Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Coronavirus: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ plan changes in Green Bay


Downtown Green Bay and Play-by-Play Theatre

Scene from 2019 production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” (Shaunae Teske Photography)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – A repeat live performance of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” scheduled for Sunday, June 28, has been scratched. An alternative, virtual production is in the works.

The 2019 production of the comedy attracted an estimated 1,200 people to Whitney Park on Green Bay’s east side.

Sunday’s “Theatre in the Park” performance was again a collaboration of Downtown Green Bay, Inc. and Play-by-Play Theatre, a Green Bay-based professional company.

The live performance was canceled due to restrictions caused by the coronavirus COVID-19.

“We will not be having (the production) in the park, but they (Play-by-Play) plan to record and produce a version of the show that will be available online several different ways when it’s released,” said Jen Metcalf, event planner for Downtown Green Bay. “We’re hoping for early July.

“I do think it will be a unique production… We are excited to be able to modify rather than cancel.”

The live performance cancellation “prodded us at Play-by-Play to think of a creative alternative to still bring this show to Green Bay while keeping everyone safe,” said Mary Ehlinger, artistic director and co-founder.

“We are pursuing a more multi-media approach, and if it works out how we envision it, it will be pretty Bard-a-licious,” Ehlinger said, referring to Shakespeare’s nickname as the Bard.

“We are setting it in present day. We are filming via Zoom, iPhones as well as in a remote outdoor area – all the while following health and safety guidelines. Cyclops Girl Productions (of Jocelyne Berumen) will be filming the live scenes.”

Most of the cast of area talent has returned from the 2019 production, directed by Carolyn Silverberg.

The project has much work ahead, “But in any case, Play-by-Play Theatre plans to present it online as a virtual event, to be determined upon editing,” Ehlinger said.

Also scheduled this year by Downtown Green Bay and Play-by-Play Theatre is an Aug. 30 performance in Whitney Park of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” The cast was selected by virtual audition.

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