Last week, A Midsummer Night’s Dream opened in the Nelke Theatre and it was a great success! Eric and I were pleased to be a part of the opening night and celebrate not only the opening night of the production, but also the 40th anniversary of the Brigham Young University Young Company. In order to set the tone of the evening, patrons were encouraged to check out the lobby display that Eric and I had created for the show. We chose to do a puppet making station, aptly named “The Mechanicals Puppet Making Station” where guests and participants could make their own puppet out of a sock or paper bag. Other craft supplies were provided for the participants—allowing them to use their imagination and create a unique puppet that they could take home. Creating such a lobby display, we hoped to provide patrons, and especially children, with an opportunity to use their imagination and create something special, as well as connect with the style of the production before seeing the show. The role of puppetry is crucial to this adaptation of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream—and we wanted to capture this and incorporate it whatever lobby display we chose. The actor’s hard work and rehearsal, as well as that of the production team, paid off—they did a marvelous job in telling the story of these loopy lovers and the adventures that take place in the magical forest. The puppetry skills and acting chops of the actors, the enchanting costumes, simple set design, and energy from the whole cast was thoroughly enjoyed by the very diverse and supportive audience. It was a packed house: if not sold out, very close. And this definitely contributed to the energetic feeling that pervaded the evening. Perhaps it was the presence of so many alumni from the Young Company that had come to support the production and celebrate the 40th anniversary of the formation of Young Company. Among the guests at the premier were Harold Oaks, founder of the BYU Young Company. Following the play, a presentation was made outlining and honoring the history and legacy of Young Company. Young Company has done an outstanding job for the last 40 years in providing quality theatre (adaptations and original works alike) for children that may not be exposed to the performing arts. A wonderful reception followed the presentation and was well enjoyed by cast and crew alike. A Midsummer Night’s Dream closes at BYU this Saturday, the 14th. Make sure to get your tickets soon and catch this unique production while you can! It will then go on tour throughout Northern Utah, presenting its whimsical and humorous message to elementary school children. Following are some images from the Opening Night Gala!