'A Midsummer Night's Dream' revival

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BRATTLEBORO — New England Youth Theatre celebrates 20 years of theater By Kids, For Kids with a revival its very first production, William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," directed by NEYT alum Ben Stockman. The show will be performed at 6 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday at 100 Flat St.

One of Shakespeare's most-produced comedies, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is a festive and magical tale populated by lovers, fools and faerie folk. Framed by the wedding of Athenian Duke Theseus to the former Amazon Queen Hippolyta, the story follows three interconnecting plots, with undertones of heartache, betrayal, and jealousy.

As a member of the very first cast, and now an NYC director in his own right, Stockman brings it full circle to helm an NEYT Summer Shakespeare to remember.

"Coming back to Brattleboro to direct this play feels like a truly magical moment," says Stockman, "and it really brings home the idea that NEYT is `for kids, by kids' - even grown ones! I discovered my voice here at NEYT, and I'm so honored to be able to pay it forward to this next generation of storytellers."

A recent graduate of Ohio University's Directing MFA program, Stockman is currently a director based in Brooklyn, N.Y. and the co-founder of the Candy 4 Breakfast theater collective. He is joined in this production by Linklater designated teacher, director, and actor Keely Eastley.

In a departure from NEYT's traditional summer programming, this production also features actors from NEYT's Junior Company, comprised of performers ages 10-13. Directed by Shakespeare & Company founding member John Hadden, they will join the Senior Company onstage as the `gnarly fairy squad.' These youngsters will also be performing a showcase of favorite scenes and monologues from the play in their own Junior Shakes Showcase at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

Tickets for these performances are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $11 for students. Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.neyt.org, in person at the NEYT Box Office.

This show was made possible through support from Baystate Financial and the Trust Company of Vermont. New England Youth Theatre is also supported by the Vermont Children's Trust Fund, Vermont Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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