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Carroll County Times
Carroll County Education

Francis Scott Key High takes ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to the 1960s in this weekend’s production

Francis Scott Key High School’s Key Players will present a unique take on Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” this weekend and next, setting the story in the 1960s.

Shows begin at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday and on Nov. 18 and 19 at the school, 3825 Bark Hill Road, Union Bridge.

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This 1960s rendition of the bard’s fantastical tale will feature fairies and elves portrayed as flower children and mechanical manual laborers wearing blue jeans and patchwork shirts, drama teacher and director Roberta Gora said.

“I think ‘Midsummer’ really works well in the late ‘60s because it’s fun,” Gore said. “The fairies and elves will be wearing tie dye and flower reeds and bell bottoms. It’s kind of silly.”

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As the audience enters the high school’s auditorium, ensemble members will break the fourth wall by interacting with them. The ensemble includes about 35 Francis Scott Key students and eight children who attend local ballet classes.

Gore said about 10 students have speaking parts, but the whole ensemble is very involved in the show and should feel proud of their performances.

No one could remember the last time Francis Scott Key performed Shakespeare, Gore said, and plays written by The Bard come with their own set of challenges. In many cases, the students must use physical language and deliver the words in a certain tone to convey meaning when performing the dense script written in iambic pentameter.

“Shakespeare is very, very hard for kids,” Gore said. “It’s a lot of work, to memorize and understand and to speak in such a way that an audience that doesn’t necessarily know the stories is going to appreciate and enjoy. So I’m really, really excited about it. If educational theater is supposed to be about stretching, we are doing it.”

Gore said performing in a play is an amazing accomplishment and an incredible confidence boost for students. Theater teaches work ethic and collaboration, she said.

Tickets are available for preorder at https://www.fskchoraldramaboosters.com/current-show and cost $8 for general admission or $6 for students and older adults. Tickets will also be available at the door.

“If people are afraid they will be bored they need to come and see, they will not,” Gore said. “It is very, very funny. It is very active. It’s a story that just kind of sweeps you away. It’s a very silly, fun story.”


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