Midsummer Night’s Dream at the East Gloucester School Photos From James Dowd

Hey Joe, enclosed are some stills from the dress rehearsal of A
Midsummer Night’s Dream at the East Gloucester School.

A couple of fun things to note:

1. As you can tell from the photos, all the costumes and set are
recycled and re-purposed. We used leftovers from home remodeling
projects, bits from other productions, an old fishing net for the
backdrop and the costumes are 100% attic and back-of-closet (Made
AWESOME by the extreme talents of Kelly Montagnino!) In fact, my
daughter Rebecca, the girl in the middle wearing white, is sporting a
rig made from components that includes a dress my wife used to wear
when we were in college. Somehow, it doesn’t seem that long ago.

2. As you probably can’t tell from the photos, a solid number of
adults went irretrievably insane putting this thing together. We had
every imaginable challenge, practically no budget, not a lot of time
and a school built during a period where postwar scarcity meant
exactly zero frills. I swear that the Globe Theater in London where
Shakespeare performed his plays in 1600 was more technically advanced
than EGS (though we have notably fewer plague rats). Remember that
scene in "Shakespeare in Love" when everything goes wrong but the
director says that it will all work out, even though he doesn’t know
how. "It’s a mystery," he says. It’s totally like that. In the end it
turned out way past our wildest expectations. Teamwork, time and crazy
amounts of talent were brought to bear. Incredible. The costumes and
set are almost as cool as the kids.

3. But OMG, the kids. They, on other hand, have been nothing but pure
amazing. The language, the emotion, the physical comedy. They just
picked it up and ran with it. Kids who you thought were quiet
wallflowers are up there belting out 400 year-old lines, calling
people "knaves" and just generally bashing this thing out with pure
style and grace. The play deals humorously with relationships- a
father wants his daughter to marry the guy he favors, but she wants to
be with a "bad boy", there is magic and tricks and every kind of
hilarious mix-up and our Gloucester public school kids just go totally
all-out with it. One kid said to me, "We get it. We totally get it. I
don’t know if our parents will, but we do." Oh those kids with their
hip-hop and their Shakespeare.
Anyway, shows Thursday and Friday at 7pm and the Saturday Matinee at
2. for tix email egsfifthgradeplay@gmail.com

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