Backdoor Playhouse opens Shakespeare classic

William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be performed in the Backdoor Playhouse over the next two weeks. Mark Creter, professor of English at Tennessee Tech, will direct the play.

“It is one of my absolute, all-time favorite Shakespeare shows. We did it here in ’96,” said Creter. “Historically, there was a production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ back in 1916, so when we did it in ‘96, it was kind of fun because it was the first time there had been ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in town, really, since 1916. And then since it’s the hundredth anniversary, the Centennial this year, I loved the idea of us doing it as part of the … it’s 2015, but … we’re close.”

Microbiology major, Bailee Michaels, plays the role of Moth.

“It’s basically a trifold love story with lots of mishaps interwoven in a dreamlike state,” said Michaels.

“It’s kind of a cacophony of relationships,” said Joshua Rapp, assistant director of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” “There’s a lot of story lines going on at the same time that are all connected … but they’re also interdependent, so like, they progress on their own, but little pieces of their progress change other people’s lives.”

Creter and Rapp say this is the play to watch even if one doesn’t like Shakespeare.

“I hope everybody will come out and see it. It is a fun show. I have always made the argument that ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is the perfect show; not only for people who love Shakespeare because if you love Shakespeare, you probably love ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ but also for people who think they don’t love Shakespeare. ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is a great play to come see because it’s very accessible, it’s very fun, it’s very fast, it’s one of Shakespeare’s most efficient scripts as far as … the way he goes about telling the story,” said Creter. “So even if you think, ‘Oh, I’ve only read Shakespeare in class and it’s boring,’ it’s not, and this is a great show to really see Shakespeare as it’s meant to be done — which is live.”

“If anybody’s seen ‘Avenue Q’ or ‘Rocky Horror’ and they like the feel of those shows, then they’ll find that in ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ it just will be in Old English,” said Rapp. “What I encourage people to do, especially people who don’t watch Shakespeare a lot … Go watch the play and follow what’s going on physically and let the words underscore what’s going on. So you’ll get little bits of backstory from the dialogue … let the actors’ physicality and stuff onstage tell you what’s going on in the story.”

“There’s a big crazy fun thing at the end that is kind of unique to this production as my stamp as a director on it,” said Creter.

Creter also said that this would be the last play in the Backdoor Playhouse for a few months.

“We’re closing for renovation for a year,” said Rapp. “We’re looking currently at spaces on campus. There have been a couple of potential spaces that haven’t been nailed down … There will be theatre. It will be a smaller space, so we’re looking to do some more intimate shows, more interesting shows, which we’ve done in the past.”

“I am optimistically hopeful that the University will do what they say they do by getting the building done by the fall of 2016, so that we can move back in here, but we’ll see,” said Creter. “Temporarily we’ll be squatting over in Foundation Hall, and we’ll make the best of it.”

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be in the Backdoor Playhouse April 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. The late show will be April 16 at 10 p.m., and the matinee will be April 18 at 2 p.m.

Tech students get in free with their Tech ID, while general admission tickets are $15, senior citizens’ tickets are $12, and non-Tech student tickets are $5.