The Bard Meets the Beatles
Nick Bottom (Manuel Martinez) croons “Come and Get It,” unwittingly awakening the passion of the Fairy Queen.
In a performance held on the South Terrace of the Huntington Art Gallery, students from the East Los Angeles Performing Arts Academy at Esteban E. Torres High School wowed friends, family, and teachers with an outstanding production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” set to the music of the Beatles. It was the culmination of a semester’s creative collaboration between students and the staff and curators at The Huntington, who shared some behind-the-scenes inspiration from the Library’s collections. Actors and producers from the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles mentored the students, while theater teacher Janet Borrus helped the young performers pull it all together and put on a remarkable show. The creativity, professionalism, and dedication of the students was dramatic proof that The Huntington’s educational partnerships are not only rewarding, they can be incredibly entertaining, too.
The production was made possible by funding from the Annenberg Foundation.
Left: Fairy Queen Titania (Mariah Gonzalez) is sung to sleep by her attendants to the tune of the Beatles’ “Golden Slumbers.” Right: Hermia (Velia Esquivel) clings to Lysander (Emilio Vasquez), who is enchanted by another woman. Photos by Martha Benedict.