QC brings William Shakespeare to the stage
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: Mar 20, 2017
Theseus, Duke of Athens, is preparing for his marriage to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. A courtier seeks the duke’s intervention because his daughter, Hermia, will not agree to his choice of Demetrius as a husband. She’s in love with Lysander.
That is the briefest description that can be made of the William Shakespeare play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, which Queen’s College (QC) students will tackle this year in their Broadway Over Queen’s production.
Lauren Tovey, Queen’s College English language and literature teacher, who has taken over the production this year and decided on Shakespeare, said it’s something new and exciting for the students.
“Last year, the Royal Shakespeare Company had a whole year of putting on ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ all around the world, so I thought it would be good for us to get involved,” said Tovey, a self-professed lover of Shakespeare.
“I love Shakespeare. I think he’s fantastic, and I think he speaks to all sorts of people. His stories are clever, witty, funny. I like his comedies the best, so I thought it would be a real challenge for Queen’s College to put on a Shakespeare, because it’s not been done before. I think people are scared of Shakespeare, but it’s really not that scary,” she said.
Tovey said the students have been doing well, and after three months of rehearsals, the 25-strong cast is as prepared as they can be for when the curtain goes up on the two-day production, March 23–24 at The Geoffrey Brown Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
“The language was a bit of a struggle in the beginning, but now they’re understanding what’s going on. They’ve taken to their characters really well. I think it’s going to be a really fun production.”
Tovey said she hopes the students benefit from the experience of working with a new work of literature that will hopefully help them with their studies and that they have a good time putting on a Shakespeare play.
Their staging of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” comes one year after QC brought the romantic cult hit “Grease” to the stage. For that performance, directed by Gregory Deane, head of the modern language department, the cast was 75 strong.
Prior to “Grease” the school performed “Guys and Dolls” in 2014.
Before that they had two Broadway revues — “Broadway Over Queens I” in 2010 and “Broadway Over Queens II” in 2011. Those performances were a mish-mash of melodies and excerpts from different musicals.
QC believes in catering to a wide cross-section of young people. As a fully comprehensive school operating under The Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church, the school’s interest lies not only in academic excellence, but also in raising well-rounded, courteous, spiritually grounded global citizens. To that end, the school affords students the opportunity to participate in a number of activities and clubs, one of the most popular being the productions it stages under the Broadway Over Queens banner.
Shawn Turnquest, QC vice principal and head of school, has expressed pride in her school’s performing arts program.
“We have a number of teachers who love and are interested in the performing arts, and we have a number of students who thrive on the performing arts and love performing,” she previously told The Nassau Guardian.
Turnquest said QC students visit Europe every two years, and every time they go through London, they go to the theater. The music department, she said, takes students to either Atlanta or New York annually.
“Our desire is to expose students to theater, and because so many of them cannot travel, we want to bring the theater to them,” said Turnquest.
Tickets for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” are $15 per adult, $10 per child under 12 and can be purchased at Queen’s College.