Shakespeare play coming to Hogansville

Published 9:00 am Thursday, April 13, 2023

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On April 16, the Hogansville Regional Arts Association is set to present Shakespeare’s “Midsummer’s Night Dream.”

“Midsummer’s Night Dream,” tells the story of four Athenians who run away to the forest only to encounter a mischievous fairy who turns their attempt at running away into a night they will never forget.

Helping bring the tale to life is Newnan’s Southern Arc Dance Company.

Dale Lyles, director of the show, said it has been a fun experience to work on the play.

“I’ve directed it twice before in my career, and it has been fun working with people who are essentially not actors. Most of them have never been on stage, and only one has done Shakespeare before,” Lyles said. “It’s been a thrill to watch these — especially the young dancers — figure out how to do all this, and they’re pretty good at it.”

Admission to the show is free and will take place at Askew Park at 4 p.m.

Lyles said “Midsummer’s Night Dream” is one of Shakespeare’s funniest plays.

“I was the artistic director of Newnan Theatre Company for over 25 years, and we would do Shakespeare every other year while I was in charge. What audiences found is that if it’s well done, then Shakespeare is just like watching a regular play. The language may be a little tougher than what audiences are used to, but you don’t have to understand every single word to get what’s going on,” Lyles said.

“When we did Twelfth Night, an older couple had come to see the show and as they were leaving, the man turned to his wife and I overheard him say, ‘That was really funny. Who wrote that?’ It’s my goal for people to come and think maybe we adapted it for a modern audience — something which I never do. It’s always Shakespeare’s language, and it’s fun to work with and see how the audience responds.”

Angie Bennett, volunteer board president, said the play will be HRAA’s first play back from hiatus.

“Hogansville is a small town and doesn’t have as many resources, people and talent readily available, so it’s going to be important to partner with other people from surrounding areas to produce things,” Bennett said. “Even though it’s not produced by people in Hogansville it sets the stage for our community collaborating with other people in the area.”

Bennett said to help support SADC in their efforts and their willingness to perform in Hogansville, Visit Hogansville made a donation to the company.

“I’m grateful that Visit Hogansville was generous enough to make a donation to help support them in their efforts and willingness to perform in our community for free,” Bennett said. “Collaboration is not only going to be imperative in terms of bringing things to Hogansville but also in supporting the theater with audience members, not just for Hogansville but from surrounding areas.”