The Cherry Blossom Players are going where they’ve never gone before: Shakespeare.
For the first time, the Belleville/Nutley theater troupe is tackling the bard’s work with a production of “A Midsummer Night's Dream."
The play is in its earliest stages, with cast and crew still being assembled.
Angie Noll, one of the troupe's veteran actors, chose the play and is serving as the guest director for the production.
It is her favorite Shakespeare and she has often performed monologues from the play for various events including auditions and talent shows,” Emily Pacitto, Supervising Administrator for the Cherry Blossom Players said. “She feels [the play] has a large fan base and that even people who are unfamiliar with Shakespeare's other works will be familiar with the play.”
One of her main goals for the production is to reach as many people as possible.
The Cherry Blossom Players specialize in works with roots in the 20th and 21st centuries, such as their production of Agatha Christie’s “Murder is Announced,” which they are performing Feb. 20 through Feb. 22.
Pacitto said presenting Shakespeare to general audiences presents both challenges and opportunities, but the Players hope they’ll win crowds over.
“The challenges of putting this on is making classic literature appealing to many people,” Pacitto said. “The opportunities are to familiarize audience members and actors with the this classic story who wouldn't necessarily be exposed to Shakespeare's work.”
Rehearsals have yet to begin for the play, which will be performed the week after Easter. They are auditioning by appointments this weekend and next for roles in the play and urge interested performers to visit their Facebook Event page or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
“Angie wants to take this as an opportunity to make a classic understandable and accessible to many people, from those on stage to the audience,” Pacitto said.