45th Annual Shakespeare-in-the-Parks: A Midsummer Night's Dream

July 12 - September 1
Portland Actors Ensemble is thrilled to present William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of the most popular plays in the history of the performing arts. It has delighted, confounded, titillated, and transported audiences since its original Elizabethan staging. Director Douglas Lay returns to PAE after giving us last summer’s Cymbeline and stages Shakespeare’s joyous comedy about the universal theme of love and its complications: lust, disappointment, confusion, and marriage.

   A Midsummer Night’s Dream brilliantly conjoins four intertwined stories: the marriage of the Athenian Duke Theseus to the Amazon Queen Hippolyta; the warring Oberon and Titania, king and queen of the fairies; the madcap follies of four lovers in a forest; and the comically earnest efforts of a group of working men to stage a love-play for the royal wedding. Lysander loves Hermia, whose father wants her to marry Demetrius. Helena loves Demetrius, who chases the eloping Lysander and Hermia into the woods, pursued by Helena. They are all fair game for mischievous Puck, Oberon’s servant, who scrambles their desires and Titania’s. As the working men press faithfully on with their rehearsals, the otherworldly night of confusion, passion and diligence proves oddly momentous, touching every life to the quick.

Director Douglas Lay has created a boisterous and hilarious production that reflects Portland’s diverse communities and society’s current infatuation with royalty and celebrity. The cast of this show revels in some of Portland’s finest actors including PAE Artistic Director Michael Godsey as the endearing Nick Bottom, PAE Managing Producer Patrick J. Cox as the magical Oberon and an ever-changing band of Portland elementary and middle school students acting as Titania’s fairies (strengthening PAE’s commitment to arts and education).

Grand and intimate, hilarious and heartbreaking, wise and utterly absurd, the park will breathe with the miraculous charms and powerful illusions of love. Don’t miss this spirited pageant of the things we only dare imagine once we’re deep asleep.   –Douglas Lay

July 12th-Sept. 1st

The cast:
Thesus/Oberon: Patrick J. Cox
Hippolyta/Titania: Jennifer Elkington
Puck: Kate Belden
Hermia: Mariel Sierra
Demetrius: Matthew Sunderland
Helena: Tara Herschberger
Lysander: David Bellis-Squires
Bottom: Michael Godsey
Quince/Fairy: Athena McElrath
Flute/Egeus: KJ McElrath
Snug/Fairy: Curtis Hanson
Snout/Fairy: Toby Gollihar

ASL interpreters: Deb Kropf and Sarah Fisher Hewlett

Production Team:
Director: Douglas Lay
Technical Director: Jim Ricks-White
Producer: Patrick J. Cox
Stage Manager: Mikayla MacNally
Assistant Stage Manager: Alan Cline
Costumer: Sherry Ostendorf
Assistant Costumer: Kimberly Hergert
Makeup: Emily Shanaberger
Music Director: K.J. McElrath


Show Postcard

July 26    Laurelhurst Park       3 pm
July 27    Laurelhurst Park       6:30 pm
August 2   Marylhurst University  6 pm
August 3   Columbia Pk. Troutdale 6 pm
August 9   Fernhill Park          3 pm
August 10  Fernhill Park          3 pm
August 16  Gabriel Park           3 pm
August 17  Gabriel Park           3 pm
August 23  Washington Park        3 pm
August 24* Washington Park        3 pm
August 30  Reed College           3 pm
August 31  Reed College           3 pm
September 1 Reed College          3 pm
*American Sign Language interpreted