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Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ performed in Churchtown

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By DAVID LEE

How cool these mortals be
Last weekend’s presentation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” was a community theater project bringing together a cast from diverse backgrounds and degrees of experience. Director Carol Rusoff envisioned the Shakespeare play being presented within the posts and beams of the unique Churchtown Dairy round barn, cows having been moved out to pasture for the summer. It was about as close as a theater could get to the feeling of the Globe Theater in London, the play’s original venue. Photo by David Lee

CHURCHTOWN – In production since May, the play came together for three 200-capacity full-house performances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at the Churchtown Dairy (see front page photo). For Director Carol Rusoff, theater is about people and she and her production team saw to it that the broadest range of audience as well as cast would be included. Admission was free and an outreach program including a shuttle bus from Hudson brought audiences to and back from the barn.

When all was said and done, the assessment was that it was a great success.

“It was exhausting in process but when it was finished I felt so gratified. I loved the audience and the outreach worked well,” she said. “The cast became like a family. I think I was most gratified by that.”

Asked if she thought this barn might be used for a Shakespeare play again, she said, “They now have this stage so it seems like they could.”

And asked if she would direct it, her response was guarded. “It was exhausting and during the production I thought this would be my swan song, but now I feel as though I could maybe do it again.”

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