The workplace is in ruins and its harried occupants seem to be heading that way as well, which isn’t stopping the company jackass from making light of things.
People not bugged by that scenario — and perhaps some actual bugs — can watch it unveil during three weeks of performances of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” beginning Thursday at the Treadwell Mine Office and other venues. The popular Shakespeare play staged by Theater Alaska and featuring the Juneau Dance Theatre was selected for reasons beyond the fact it will overlap the actual midsummer’s night later this month when in Juneau the sunlight is visible at midnight.
”I think that coming out of our second year of COVID we wanted to do Shakespeare and we wanted to do something fun that whole families could come to,” said Flordelino Lagundino, the play’s producing artistic director.
The run is part of the Alaska Theater Festival, which will also feature performances of “Sisters of White Chapel” and “Climate Fair for a Cool Planet,” The festival previously included productions of “Pride and Prejudice,” a workshop for Alaska Native writers and Neighborhood Cabaret.
The ruins of the Treadwell Office nestled in among the trees near the shoreline of Sandy Beach are an ideal stage for a “Midsummer” production that retains the original Shakespearen dialogue (trimmed to fit into a 90-minute performance), but implements Juneau-themed characters and costumes, Lagundino said.
“The lovers in the play are dressed as fishermen in Juneau,” he said, citing an example. “We’re highlighting the fact we’re all from Juneau and Alaska, and trying to tell the story.”
The building itself, which went through a restoration and preservation process completed in 2019, remains rustic and eclectic enough to inspire scenes capturing the play’s themes of blissful irrational love amidst an aristocratic carnival.
“It’s exciting to go to a show and use the architecture of the building in a creative way,” Lagundino said. “What’s exciting for the space is that different parts offer different opportunities to highlight parts of the show.”
Among the featured performers are Theater Alaska company members Enrique Bravo and Tommy Schoffler, plus Natalia Spengler, Frank Delaney, Cate Ross and dancers from Juneau Dance Theatre.
Admission to the performances are free, although donations are welcome. Audience members are asked to bring their own seating.
There are no COVID-19 restrictions, although audience members are encouraged to wear face masks. The actors have been vaccinated and will not be masked while performing.
Performances at the mine office are scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday,, and a 3 pm. Sunday. Additional shows there are scheduled at 7 p.m. June 16, 17 and 18, and 3 p.m. June 19. The final week of shows will be at Riverside Rotary Park at 7 p.m. June 23 and 24, at Jensen-Olsen Arboretum at 7 p.m. June 25 and at Cope Park at 3 p.m. June 26.