In September 2015, W!LD RICE will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a smart, sensuous reimagining of William Shakespeare’s classic comedy.
Following Little Riots and Other Stories and Geylang, two explosive, sold-out showcases of their own original writing, the 14 members of the young & W!LD ensemble have boldly decided to tackle one of Shakespeare’s best-known works.
This production marks the final showcase for the third cohort of young & W!LD, W!LD RICE’s youth development division.
“For this last showcase, we tasked them with choosing what they would like to do,” explains Serena Ho, co-director of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and one of young & W!LD’s programme directors. “After some serious discussion, they resolved to challenge themselves with a tried-and-tested script by Shakespeare – which is both a young actor’s wildest dream and also his biggest nightmare!”
The real test of the skills these young actors have honed through their time in young & W!LD is to find spaces for themselves within a classical piece that is both timeless and universal. “One lesson I think they are learning from this process is to trust the text, as well as themselves,” Ho elaborates. “Their mission is to make each and every word sound like their own.”
Rehearsals, including rigorous script analysis and voice-training, have been underway for several weeks. To help the ensemble get comfortable with Shakespeare’s lyrical, complicated poetry, the young actors have been working with theatre veteran Nora Samosir to hone their diction and enunciation.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the culmination of the 18-month training programme for this cohort of young & W!LD.
“We are incredibly proud to have borne witness to the growth of these aspiring theatre-makers over the past year and a half,” says Ivan Heng, Artistic Director of W!LD RICE. “Our goal with young & W!LD is to equip these young talents with the skills, confidence and maturity to contribute to Singapore’s theatre industry in years to come. It’s been a real privilege for us to watch them tackle and overcome all the challenges they have set for themselves: from creating their own original pieces, to reimagining Shakespeare in a fittingly young & W!LD way.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs from 23 to 27 September 2015 at SOTA Studio Theatre. Tickets are available on SISTIC now!