A classic Shakespearean comedy with a dash of cirque

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The Moscow Community Theatre’s (MCT) production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” opens today, featuring a new twist on the classic Shakespearean comedy.

Director Gordon Mellott said that after the lovers enter the woods, they stumble upon an abandoned circus rather than the original fairies.

“When I was little kid, I’d go to the circus and it was always magical and just so cool to watch,” Mellott said. “It’s always been a near and dear spot for me, the magic of the circus.”

MCT puts on three shows a year, and this year’s theme of “Make ‘Em Laugh,” certainly applies to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The theatre also applied this theme to its past production of “Inspecting Carol,” and its upcoming performance of “Murder Inn.”

Following a newly created tradition of performing one Shakespearian play per year, MCT plans to produce one more comedy next season before moving into tragedies, Mellott said.

“I’ve had this idea for changing up [‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’] for a couple of years now, so when the opportunity came up to do a Shakespearean comedy, it’s like ‘let’s do Midsummer, please’,” Mellott said.

The cast is varied, including students from the University of Idaho, local high school and middle schools, as well as community members. The youngest cast member is four years old and the ages range all the way up to 70.

The Moscow community is dedicated to making sure the theatre stays alive, Mellott said.

“We get emails all the time, from people offering things that we might need,” he said. “There is a set piece of the show where a woman had a painting in her house for almost 30 years and it was in a production of ‘Midsummer’ back east. She wanted to see it in another show, so of course we put it in.”

A “Midsummer Night’s Dream” runs at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday, and on April 7 and 8, as well as at 2 p.m. on Sunday and on April 9 at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre in Moscow. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Tickets are available at Safari Pearl, the comic book store in Moscow, at the box office, or online.