By Seneca Ransom
Many students look forward to the upcoming SAC events and others rally up for the ultimate throwdown: the Malone beat Walsh game in March. Another event that students look forward to is the Spring play. This year Malone’s campus is being taken over by the supposed king of theatre, William Shakespeare. This semester’s play is none other than Midsummer Night’s Dream. Characterized by its zany characters, outlandish plot lines, and overall romantic theme, students are sure to find some point of interest. Josof Ruttig, a freshman Music Education major, encourages fellow Malone students to become involved in the theatre. He has been cast as the character, Bottom, in the play. A man who is turned into a creature with the head of a donkey. He describes how theatre, and more importantly Malone theatre, has impacted his life. “Theatre brought me to that passion and continuing the journey here with amazing people is so special-our director Tammie McKenzie has absolutely changed my life. All the people in the theater are hardworking devoted individuals. I don’t know where I’d be w ithout them.” said Ruttig. While many people tend to be overwhelmed when they hear the name, Shakespeare, Ruttig assures possible viewers that Shakespeare is not as pretentious as many have been led to believe. “Shakespeare has this air around it, that it’s hard to understand. You have people reading it in middle school and high school. It just not the way it was meant to be understood, it was meant to be presented visually.” He goes on to assure that it’s not as difficult to watch as people might think. As far as relevance, Ruttig describes the “genius” of Shakespeare for knowing how to present a narrative that transcends time. “He knew what was universal and what people liked or saw in their lives. Whether that be sorrow or romance.” Not only does the theatre department rely on students to come and see the plays they also encourage them to act in it as well. Christian Sanko, a junior Communication Arts major, is co-directing as well as acting in the play. He will be portraying the character Lysander. He encourages audiences to come out and see Midsummer Night’s Dream. “Everybody should know this semester is going to be one of the best they’ve ever seen.” said Sanko. Sanko gave some insights into the play and what Malone students can expect despite previous experiences with Shakespearean material. “This [play] has some drama to it but it’s almost a romantic comedy, the irony of a fairy goddess falling in love with a guy with the head of a donkey.” He also expressed what an incredible opportunity Malone theatre has offered him with being able to work on a play in these capacities as a student. Ruttig seems to agree about the opportunities that Malone theatre experiences afford. Not only educationally or in a career-focused way, but socially. “It’s a really beautiful thing to be a part of” said Ruttig. One of his favorite experiences he describes as call-backs. “Callbacks are basically enacting scenes from the play on the fly. ‘Have fun with it.’ It’s so much fun just a bunch of people having a great time and sharing meaningful experiences.” Ruttig hopes that more Malone students will look into becoming involved with the productions over the semesters. He reassures students that participating in Malone’s theatre is not limited to only the highly experienced. “It is an educational experience not a ‘professional experience.’ Everyone is here to have fun, not be ‘perfect.’ The goal is to educate although we do strive for greatness, it is not the main purpose.” said Ruttig. But we cannot talk about Malone theatre without mentioning the people working behind the scenes for Midsummer Night’s Dream. Kate Daughtery, a freshman double major in Sports Management and Business Administration, will be participating in stage crew for the play. She does have prior experience in high school although she is not pursuing a career related to theatre or the technical work associated with the stage crew. She offers the experiences that have led her to continuing pursing participation. “In the past I’ve just loved to be a part of it and learn from the actors. I have a little stage fright so you won’t see me on the stage as an actor but I always love the idea of what goes on behind scenes.” said Daughtery. She also hopes that Malone students will join in with helping the theatre productions no matter their career goals or majors. Even though it might sound intimidating she offers that, “You don’t have to be a theatre or communications major or minor to join, you can literally be anything. Don’t let that hold you back.” She also reminds students who might not be sure of the behind the scenes look of theatre, “even though stage crew is not onstage and you don’t see them during the show-it’s a fun family but it’s also a way to support people. Without a stage crew, actors are just standing there on a blank stage. It’s cool to see people work together and make the show work.” Malone’s production of Midsummer Night’s dream will be performed at 8pm from April 22-25. Students are encouraged to support Malone theatre, their classmates, and to have a good time.