According to college records, a Shakespeare play has not been produced by the Beloit College theatre department since 1997. That discovery was enough to put John Kaufmann in motion.
The assistant professor of theatre arts, drawn in by the accessibility of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, will direct the comedy on campus from April 24 through May 3. “It is such a fun play with a delightfully clear plot that audiences recognize and really gets across the beauty of Shakespeare,” he says.
In true liberal arts fashion, Kaufmann was inspired by how the play could incorporate a variety of disciplines and areas of the college.
“… Shakespeare opens windows into poetry, into history, into culture, and ideally into our own humanity today in a way that is so rich,” says Kaufmann.
Kaufmann hopes his production will not only bring creative minds across fields, but also offer a full experience for the audience. “I’m hoping that from the moment the audience comes into the theatre, the world that the class and the designers have created will infect them, and it will be a contagious environment,” he says. “It will take them to another world.”
Edna Thompson (1914) played Trinculo in
The Tempest, an all-female production staged
by the college’s Shakespeare Society in 1913,
when plays by the Bard were a staple at Beloit.
Photo courtesy of Beloit College Archives.