Popular music meets Shakespeare


Dana Samaniego

David Hastings, director, provides directions during rehearsal.

Emma Collins, Reporter

What do Meghan Trainor and Shakespeare have in common? They are both being used in the play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the Black Box Theater this April 30 and May 1-2 starting at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $8, but because of the limited amount of space in the Black Box, there is no night when students get in free with their I.D’s.

David Hastings, performing arts teacher, is incorporating pop music from Meghan Trainor to help make the audience understand Shakespeare better.

From Trainor’s album “Title,” Hastings is using about a minute of every song, except “All about That Bass.” That whole song will be used for the curtain call. The cast of about 45 people will be dancing to the music while it plays on a tape.

“The songs that we are using from Meghan are basically telling what is going to happen or what has already happened,” Hasting said.

Every song explains the main points of the play. Overall Hastings cut about five to 10 lines out of the play.

Hastings has already had experience with putting pop music into a play, having done it with three other plays. Having used this method before Hastings said that he sees that the audience finally starts to understand what is going on.

“Adding in the music gives a more upbeat feel to the play. You have to get the message across using the music because a lot of people are afraid of Shakespeare’s language,” Alexis Roberts, sophomore, said.

Even though the concept may sound non-traditional, David Wernsman, junior, thinks the play will be “really funny and really fun to watch.” But, he did note they will be cleaning up the “dirty parts.”

“Midsummer” is about a dream with ancient Greek gods and characters, plus people from Shakespeare’s time.

There are three different worlds in the play that have very different characters in them: the fairies, the Greek gods and goddess and then the village people.

“I think it will look good overall. We just have to work at not making it look cheesy in the end,” Alexis McGhee-Dinvaut, sophomore, said.

The whole set is going to be built by the crew with a poster board that rotates in order to get certain scenery.

Although the play seems cheesy, the whole crew is looking forward to having people see it.