Inver Hills Theatre presents
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A Comedy by William Shakespeare
Directed by George M. Roesler
Final performance was Saturday, March 8, 2014
$5 general admission
$4 senior citizens
FREE to all students everywhere
No reservations necessary. Tickets may be purchased at the door the evening of performance.
“The course of true love never did run smooth”
A dream world outside Athens—for lovers, fairies and clowns, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream conjures the images of magic and illusion blurring the border between dreams and reality, between the fairy-world and that of the mortals.
Interwoven in this delightful comedy are the stories of three groups of characters: The Mortals, The Mechanicals (The Clowns), and The Fairies. As the plot unfolds, the characters’ confrontations reverberate in the misty, sometimes nightmarish confusion triggered by the fairies in the forest and we come to realize that the supernatural beings are as human as the humans.
“Love makes fools of us all.”
- THESEUS/OBERON—Stefan Chellsen, Apple Valley, Minn.
- HIPPOLYTA/TITANIA—April Bailey, Eagan, Minn.
- PHILOSTRATE/PUCK—Kelsey Anderson, Apple Valley, Minn.
- HERMIA—Shannon Blomgren, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
- HELENA—Mariah Schumacher, Cottage Grove, Minn.
- LYSANDER—Jon Stafki, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
- DEMETRIUS—Alex Garbarino, Cannon Falls, Minn.
- QUINCE [Prologue]—Christina Colen, Rosemount, Minn.
- BOTTOM [Pyramus]—Alexander Frost, Northfield, Minn.
- FLUTE [Thisby]—Logan Daniels, Apple Valley, Minn.
- SNOUT [Wall]/EGEUS—Victor Bartosiewicz, Woodbury, Minn.
- SNUG [Lion]—Craig Lee, Woodbury, Minn.
- STARVELING [Moonshine]—Joey Hock, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
- PEASEBLOSSOM—Holly Butler, Cottage Grove, Minn.
- COBWEB—Amanda Goblirsch, Lakeville, Minn.
- MUSTARDSEED—Victoria Coyne, St. Paul, Minn.
- Stage Manager—Katie Ross, Cottage Grove, Minn.
To view a large gallery of images from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, click HERE.
Actor spotlights…April Bailey, 19, a 2012 graduate of Rosemount High School, got her start acting as a 4-year-old in a play written by her mother. “I was unintimidated by the stage,” April said. “People in my family say I have been acting since I was in the womb.”
Performing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a dual role as “Titania,” queen of the fairies, and “Hippolyta,” queen of the Amazons, represents April’s fifth appearance in an Inver Hills Theatre production. She played “Maggie” in Lend Me a Tenor, “Badrolbadour” in Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, and “Joanna” in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, all directed by Jason Gonzalez, as well as “Vera” in And Then There Were None, directed by George Roesler.
At RHS, April worked on short films as an actress, audio person and assistant director. She also performed in musicals, including Jekyll & HYDE and The Emperor’s New Clothes. She volunteers at St. Michael Broadcasting, UHF TV Ch. 16, and values her time at the Catholic television station as an invaluable learning experience.
On Titania: “She’s like a river of powerful, shifting emotions. You never know where she’s going to go.”
On Hippolyta: “She’s like stone and a very fierce warrior.”
“It’s impossible to say what I like best about acting,” said April, who is pursuing her A.A. degree at Inver Hills and will graduate spring 2014. Her plan is to double major at Metropolitan State University, earning a B.A. in Theater and a B.A. in Professional Communication. “Acting comes naturally to me and it would be fair to say I’m happiest when I’m on stage.”
April wishes to continue acting all her life. She is interested in a wide variety of career opportunities, including film auditions and taking voice lessons for opera. She ranks the Twin Cities as a major cultural center and wishes to stay in Minnesota “forever” to be close to her family.
“I love to perform and I’m open to whatever avenue that takes me,” she said. “I love to act. I love to sing. I love the arts. For me, art needs to glorify God, goodness, beauty and truth.”
An All-American point guard at Mesquite High School in Gilbert, Ariz., Shannon Blomgren, 19, still found time to act in a number of plays, including The Crucible and Othello, but she didn’t throw herself fully into theater until she arrived at Inver Hills.
“I talked to Jason Gonzalez at orientation about the A.F.A. in Theatre and he said they needed someone like me in their department,” said Shannon, referring to her first meeting with one of her future instructors and directors. “Jason said it was because I talked to everyone.”
Shannon has appeared in previous Inver Hills Theatre productions, including And Then There Were None, Aladdin and Lend Me a Tenor. She also played “Mrs. Lovett” in the November 2013 production of Sweeney Todd. “That was the most rewarding and challenging role in my life so far,” she said. “I took vocal lessons all summer from Stan Rothrock, a music instructor at the college. To say Stephen Sondheim’s music is tough is an understatement.”
On Hermia: “She is a strong-willed, independent girl. We joke that I was typecast for the role because I have to do very little acting.”
Shannon loves acting for its singular atmosphere. “You get so many different emotions right before you go on stage,” she said. “It’s the best feeling in the world. You’re excited, you’re anxious and you know you’re ready. Every night is different. So many crazy things can happen. Closing night is really sad because you know this will be the last time you perform after so much work.”
A resident of Inver Grove Heights, Shannon will be graduating fall 2014 with her A.F.A. in Theatre. She is thinking about creating her own degree path at Hamline University or the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with an emphasis on education, theatre and communication. “I don’t want to leave Inver Hills, though,” she said. “I love how the campus is just like a university, only smaller.”
Shannon will greatly miss her time with the Inver Hills Theatre. “People don’t realize how much work goes into putting on a production,” she said. “But for us it’s not work because we are all friends. You go to rehearsal and hang out with your friends.”
About the director…George Roesler has been teaching theatre at Inver Hills Community College for 33 years. Born in Waseca, Minn., and a resident of St. Paul, George earned a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre with an emphasis in directing and a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Theatre with a minor in art from Minnesota State University, Mankato. As part of his M.F.A., he completed a two-year internship at the Guthrie Theater, an experience he credits with showing him the inner workings of really good theatre. George also has an Associate in Arts from Rochester Community and Technical College.
“I started at Inver Hills in the fall of 1980,” George said. “Ron Wiger, the theatre director at the college for years, was a Mankato graduate. Ron was taking a sabbatical and he called my professors at Mankato to see if they had anyone who could take his place—and they called me. I was his one-year replacement. That turned into two years, that turned into three years and that turned into permanent. I was very lucky.”
Above and beyond the cast of 16, more than 30 students, including a stage manager, contributed to the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, building sets as well as handling lighting and sound duties.
George reported that the Inver Hills Theatre does three plays a year, including a children’s play in April for students in area elementary schools. The theatre puts on a musical every couple of years. George has directed numerous plays at Inver Hills over the course of three decades. Jesus Christ Superstar, a musical, stands out in his memory, as do Frankenstein and Dracula, both dramas. He also directed a version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night set in the mod period of the 1960s.
“We’re looking at adding a fourth play—a second play in fall semester now that we have the A.F.A. in Theatre,” George said. “That would be a student-directed, one-act in the Black Box,” he added, referring to the Black Box Theatre in the Fine Arts building. The Black Box, which also serves as a classroom, is undergoing acoustics upgrades.
“I don’t teach down to my students. I’ve kept the courses so that students have to work to come up and get something out of them. Essentially, I’m working for my students. I owe my students everything I can give them.”
Building relationships with his students is one aspect of teaching that George finds most rewarding. He wants to make a difference in some small way in their lives He also noted that the A.F.A. in Theatre is a wonderful opportunity for young people. “Theatre at larger high schools is thriving,” he said. “Hundreds of students audition for plays. It’s a great way to participate.”
His advice for students thinking of pursuing the A.F.A. in Theatre centers on hard work and determination. “Theatre is a tough profession and one of those areas where you have to work your way up,” he said. “But I don’t believe achieving success in the arts is any more difficult than making it in business, IT or math. Apply yourself and focus and you can make a career.”
Every summer, George directs plays for Shakespeare & Company at the Outdoor Theatre Complex on the west campus of Century College. Last summer, he directed Macbeth; this summer, he will direct As You Like It with performances scheduled for July 4, 6, 12, 20, 25 and Aug. 2. “People bring blankets and picnic baskets,” he said. “It’s a really good experience.”
George’s wife, Bobbi, is a management consultant for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Bobbi also works as a costumer for George’s summer plays. They have two daughters, Megan, 29, a St. Paul firefighter and paramedic, and a graduate of the Inver Hills EMS program, and Briana, 26, a teacher and abstract painter with a B.F.A. in Art from the University of Wisconsin, Stout.
To view a large gallery of images from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, click HERE.
For more information about A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the college’s A.F.A. in Theatre, contact:
- George Roesler