Grade-Wide Shakespearean Performance Puts Modern Twists on A Midsummer Night’s Dream

On Friday, March 8, the entire 7th grade gathered in the Underground Theater for a morning of Shakespearean drama, organized by Middle School English teachers Jamie Rubenstein and Stefanie Forman. 

Students were split into 29 groups, and each group had the opportunity to perform a unique rendition of a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They designed their own costumes, props, scenery and even composed music, which was developed in collaboration with the Middle School music department. Each group had been studying A Midsummer Night’s Dream since January, and had been working on their scene for the past two weeks. 

The project is now in its fifth year, but this is the first time the entire 7th grade is gathering to perform in front of one another, and the first time it has included a musical component, supported by Middle School music teachers Ardith Collins, Dr. Kary Haddad and Renee Duncan. 

“We love this performance project because the students shine in their ability to make these scenes their own; their creativity and energy are contagious. When we first introduce A Midsummer Night's Dream, they see the language as challenging, and they don't give themselves enough credit with what they are able to comprehend. This project teaches them what they are capable of producing, and most of them surprise themselves with what they accomplish on stage. It is truly a student-run performance. Shakespeare's stories are always relevant, and we love showing them that although this language might seem foreign at first, it still relates to our everyday life. Now, they can look forward to similar projects during 8th and 9th grade in the Prep School for Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth,” Ms. Forman said.