Shakespeare goes Mod

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Sat Jul 24 08:32:22 CDT 2004

>From the York Daily Record at:

Friday, July 23, 2004

"My jacket's gonna be cut and slim and checked/ 
Maybe a touch of seersucker, with an open neck."

No one would ever have thought to look for costuming
tips in The Who's "Quadrophenia" when staging
Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

But then again, maybe no one ever thought to set the
play in the midst of the Mod-era in the 1960s — the
exact same source material for Pete Townshend's story
in "Quadrophenia" and the accompanying 1979 movie
starring Sting.

When preparing to stage DreamWrights Youth & Family
Theatre's annual summer tour of the play, director
Michelle Norton rented the flick from Martin Library.

She likely found many ideas there that helped sharpen
her actors' wardrobes. The girls are in cool,
checkerboard tops and bright lime-green pants. The
guys are decked out in seersucker pants (seersuckers
are light, thin suits that were all the rage,
particularly among Mods, in the 1960s) and polo

Norton, who founded the "Theatre Under The Trees"
series seven years ago, almost made the fairy Puck a
punkish rocker — the rival to the Mods in
"Quadrophenia" — but stopped at draping her in
glittery graffiti.

Norton stopped with the costuming when it came to
tinkering with the play. The central theme, the plot,
the characters — all of that wasn't going to change
one bit.

"I don't really like to mess with Shakespeare so much,
because the words are why he's lasted for the last 100
years," said Norton, who lives in York. "It's more of
a visual change. We tried to modernize it a bit. I
think it sets the mood."

The cast of 21 people, ranging in age from 7 to 22,
launched the play last weekend in Jacobus, Manchester
Township and Gifford Pinchot State Park. The free
performances of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" start at
6:30 p.m. (except for the final performance) and
continue through Aug. 1 at the following locations:

· Tonight, Sunset Lane Park in Manchester Township.

· Saturday, Codorus State Park.

· Sunday, Stewartstown Fairgrounds.

· Thursday, Springettsbury Township Park.

· July 30, Dallastown Lions Park.

· July 31, Lincoln Park, York.

· 2:30 p.m. Aug. 1, DreamWrights, 100 Carlisle Ave.,

For details, call 848-8623 or visit


-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!

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