`Dream' is a real night out

Experiment: The director of Howard Community College's `A Midsummer Night's Dream' has decided to go where the play leads him -- into the woods.


Three weekend performances by Howard Community College students and alumni of William Shakespeare's beloved romantic comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream" promise to be a little different.

That is, if the weather holds.

Beginning April 30 and running through May 16, HCC's production will start in Theatre Outback but will move audience outdoors midway through the play to a newly built stage on the college campus.

The play's director, Bill Largess, said the move outside should bring audience members closer to the action by making them a part of it.

"I think this'll be pretty fun," said Largess, who teaches performing arts at the college. Two of the play's characters, Puck and Bottom, "will be leading the audience out of the theater and back in. Since part of the play takes place outside in the woods, being outdoors should make it become very real."

In case of rain, Largess said, the audience and cast of 30 will remain inside throughout the play.

Though Largess, 43, has taught at HCC for three years, this is his first time at the helm of a production.

An accomplished actor, he is nominated for the prestigious Helen Hayes Award -- the Washington theater community's answer to the Tony Awards -- for best leading actor for his role in the George Bernard Shaw play "Man and Superman" for the Washington Stage Guild.

The award ceremony will be held at Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington on May 3.

Largess also was nominated for a Hayes Award last year for his performance as lead actor in the Oscar Wilde play "An Ideal Husband."

The cast of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is drawn from a troupe known as the Performing Arts Group. The troupe put on three events per semester, usually small dramatic or musical presentations performed in the college's coffeehouse or main dining hall.

HCC's production of William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" runs for three weekends in Theatre Outback from April 30 through May 16. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. All seats are $5. Information and tickets: 410-772-4900.

Pub Date: 4/22/99

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