April 18-20 & 25-27, 2002
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by David Fox
Weber Theatre, Watson Fine Arts
Professor of Theatre David Fox joined the Wheaton College faculty in 1991; he has directed 25 productions and acted in approximately 100 throughout his career. He directs Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the second time at Wheaton as the premier main-stage production in the new Weber Theatre. In the following interview, Fox talks about the production.
Why did you want to direct this play?
DF: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a tale of transformation that speaks with great humor and eloquence to the time in which we live: It depicts a world that yearns for peace and union after a time of prolonged violence and confusion. It speaks as well to the transformational powers of love and theatre itself which couldn’t be more appropriate as we present this show in our new theatre.
Why did you cast a woman as Puck?
DF: I had directed the show once before with a male Puck. And I had seen other productions that had featured a female Puck and thought it would be nice to try it. I wanted to see how the dynamic between Oberon and Puck worked with a female in the role. Also, very practically, we had Amelia Campbell, who I felt would be very good as Puck and qualified to play the part. I really wanted to do something different, atypical from the 1991 [Wheaton] version of Midsummer.
What challenges have you encountered with this production?
DF: The biggest challenge is the size of the cast itself. We’ve got 23 people, including 10 fairies, sizeable for an ensemble cast. Luckily, I have two wonderful stage managers, Amanda Weir and Rebecca Finklestein, who have been quite helpful in organizing schedules and keeping order during rehearsals and all of that. I would say organization is the biggest challenge. It is similar to directing a musical, such as the one that is featured in the production of Midsummer. You are working always on more than one front. You are certainly working with the acting, but you also have to be thinking about dance, movement, choreography and transitions—that kind of thing. But luckily, as I said, I have a wonderful crew. I have good people who helped me a lot in terms of organizing, and I have a good cast. Even though they are large in number, they have been very cooperative and have accomplished a lot.