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Shakespeare comes to New Jersey boardwalk

The ladies of Hair and Gone recite their motto in a rehearsal scene from "Midsummer/Jersey" at Dickinson High School.1 / 2
Puck (Robert Dorsa II) changes Nikkie Bottoms (Victoria Ryan) into a donkey in a rehearsal scene from "Midsummer/Jersey" on Wednesday at Dickinson High School.2 / 2

Love potions, magic and mischief provide the ingredients for the hilarious re-telling of Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream" when it is set on the boardwalk of a seaside town in modern-day New Jersey.

The Dickinson High School Drama Department will present its spring production, "Midsummer/Jersey" by Ken Ludwig at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the DHS auditorium.

"The actors and I have had a good time with this one," director Michael Stevenson said. "It has been great to see them discover a little about the immortal bard, and how he can be fit into modern situations. It was good for Queen Elizabeth I, it is still good for Queen Elizabeth II, and will remain good for Queen Elizabeth III."

The story revolves around the impending marriage of the governor of New Jersey, love affairs of four beach- bound high school crushes, a lively crew of fairies and the staff of a local beauty salon (run by Patti Quince and stylist Nikki Bottom).

The night takes a magical turn when Oberon and the impish Puck arrive on the scene armed with a powerful love potion and a desire for mischief making.

With several weddings and the acting careers of six beauticians hanging in the balance, the lovers take to the boardwalk, backed by pop music and a iPhone-obsessed wood spirit.

The play has a large cast of lovers, beauticians and fairies played by many veteran and rooky actors.

Included in the cast are: Eden Jackson, Luke Ensign, Sarah Ramsey, McKenzie Kostelecky, Marena Mahto, Nathan Lanphear, Elizabeth Pavlicek, David Fehr, Chris Prchal, Helena Montoya, Victoria Ryan, Brooke Anton, Cassidy Kelly, Suzannah Moberg, Keziah Johnson, Jordon Hood, Robert Dorsa II.

Dorsa describes his character, Puck, as an annoying servant.

"He likes to make a lot of mischief -- kind of what I like to do in school a lot," he joked.

Hood, who plays Oberon, encounters the wrath of his wife, Tatiana.

"She thinks he was cheating on her, so we get into big arguments -- it pretty much escalates from that," he said.

Ryan is cast as Nikki Bottom-- one of the hairstylists who are putting a play for the governor's wedding.

"During the play, she plays Romeo and while they are rehearsing, Puck turns me into a donkey," she said.

All seats are general admission.

Dickinson High School Drama productions are under the direction of Michael R. Stevenson.

(For additional photo, see www.thedickinsonpress.com)

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