Thomasville Entertainment Foundation’s Family Series kicks off October 24, with Southern Shakespeare Company’s production of "A Mini-Midsummer Night’s Dream" under the oak canopy at the Thomasville Center for the Arts.
"A Midsummer Night’s Dream" is one of William Shakespeare’s most enduring and beloved plays, and the 11 a.m. Saturday performance offers a one-hour abridgment of the fanciful story, complete with mischievous fairies, star-crossed lovers and comic hijinks set in an enchanted forest — in this case, the Center’s Washington Street circle.
A cast of 12 professional actors takes on the roles of the mischievous Puck, Fairy King Oberon, Fairy Queen Titania, Lysander, Hermia, Helena, Demetrius and more.
“TEF commissioned Southern Shakespeare to create this family-accessible version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream specifically for us in an outdoor setting,” said TEF’s Executive and Artistic Director Rick Ivey. “And while this production is trimmed down to about an hour to hold the attention of younger audience members, it maintains the language of Shakespeare to be of interest to a diverse audience of all ages — those very familiar with Shakespeare’s work and those who aren’t.”
Ivey said the event is a high quality, professional production, and TEF is excited to bring live performance back to the community in a safe, socially distanced outdoor setting. Audience members are asked to mask up and bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating. In compliance with Georgia’s COVID-19 guidelines, TEF will have hand sanitizing stations and disposable masks available, and audience capacity will be limited for safety.
For the hearing impaired, sign language interpretation of the performance will be provided for the TEF Family Series event. Additionally, representatives of Thomasville’s independent bookstore, The Bookshelf, will be on hand at the event with a selection of Shakespeare titles for sale.
In line with an important segment of its mission, TEF is currently sponsoring a series of school-based enrichment workshops on Shakespeare.
“Whenever possible, we supplement our Family Series programs with educational components or hands-on arts experiences. In this case, teaching artists from Southern Shakespeare have been leading workshops for students in the Thomasville City and Thomas County schools, as well as at Brookwood, with the option of in-person or virtual interaction,” said Barbara Lee, TEF’s vice president for Education.
Southern Shakespeare Company will also be presenting the production at Pope’s Museum in Cairo, also with educational outreach opportunities for students.
Like all of TEF’s Family Series offerings, "A Mini Midsummer Night’s Dream" will be free and open to the public. Presented in conjunction with Thomasville Center for the Arts, Thomasville Entertainment Foundation’s 2020-21 Family Series is made possible by generous donations in honor of Janice Faircloth from The Parker Poe Charitable Trust, The Emily and Bill Searcy Charitable Trust, Dr. and Mrs. Douglas C. McPherson, Diane Williams Parker and other friends of TEF.
For more information on Thomasville Entertainment Foundation and its programming, visit TEFconcerts.com or call (229) 226-7404.