AP Literature Students Host Festival; Drama Students to Perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Kathryn Salazar, Contributor

WHITTIER—  La Serna High School will host its annual Longman Shakespeare Festival, featuring three performances of the comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” under the stars at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday — May 23, 24, and 25. The festival culminates Saturday with a free, family-friendly Shakespearean Fair from 2 to 6 p.m. leading up to the closing night performance at 7 p.m. Admission to Saturday’s fair is free and open to the public.

Cast members include Ian Brennan, Oberon, the Fairy King; Berkeley Trinh, a senior who plays Titania, the Fairy Queen, Robin Tyree, a senior who plays Robin, the Puck Coberon’s Henchman, and Makah Alovada, a senior, as Hippolyta, a former Amazon queen. La Serna theater student and 2010 graduate Mark LaVigne returns to campus to play Thuseus, King of Athens. English AP Literature teacher Eric Twisselmann joins the cast as Egeuss, the father of Hermia, played by Camden Painton.

Others in the play include Juliana Guerrero, Luke Garcia, Jared Whiston, Dante Medina, Donovan Carrillo, Ixchel Urbano, and Lola.

Actor Ian Brennan said, “This show seems to be really confusing on paper, but is actually one of the easiest of Shakespeare’s plays to follow. I think our 60’s hippie theme put a super fun and musical spin on the play.”

La Serna produces its annual Longman Shakespeare Festival in honor of Jim Longman, its former principal. Longman has supported the fine arts at the high school for many years, and, although retired, remains involved with the festival and the school’s theater arts productions.

During Saturday’s fair, La Serna’s Advanced Placement English students dressed in Elizabethan garb will provide food, crafts, attractions, games, and demonstrations all with a Shakespearean and theme. Traditional “snack bar” food will be sold as well as samplings of the time period, but attendees are also welcome to picnic. The festival is organized by Eric Twisselmann, who teaches English and philosophy at La Serna.

The festival takes place on the lawn between the “L” and the “K” buildings on the high school’s campus, 15301 Youngwood Drive in Whittier. The play is produced by teacher David Carter, chairman of the Visual and Performing Arts Department. Each year, theater parents and alumni parents build an entire outdoor Shakespearean stage with sets designed and constructed specifically for the play to be performed.

Tickets for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” are $8 for adults, $7 for students and $6 for La Serna students with ASB cards. Tickets may be purchased at the gate before each performance. Some chairs are available, seating is not assigned, and attendees are invited to bring blankets and folding chairs.