Jamal Douglas (Lysander) and Sarah Van Auken (Hermia) share a tender moment
PHOTO: Alexandra Orgera

“The course of true love never did run smooth.”
William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, Delaware Shakespeare Festival presents Shakespeare’s most magical comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. During one enchanting forest night, a fairy king and queen duel for supremacy, younglovers fall wildly out of and into love, and the world’s worst acting troupe puts on a remarkable show. With music and dance, comedy and romance, this is the perfect play for an outdoor summer night.  This year’s performance, directed by newly-appointed Artistic Director David Stradley, opens this summer at the Rockwood Mansion Park on July 13th and runs through July 28th.

 “Delaware Shakespeare Festival is a professional theatre company dedicated to making Shakespeare accessible and fun by presenting affordable, high-quality classical theatre and education programs to the residents and visitors of the greater Delaware Valley”.

Jamal Douglas (Lysander) and Sean Bradley (Demetrius) engage in a tug-of-war over Jennifer Starr Foley (Helena)
Photo: Alexandra Orgera

Taking the reins this year as director is newly-appointed Artistic Director David Stradley.  Stradley has a long history with the festival as a performer and director and is truly excited to bring A Midsummer Night’s Dream to Rockwood.  “Besides being a great idea to celebrate DSF’s 10th Anniversary by going back to the same show that started us off,” David elaborates, “this is just a fantastic play for an outdoor summer’s night. It’s got so much of what I love about Shakespeare – beautiful language, characters going through something we’ve all gone through (falling in love), crazy comedy, and a bit of magic.”

This year marks a year of unprecedented collaboration with a couple of other well-respected Delaware Arts organizations in staging A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  David Amado – esteemed Music Director of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra – is writing some music for the production.  Alex Bucker – a dancer and choreographer with First State Ballet Theatre – is choreographing.

Sean Bradley (Demetrius) and Jamal Douglas (Lysander) try to keep Sarah Van Auken (Hermia) from attacking Jennifer Starr Foley (Helena)
PHOTO: Alexandra Orgera

As in the past few years, DSF is also including several apprentices to the production.  One of this year’s apprentices is RoShawn Briscoe, who will be playing the roles of Snout and Mustardseed.  He is a Dover resident who made the cut after the intense audition process.  RoShawn is of particular note because he is a military veteran who served two tours of duty in Iraq.  When he returned stateside, he decided he would try his hand at acting.

Delaware Shakespeare Festival performs on the grounds of Rockwood Mansion.  The entrance is located just south of Shipley Road on the Washington Street Extension in Wilmington, Delaware.   A Midsummer Night’s Dream will run July 13-28.  Wednesday – Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. (Gates open at 6:15 for pre-show and picnicking).  Sunday performances begin at 6:00 pm (Gates open at 4:45pm).

General admission to the festival is $15. $12 for seniors (65+) / Active Military with I.D.  $10 for Students.  Children 5 years and under will be admitted free of charge.  On Sunday, children 12 and under will be admitted free with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Click here to purchase ticketsvisit or simply purchase at the door.


For more information about A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the 2012 festival, visit www.delshakes.org or email [email protected]

Thank you to JIM BURNS, Director of Marketing,  of the Delaware Shakespeare Festival for contributing this article.