Midsummer In The Press

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"The translation of the play into a musical theater piece was not without challenges, said Arachne.

First of all, Arachne said, she had to reacquaint herself with a play that she had not read since high school. Additionally, she said, she had to read the text over and over again until the rhythms and melodies manifested.

Also, said Arachne, Shakespeare’s words aren’t built for the traditional 4/4 time of pop music. But that was okay, said Arachne, who is a trained classical composer."

Read the full article here.

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[She's actually from Buffalo, btw]

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Zip 06 article excerpt:

Pushing Shakespeare’s star-crossed romantic comedy into a virtual world, where characters meet in online video games instead of in castles and stumble through Zoom meetings instead of enchanted forests ended up accomplishing both of these things, according to Morton, allowing actors to work without risking their health through the long winter and capturing some of the specific strangeness of the last year.

That meant making sure that disparate experiences were represented, considering how differently the pandemic impacted people based on age, race, sex, employment, and so many other factors.

“One of the best parts about this show was it was very much a group effort,” said Sylvia Sonnenstein, who plays Helena. “They took a lot of [the young actor’s] ideas and they were able to work with us...and took our ideas and used our knowledge of our generation and incorporated that into the show.”E

To read the full Zip 06 article, please click HERE.  

BONUS:  Check out the Zoom interview of members of our teen cast with Zip06's Jesse Williams!

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FUSE Theatre of CT was featured on "Better Connecticut" on CBS station WFSB CT Tuesday, May 18th at 3:00 p.m. Click the photo above to watch the interview with 'Midsummer' director Lara Morton and Sylvia Sonenstein, who portrays 'Helena' in our show.

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The Cast & Creatives of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream- The Rewired Musical' talked shop with the extraordinary Virginia Wolf on WLIS/WMRD on Thursday, MAy 12th! Listen online/on demand at wliswmrd.net/
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Hearst Media Article from 5/15/21

Thanks to E. Kyle Minor for interviewing members of our creative team and writing about our unique process of creation!

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When the pandemic shut down FUSE Theatre of CT’s production of “The Lion King, Jr.” last year, it emboldened Lara Morton, the Madison-based group’s vice-president and director, to assemble a shutter-proof production for this year.

The result is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream - The Rewired Musical,” a multimedia platform production streaming May 21 through June 4.

 

Morton adapted Shakespeare’s farcical rom-com with Noah Golden, who applied his skills as a video producer/editor at Yale School of Medicine to become the production designer and editor of the production.

Both Morton and Golden said that Shakespeare’s venerable, mystical story remains intact. It follows two couples (Lysander and Hermia and Demetrius and Helena) who flee their homes to be with their true loves in a magical forest, for some unexpected midsummer madness wrought by other-worldly Oberon, Titania, Puck and a bevy of fairies.

Among the bewitched is Bottom, one of the Rude Mechanicals rehearsing their play intended to entertain nearby wedding guests.

 

According to Morton, Golden — who also plays Egeus in the production — suggested that “rather than pretend we’re not doing a play on Zoom, let’s use Zoom and other video platforms to tell the story. Let’s use them to our advantage.”

 

The reason it’s called “re-wired,” Golden said, is that “that our version takes place in the summer of 2020. Our characters are, like everybody else, stuck at home, stuck in quarantine, and they communicate the way we all communicate in this time, which is on Facetime calls and Zoom calls.”

 

As Golden explained the concept, the story’s four young lovers, denied in-person courtships, flirt on social media until they reach the woods.

 

“H elena makes YouTube videos and goes on Instagram Live,” Golden said. “One of our characters has a scene that takes place on Twitch stream. So, it’s just shifting the text into this kind of a modern realm.”

 

Necessity was indeed the mother of the FUSE team’s concept, as Golden explained.

“I had seen a lot of Zoom plays and readings, which were sort of people putting on a costume, putting on a digital background, and going on Zoom. There’s nothing wrong with that at all! Any way you can produce (a play) and express yourself is great! It just wasn’t something that is inherently exciting to us,” he said.

 

“So, the question to me was how can we use these limitations as our strength?” Golden said. “Instead of running from this and putting on a digital background of woods, pretending we’re in the woods, how can we use this to our advantage?

Golden said that The Mechanicals are “not a very talented group,” and they struggle with the staging of their brief rendition of the Pyramus and Thisbe fable as we watch them rehearse and, finally, stumble through their story before the wedding guests.

Their show, Golden said, “is sort of a parody of bad Zoom theater. It has the Green Screen, which is not working, and the internet’s down, and someone is muted-all those kinds of things that we have grown to know over the past year.”

 

FUSE’s ruse puts the Fairies entirely in the digital world, Golden said, as the personification of our computers and our digital lives.

 

“I had seen a lot of Zoom plays and readings, which were sort of people putting on a costume, putting on a digital background, and going on Zoom. There’s nothing wrong with that at all! Any way you can produce (a play) and express yourself is great! It just wasn’t something that is inherently exciting to us,” he said.“So, the question to me was how can we use these limitations as our strength?” Golden said. “Instead of running from this and putting on a digital background of woods, pretending we’re in the woods, how can we use this to our advantage?

Golden said that The Mechanicals are “not a very talented group,” and they struggle with the staging of their brief rendition of the Pyramus and Thisbe fable as we watch them rehearse and, finally, stumble through their story before the wedding guests.

Their show, Golden said, “is sort of a parody of bad Zoom theater. It has the Green Screen, which is not working, and the internet’s down, and someone is muted-all those kinds of things that we have grown to know over the past year.”

 

“They live inside our devices and control our devices. That’s how they control the lives of the (human) characters,” he said. “Same story, just giving it a new skin.”

Conceiving the highly physical, farcical scene in the forest with the four callow lovers and the Fairies “was, by far, the hardest part of adapting the show,” Golden said.

“When (the four lovers) talk about running away, they depart for Lysander’s rich aunt living outside of Athens, yet never quite reach the house,” he said. “In our production, it’s a summer cabin they call ‘The Wood.’ That’s one of our few scenes shot on location.”

 

Composer Lydia Arachne said that, while composing the 10 songs for the production peopled with teen performers, she “wanted to write music that would introduce them to a few, like, more complex concepts in music theory, so that I wasn’t just writing music to this for the sake of writing music to it,” said Arachne, who lists Paul Simon, Steely Dan, and prog-rock bands Yes and Genesis among her influences (“I imagine Peter Gabriel playing Oberon,” she said).

 

“There are a couple of songs written in the acoustic scale,” she said, “which is a non-standard scale that has been used in some of Bartok’s music and in some traditional Brazilian music.”

 

Morton, who described Arachne’s contribution as nothing short of “genius,” said that the composer’s “ability to craft a song using Shakespeare is, I think, the single most impressive thing about this project.”

 

 

To complete their high-tech concept, Morton and producer Elizabeth Santaus added April Chateauneuf (digital scenic designer) and Lyndsey Chance Simmons (choreography), as well as Jake Egan O’Hara and Nightwing Whitehead (costumes) to complete the design team.

 

“This production is the single, most collaborative thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Morton. “There’s no divas in the group.”

 

For more information or tickets for the show, visit FuseTheatreCT.org.

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Connecticut Shakespeare Theaters Plan Comedy, Smaller ,Summer Performances  by Christopher Arnott

4/23/21

 

A newcomer on the summer Shakespeare scene, the Madison-based Fuse Theatre of CT, founded in 2019, is readying a new virtual musical production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” This version of the fantasy romance finds its lovers lost not in an enchanted forest but in “the wilds of the world-wide web” during the isolated summer of 2020, according to the company’s website. The songs will be by Lydia Arachne, with lyrics taken from Shakespeare’s script.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream — The Rewired Musical” will run online May 21 through June 4. Its the debut production from FUSE, which was founded in 2019 and describes itself as “inclusive organization dedicated to educational outreach, development of new works, opportunities for career-oriented artists, exemplary training programs and a commitment to producing high quality theatrical productions.” More information is at fusetheatrect.org.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

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Tickets Available: 'Midsummer Night's Dream–The Rewired Musical' by Nancy Sasso-Janis

4/28/21 

 

FUSE THEATRE OF CT TAKES SHAKESPEARE'S ROMANTIC ROMP INTO THE DIGITAL WORLD WITH A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM – THE REWIRED MUSICAL!


Virtual Shakespeare Featuring Original Songs and Digital Setting to Premiere May 21 through June 4

March 15, 2021 - FUSE Theatre of CT, an exciting new theatre company, is taking Shakespeare into the 21st century digital forest with A Midsummer Night's Dream – The Rewired Musical. Marrying the classic romantic comedy to a virtual setting with all-new songs, this reboot finds the Bard's young lovers, royalty and mischief-making fairies caught in the wilds of the worldwide web. This innovative virtual production debuts May 21, 2020 and runs through June 4, 2021. Streaming tickets go on sale April 15 (Tax Day!) with special pricing available for households, frontline and gig workers, and educators wishing to share the production with their students.

In A Midsummer Night's Dream – The Rewired Musical, the characters find themselves in the scariest place imaginable: the summer of 2020! A global pandemic has altered the way humans interact and social distancing forces young lovers to maintain their connection via high-tech devices. Teenage Hermia is embroiled in a love triangle between Twitch streamer Demetrius and studious Lysander, while lovelorn Helena takes to YouTube and Instagram to post songs and stories of her unrequited love. Trouble-making fairies begin hacking, catfishing and trolling the quartet while fairy royalty Titania and Oberon wage war on one another, causing global anarchy. Amidst all of this chaos, an intrepid community theatre troupe of essential workers tries to mount their humble Zoom play for the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta. Remaining faithful to Shakespeare's timeless text, this reboot jumps the setting over 400 years and reminds us how the digital world can simultaneously pull us apart and bring us together.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

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We are so grateful to The Middletown Press for sharing the good news about our show!  To read the full article, please visit
THIS LINK!