The Culminating Performance: A Midsummer’s Night Dream

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind.” 

A few years ago, I heard my oldest son, Ethan, speak those famous lines as Lysander during his eighth grade performance of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” at WES. Tonight, a different group of students will perform the Bard’s multi-layered examination of love and its peculiarities. 

Shakespeare is considered one of the greats due to his keen insight into universal truths about the human condition, biting sense of wit, and mastery of word play. He’s credited with the invention or introduction of more than 1,700 words that are still used in English today. He’s also the author of many quips and expressions still in common use, such as the Lysander line quoted above. 

For these reasons, he’s a core component of many, many English literature classes. Many of his stylings and phrasings are difficult for a contemporary teenager to understand. But there’s no better way to study Shakespeare than to perform his work. This is why “A Midsummer’s Night Dream,” a collaboration between the Middle School English and Performing Arts departments, is the culmination of our students’ performing arts experience at WES.

Our students learn in a fun and engaging way as they immerse themselves in the language. Our Middle School students also build sets, run lighting, design costumes, and serve as backstage crew, building their time management and executive functioning skills, as they bring this production to life.  

Whereas the Grade 6 Musical is a mainstage performance to which the whole community is invited, this performance is presented black box style with limited seating available only to Grade 8 parents and siblings. However, you can still join the fun at 6:30 p.m. via Livestream on YouTube. 

As the Bard himself would say, “parting is such sweet sorrow.” However, I look forward to seeing many of you tonight!