Photo Album

Summer Shakespeare comes back

A long-time Brandywine Hundred tradition is about to be revived as the newly formed Delaware Shakespeare Festival prepares for its premier presentation.

Appropriately enough, 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' was chosen as the first show. It will be staged on Aug. 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 7 p.m. and on Aug. 3 at 2 p.m. outdoors on the campus of Archmere Academy in Claymont. Admission is $5.

Molly Cahill, the festival's founder and artistic director, said the play was chosen because "it is a fun

show to start our company." It also is one of the most appealing of William Shakespeare's works to a modern audience.

Set in a woods near Athens, the romantic comedy revolves around the misadventures which occur when lovers escaping a forced marriage, a band of fairies celebrating the seasonal holiday -- familiar to Shakespeare's original Elizabethan English audiences but not to Athenians -- and a bumbling group of very amateur thespians rehearsing a play to be peformed at their duke's nuptuals collide. As Puck is wont to say: "What fools these mortals be."

Cahill, a 1997 Archmere graduate who majored in theater at Northwestern University, has assembled a cast widely diversified in age and backgrounds. They, too, are amateurs, ranging from an English professor to a Web designer, but considerably more polished than the play-within-a-play troupe they portray.

The common bound, she said, is a love of theater.

The festival is a one-show affair this year, she said, but it is hoped to evolve into a summer-theater project with two or three shows.

Molly Cahill is also a member of the cast.

Eventually, some professionals may be employed, as is frequently done in such projects.

A more immediate goal, she said, is to gather an audience "to come and have a good time."

As illustrated by this Delaforum photo album, compiled at a recent dress rehearsal, the large cast is approaching it in much the same vein.

Carina Czipoth and Kati Sparre

Victoria Healey


Joseph Lindgren



Karen Murtha, Scott Robertson
and Pam Huxstable