.” He was recently seen in The Coterie’s production of “Electric Poe,” The Living Room’s “Milking Christmas,” and Spinning Tree Theatre’s “Every Brilliant Thing.” As always, thanks to my father, Chris, for his continued support.

Meredith Wolfe (Quince)
Meredith Wolfe is pleased to be part of this production. Recent performances include “Yard Bards,” “ShakesFEAR” and “William Shakespeare’s Christmas Carol,” all with the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.” You may have previously seen her at The Unicorn’s “The Ghosts of Lote Bravo”, KC Actors Theatre “A Streetcar Named Desire”, The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City’s “The African Company Presents Richard III” or Late Night Theatre’s “Purple Reign.” Thank you for supporting the arts!

Weiyi Zhang (Snug/Lion)
Weiyi Zhang has been looking forward to safely returning to in-person theatre with fellow actors! She is thrilled to be a part of this production as one of the players. This past year made her realize her deep love for acting, and she is more inspired and motivated to explore her journey. She would like to thank her husband, Joseph, for being her rock and her parents for their unconditional love.

Jess Tibboles (Stage Manager)
Jess Tibboles is originally from Romeo, Michigan. She earned her bachelor’s degree in stage management from Western Michigan University and is currently a second-year MFA Stage Management candidate at University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). She just finished stage managing a filmed Zoom production of “Twelfth Night.” Some of her favorite productions in which she has been involved include “Fun Home,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Wiz” and “Blood Wedding.” 

Hannah Fuhlhage (Stage Manager)
Hannah Fuhlhage is thrilled to join the team of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Recently, she worked on “ShakesFEAR” (Props/Costume Manger) for the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, where she has also been part of the Festival’s education team, teaching Shakespeare, Shakespeare Conservatory and Camp Shakespeare. Previous stage management credits include “Annie” (Leawood Stage Company), “Love and Information” (JCCC Theatre Company) and “The Shape of Things” (William Jewell Theatre Company). Fuhlhage is planning to finish her bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University, where she studies interdisciplinary arts and performance.

Youth Actors
Isaac Robinson (Starveling/Moonshine)
Naomi Kriege (Mustardseed)
Lucy Scanlon (Cobweb)
Emery Downs (Peasblossom)
Violet Rollins (Moth)

Greg Mackender (Co-Composer/Musician)
Matt Rapport (Co-Composer/Musician)