MIAMI— Just in time for Black History month, the New World School of the Arts college theater division stages a daring and innovative interpretation of Shakespeare’s timeless comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Directed by NWSA faculty Andrew Noble in collaboration with Estela Vrancovich, costume designer for NWSA, this production looks at the world of Shakespeare through the lens of Santería, the Afro-Cuban syncretic religion.

The six-day schedule begins on Friday, February 12, 7:30 pm. Louise O’ Gerrits Theatre, 25 N.E. 2nd Street downtown Miami. Additional performances will be on February 13, 19 & 20 at 7:30 pm; and Sunday, February 14 & 21 at 2:00 pm. General admission is $12, students and seniors $5.

Directed by NWSA faculty Andrew Noble in collaboration with Estela Vrancovich, costume designer for NWSA, the concept to add this new dimension to the classic comedy was conceived last May in London during the division’s Overseas Theatre Study. “Stimulated by the innovative productions that we experienced, we debated NWSA mission and the opportunities we offer our students,” stated noble, “The conversation raised the issue of interdisciplinary collaboration, risk taking and experimentation, and the composition of the student body. I believe that Shakespeare intended us to see the tale of tragic love in the context of the love relationships depicted. I was not in favor of portraying the world of Oberon/Titania as a Walt Disney/Victorian butterfly-winged idyll. In returning to the text, I saw a darker, earthier more malevolent/mischievous domain.”

Developing the movement and character of the Orishas has been done with the expert guidance of Peter London (Dance Division faculty) who has choreographed the dances throughout the production. Moreover, respect for the religion has been observed throughout, and advice sought from priests.

Theater and music theater students at NWSA hone their craft through acting technique, movement and speech classes, focusing on fundamentals of physical and emotional preparation. With performance at its core, training is based on the classical texts and the principles of drama as well as practical incursions into the contemporary and experimental edges of theater. Consequently, alumni are found performing on stage nationally and internationally and their talent and vision are recognized and highly regarded in the industry.

New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts, and is an educational partnership of Miami Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida. Through its partnership with the University of Florida NWSA is able to grant Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees.

For more information about the theater program at NWSA, call (305) 237-3541 or visit nwsa.mdc.edu.

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