The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

THS’s Magical Production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Cast+of+A+Midsummer+Nights+Dream
Seihyun (Shawn) Lee
Cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Next week—on Thursday, Friday, and  Saturday—Tenafly High School will present its production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. After last year’s sublime performance of the musical Oklahoma, students and staff eagerly await this fall’s production. Behind the scenes are teachers and students who put a lot of effort into creating this play and making it come to real life. So who are some of the actors, and what should the audience expect to see?

This play is directed by Mr. Ahn-Cooper, who’s been teaching acting and public speaking and directing plays at Tenafly High School since 2008. This year, he chose A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Why? “A Midsummer Night’s Dream is probably one of Shakespeare’s funniest plays and also a really good play for high school kids,” Ahn-Cooper said. “Not only can the actors understand it, but the audience can also understand it.” 

Poster for A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Producing this show didn’t come without its troubles. Shakespeare wrote this play in Early Modern English, which makes the play harder to speak out loud since it is different from how we speak English today. “One of the challenges of doing Shakespeare is that words need to be spoken clearly with volume,” Ahn-Cooper said. “But even more important is getting [the actors] to say it in a way that the audience will understand it as well.” Although directing a play is difficult, Ahn-Cooper sees it as a way to get students closer together by forming bonds with one another through practicing and working together. “The most memorable experience is that I got a great cast,” Ahn-Cooper said. “These fifteen kids…obviously did really well in the auditions and callbacks, so they are perfect for the roles they are playing. The cast is very tight, they bonded really well, and it is almost as if they are now family. Seeing these kids working together, challenging themselves in rehearsal, and trusting each other is what makes this group so memorable.” Ahn-Cooper is proud of the cast and feels that the bonding among the members is what makes the show so special. Three of the cast members—Nathan Uriona (’24), Sara Hau (’25), and Annabelle Denniston (’25)—wanted to share their stories of working together for this fall play. 

Annabelle Denniston (’25) is playing Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “One of my favorite scenes is when my character, Puck, hops and turns another character into a donkey,” Denniston said. “It’s just really funny, super funny.” She loves the funniness of the play, and she loves the cast too. In fact, Denniston has been in a handful of THS productions, and she said, “So far, this is my favorite cast I’ve been in! I get such a strong sense of community because everybody’s so nice and sweet to each other.” Uriona agrees. “It’s been a lot of fun with the cast, and with the tech crews too,” he said. Bonding with other members is crucial for an actor to grow and reach their potential and create a strong team, as Ahn-Cooper said. With friends, it’s easier to overcome challenges such as making the Shakespearean language more comprehensible to the audience. “It’s not easy to understand the Shakespearean language,” Denniston agreed. “But, overall, we worked really hard so it’ll be really easy to understand the lines. It’s Shakespearean, but if you listen, it’s actually really easy to understand and follow the plot.” 

In addition to making the Shakespearean language more comprehensible, they’re also setting this play in modern-day New York City instead of Athens in the Middle Ages. “I actually like how we’re playing out to be New Yorkers,” Sara Hau (’25) said. “Especially the opening scene, everybody plays like New Yorkers, and I love it!”

The insight into this upcoming play shows the amount of preparation it took to practice this year’s play. Mr. Ahn-Cooper, Annabelle Denniston, Sara Hau, and Nathan Uriona are just a few of the individuals who contributed to bringing this play to life, and there are a number of other exceptional actors who are ready to make this show happen.

All Tenafly students and staff are invited to see this play on November 2, 3, and 4 at 7:30 PM. Tickets will be available online or in front of Tenafly High School. Don’t miss out on this year’s play, and come out to enjoy the show.

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About the Contributors
Seihyun (Shawn) Lee, Guest Writer
Seihyun (Shawn) Lee ('25) is excited to be a guest writer for The Echo. He enjoys sharing his stories and listening to others' stories. He also enjoys coding, so he made a social media site called Atrable, where people can share their stories through audios and videos. He seems to be quite proud of it.
David Shin, Senior Staff Writer
David Shin ('25) is a Senior Staff Writer for The Echo. He is looking forward to covering stories of any genre that might pique the interest of students at Tenafly High School.