FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUMTER, SC—Columbia City Ballet will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Sumter Opera House for two performances only on Friday, March 25th and Saturday, March 26 at 7:30 pm.
Hailed by The State as “delightful…you are in for an enchanted evening,” Columbia City Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream brings the whimsy and magic of Shakespeare’s greatest romantic comedy to the Sumter stage. Four lovers and a troupe of amateur actors are caught in a quarrel between Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the fairies, turning their world upside down with hilarious consequences. Executive & Artistic Director William Starrett’s choreography blends Shakespeare’s comedy with the grace and grandeur of ballet in an enchanting tale that’s perfect for the whole family!
A Midsummer Night’s Dream has played a large role in the history of Columbia City Ballet. It was the first ballet Starrett ever performed with the Company in 1977 in the role of Oberon, choreographed by founding Director Ann Brodie. That production was filmed and broadcast by SCETV, as was the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that Columbia City Ballet presented 23 years later in 2000, choreographed by Starrett.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of the few major comedic full-length ballets,” said Starrett. “The appeal of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is that it is such a great blend of comedy, classical dance and modern-day storytelling. Dancers don’t often get to be funny, and this ballet gives them plenty of opportunity to put their comedic acting skill to good use.”
Set to Mendelssohn’s score, Columbia City Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is inspired by Sir Frederick Ashton’s interpretation of the play that he created for The Royal Ballet in London in 1964, The Dream. “When I danced the role in London, I discovered the power of A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” said Starrett, “but I wanted to make the production clearer and less fussy for an American audience.”
Ballerina Regina Willoughby will dance the role of Titania, Queen of the Fairies, and Principal Dancer Mark Krieger will dance the role of Oberon, King of the Fairies. Columbia City Ballet favorites Soloist Kathryn Smoak, Jose Serrano and Robert Michalski will perform in leading roles, including the lovers and the troupe of workmen-turned-actors. Philip Ingrassia will dance the demandingly gymnastic role of Puck.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students general seating and can be purchased in advance at the Hamptons, Swan Lake Visitors Center and Seaco. For more information, contact the Visitors Center at 800-688-4748 and 803-436-2640 or www.sumtersc.gov or facebook/Sumter,South Carolina.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is presented through generous support by Thompson Construction Group, Hamptons and Sumter Civic Theatre.