A Midsummer Night's Dream (Stage Play Review)

By Chie Credo - Friday, September 06, 2019

 Xavier Stage (TXS) brings to us the adaptation of William Shakespeare’s well-loved comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It conveys together Shakespeare’s masterful plot, the mystique and vibrancy of the pre-Islamic Maranao culture, and the depth and playfulness of the Cebuano language together in one beautifully woven piece of art. The language connection is feature filling in Shakespeare’s plot with native. It uses the Cebuano language intricately and artfully with all those poetic forms, yet it is so carefully chosen that it doesn’t alienate modern speakers, thus breaking down the barriers that hinder our connection to the full range of emotion the story tells. Add to that, the ancient Maranao culture and folklore added the depth and connection that brings us closer to home. With all these elements brought together, the adaptation, instead of coming up with a jumble of a play, breaks down the complex truths, details, and emotions and rearranges it into a simpler experience, which made it completely fascinating.

The transition from one act to the next were handled very well and everything looks very professionally done. The use of live Maranao instruments to both accent high parts of the play and aid in transition between acts is vibrant. The cast were chosen carefully and did fit the roles. The use of the Moon as central connector across all scenes is brilliant. The lights shift to different hues as the scene changes, which aids in telling the story better. The costumes were bright and colorful, and together with the props, it is indeed a visual treat.
The comic relief of the entire play and the final scene on the Sultan’s wedding day brought the house down to laughter and applause.

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