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Photos: What fools these mortals be! Best takes on Shakespeare

Theatre students at Dr. Charles Best Secondary dive into the popular Shakespearean comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream,” opening May 2 at the Coquitlam high school.

For several weeks last year, theatre students at Dr. Charles Best Secondary in Coquitlam left sticky notes around Brad Case’s desk.

On his computer monitor and around his office, they dropped hints about what they wanted for their production in the spring of 2024.

“They were lobbying heavily,” the drama teacher told the Tri-City News on Friday, April 19, during a rehearsal in the school gym on a Pro-D Day.

At first, Case said he was reluctant to produce A Midsummer Night’s Dream given The Best Players had mounted the same production in 2018 “but they were very much invested in this so how could I turn them down?”

Opening Thursday, May 2, the student-driven play will feature about 25 cast members and 15 crew in the extra-curricular program.

Penned by English playwright William Shakespeare in the late 1500s, the work is widely performed at high schools around North America.

“It’s popular with teens because it’s about love, rebellion, standing up to authority, making choices and learning from mistakes,” Case said.

Set in Athens, the play centres on the marriage of Theseus and Hipployta, but involves several sub-plots — one of them a conflict between four Athenian lovers named Lysander, Demetrius, Hermia and Helena.

Meanwhile, another sub-plot revolves around a group of six actors rehearsing a play to be performed at the wedding; the two groups are manipulated by forest fairies but, in the end, Puck, who serves Oberon, the fairy king, reverses the magic.

Grade 12 student Adam Agosti, who plans to go to Capilano University in September for its Acting for Stage and Screen Diploma program, said his character of Oberon “gets what he wants” by putting a spell on his wife, Titania, to fall in love with him like when they were first courting.

Agosti said he was pleased to be cast as the fairy king after the auditions last fall.

“I’ve always loved acting and being on stage,” added Mason Broadhead, 16, a Grade 10 student who portrays Demetrius.

“I like to embody a character. I studied Shakespeare in class and I thought it would be fun for the school to see it played out live. And I like how, as a group, we have all improved so much in our acting skills. We’ve really become a good group and I hope to do more acting next year.”

Tickets to see The Best Players’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream on May 2–4 and May 9–11, 2024, are $15/$12. The box office opens at 6:45 p.m. at the gym at Dr. Charles Best Secondary (2525 Como Lake Ave., Coquitlam); the curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. Call 604-461-5581 for more show details.