"Midsummer" dreams again

March 19, 2002, midnight | By Annie Peirce | 18 years, 10 months ago

Partial cast of fall play perform at the Folger Shakespeare Library

Music plays loudly from a small silver CD player as twenty-five high-school students jump and pelvic thrust to the song "Jump on It." On the steps of the Supreme Court in D.C., it is little wonder that the sight draws astonished staring crowds.

This impressive show of enthusiasm was the Blair cast of "Midsummer Night's Dream" celebrating their achievements after performing several scenes at the 22nd annual Emily Jordan Folger Secondary School Shakespeare in D.C. on March 7.

Director Kelly Newman was very proud of the honors awarded to the Blair cast. The four lovers Nardos Bellete (Hermia), Josh Scannell (Demetrius), JoJo Ruf (Helena) and Spencer Lee (Lysander) won the "Love Connection" or "Love Bug" award for their chemistry as an ensemble. Luke Allen received the highest award available, the "Excellence in Acting" award. Sean Cooney received an "Outstanding Acting" award.

For director Kelly Newman, the most exciting award given to a Blair student was the Cabe award received by Ruf for her excellent job understudying the role of Helena (originally played by Jordan McCraw) with only one day's notice. The Cabe award is an award given each day of the festival to an actor or group of actors who the judges feel did something exceptional.

Newman is very proud of Blair's success and she feels it was a "great experience." Newman describes the enthusiasm of the players with a large smile. Before and after the festival, the actors demonstrated their excitement by doing fairy dances on the sidewalks of D.C. Ruf described the reactions of the D.C. public. "A lot of people were looking at us. The security came up and stared at us for awhile to make sure as weren't holding a bomb or something," said Ruf.

According to the website of the Folger Shakespeare Library the festival is for students in grades 7-12 from the D.C. Metro area. The festival lasts 7 days and involves 56 schools. Each group performs a scene or combination of scenes from any of Shakespeare's plays that are between 15 and 30 minutes long. On each Festival day, from 8:15 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., eight performances are presented. Because the cast and crew combined cannot exceed 25, only a part of the Blair "Midsummer" crew were able to attend the festival. The only scenes that were shown were Mechanicals' "play within a play" of Pyramus and Thisbe and the fight between the mortal lovers.

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Annie Peirce. Annie Peirce is a senior in the Communications Arts Program and the public relations manager for Silver Chips. She is also an opinions editor for Silver Chips Online. She was born on October 25, 1984, in a hospital somewhere in Prince George's County; but doesn't … More »

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