Saint Martin’s to stage “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

March 22, 2012

MidSummersNightLACEY, WASHINGTON—What happens in the forest stays in the forest —or it would have but for William Shakespeare, who revealed it all in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

In Shakespeare's most delightful, raucous and lyrical comedy, two pair of young Athenians escape the tyranny of their parents' rule and enter the unpredictable netherworld of the forest. There, the fairies start manipulating events. A spat between the fairy king and queen prompts the king to have his minion, Puck, make the queen fall in love with an ugly animal. Puck also doses one of the young Athenians with love potion so he’ll fall in love with the girl who adores him.

David Hlavsa, Ph.D., theater arts professor at Saint Martin’s University, is directing the play. It can be seen at 7:30 p.m. April 13-14 and April 18-21 at Olympia’s State Theater, 204 4th Ave. East. A matinee will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 15. Tickets are available at the door: $12 General Admission; $7 for students, seniors and the military.

According to Hlavsa, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” deals a lot with our dream life and what we’ve suppressed. Nowadays, the play is either presented in a flowery, gauzy style rooted in the 19th century or in a darker approach dating from the 1960s.

He’s chosen the latter, setting the Saint Martin’s production in the early 1970s, an era marked by tensions between the rigid, authoritarian establishment and an experimental, sensual counter-culture.  The musical tradition will be drawn more from Joan Jett and David Bowie than from Felix Mendelssohn, and the fairies will be of a decidedly “glam-rock proto-punk” persuasion, he says. But it’ll be true Shakespeare at his storytelling best.

“Shakespeare always gives you much, much more than you can work with,” Hlavsa says, “Story, spectacle, poetry — you try to get it all, but you also have to make some choices.  We’re emphasizing the play’s farcical elements.”
For further information, please contact Hlavsa at 360-438-4345 or

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Everett College, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

For additional information:

David Hlavsa, Ph.D.
Theater Department

Sarah Holdener
Director of community relations and event management
Office of Marketing and Communications
Saint Martin’s University