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A Midsummer Night's Dream |  Directed by Julia Thudium

If Samhain or Halloween is the night, where the veils between the living
and the dead are thin, in many cultures, Midsummer is the night that
the Faeries come out and play, the night when you dance around the
bonfire in the forest, only to realize you are not dancing alone and
when you open your eyes the next morning, you’re not sure if what you
experienced was real or simply a vision.


As a general rule, I prefer not to set my Shakespeare pieces in a specific
time period, and again I feel like Midsummer is in its own time. And for
me that is the magical moment between waking and sleeping - the slow
surfacing from the depths of your dreamscape - the liminal space on
the threshold of beginning. In order to have a beginning you need to
have a beforetime. It’s here where we find our Midsummer.

The Italians have a word for this beforetime. Dormiveglia - the space
that stretches between sleeping and waking. Not many people know
this, but it is in this place that the Faeries rule. Everything is possible in
the moments you dwell here; the sweet, the sad, the irreverent and the
ridiculous. If you know me, you know I prefer the ridiculous over just
about anything.


Last year when I took on As You Like It, I coined it the “Party Show” of
the Festival. This year is something a little different. This year we are
THE HEART show. I invite you to let yourself sink here in this moment in
the no-time. Let yourself be enchanted and pause in the mystic
doorway with us.

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Cast

Alex Gonzales Armbrüster - Hippolyta

Alex (she/her/they/them) is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, graduating with a BA in Performer's Process. She has an eclectic history of performance, loving to be involved in anything from new experimental work to classical pieces. They are very excited to be involved in the festival once again this year. Since moving to New Mexico, the festival has been their favorite project to participate in. She was most recently seen in Sopita De Entropia and Romeo and Juliet.

 

Drax the Wonder Dog - Changeling (Opening Weekend Only)

Drax is a 4 year old American Bully and graduate of the Scout's Legacy Service Dog program. This is his second time on stage, ever, reprising his role as the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival Wonder Dog. He is very excited to be performing once again, as it means he will be fed treats backstage. If you see him after the show, please make sure he is off duty and not helping his human before engaging with him. He hopes you enjoy the show as much he enjoys dental chews. 

 

Scott Bing - Mustardseed

Scott started acting in high school and college productions and has appeared in numerous productions here in the Albuquerque area. He has spent his entire career in the information technology field. Scott came to Albuquerque via Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California. He enjoys traveling, reading and hanging out with the grandchildren.

 

Vic Browder - Nick Bottom

A Las Vegas Nevada native. Vic landed in New Mexico in 2001 after getting his BFA from Southern Utah University and his MFA in Acting From Florida State University Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Vic is a founding member of the Mother Road Theatre Company where he directs, designs, acts and produces. Vic is a film and television actor with more than eighty credits and has worked side by side with some of the industry’s best. A sought after acting coach and an A list choice for local casting directors, he is so happy to get back to his roots and the joy of the live audience. Vic will be back on stage again in October, working with the Sante Fe Playhouse in Stephen Dietz’ play Clover Road.

Amy Bourque - Hermia

Marc Comstock - Peter Quince

This is Marc’s fourth year performing in the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival (Tempest, Hamlet, As You Like It) In addition to being an actor Marc is a director and current President of the New Mexico SAG-AFTRA New Mexico Local. Marc is excited to work with his friends and peers — Thank you Julia! Thank you Erin and Violet for the constant support and inspiration, love you!

 

Bridget S. Dunne - Puck

Bridget is so happy to be returning to the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival stage for the fourth year! Previous Festival roles include Silvius (As You Like It), Soothsayer (Julius Caesar), and Tranio (Shrew). A Northern Virginia transplant, Bridget has lived in Albuquerque since 2009, and has been active in theatre here since 2010. They would like to thank the cast and crew, especially Julia, for this magical adventure, and special thanks to T, Bean, Tobes, and V for their love, listening, and support.

 

Joan Erben - Cobweb

Joan teaches theater, among other humanities subjects, at New Mexico State University's Grants campus. A native Philadelphian, she has been a New Mexican since 1998 when she arrived to teach at New Mexico Tech. Joan lives in Milan with 5 dogs, 3 horses, and 2 donkeys! They are all on a mission to live harmoniously.

 

Merritt C. Glover - Theseus

A native New Mexican, Merritt is honored to take the stage for the first time with the amazing New Mexico Shakespeare festival. She is thrilled to be a part of bringing accessible Shakespeare performance to the Southwest. Especially since the unprecedented pandemic, I have come to value so much more the gathering together as a community to create and share in keeping the voice of art and the voice of the human condition alive. Huge gratitude to you all for coming to exchange the experience, my team and agent Carissa, my family for making any of this dream possible, and Julia Thudium for believing in my magic. Recent theatrical roles include Ella in Life Sucks (Actor's Studio 66), Sarah in A Delicate Ship (Threshold), and Molly in Animal Farm (DCRT). TV and Film credits include: The Cleaning Lady, Breaking Bad, Get Shorty, Longmire, The Condemned 2, and The Kid.

Kristin Hansen - Titania

Kristín is excited and delighted to be playing Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream alongside so many wonderful actors, designers and crew members. This is her first show in five-long-years. Kristín is proud to call herself a founding member of Mother Road Theatre Company, and is grateful to have performed with various theatre companies in Albuquerque through the years, including Tricklock, Fusion, Theatre-in-the-Making, and The Vortex Theatre. She has also performed and/or produced theatre nationally and internationally, works in film and television, and is a member of SAG/AFTRA. Big thanks to all those who are putting in the hard work to make the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival happen!

 

Matt Heath - Egeus

Matt is a seasoned actor, director, and producer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with over a decade of experience in the local theatre scene. He is thrilled to join the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival again for one of Shakespeare's greatest works, A Midsummer Night's Dream, under amazing director extraordinaire, Julia Thudium. Matt’s notable stage roles include Glengarry Glen Ross (Dave Moss), Rumors (Lenny Ganz), Art (Marc), The Odd Couple (Felix Unger), The Real Inspector Hound (Birdboot), and Laughter on the 23rd Floor (as Sid Caesar-like Max Prince). He has also appeared on the popular TV show Better Call Saul, where he played a man aggressively unhappy with his martini. Matt's performances are often praised as "tours de force," showcasing his broad comic talent and transformative presentations. Matt studied theatre at Virginia Wesleyan College and has been acting and directing on stage, television, and film in New Mexico since 2007. He is passionate about supporting live theatre and is grateful for the opportunity to be a small part of bringing William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream to life with this talented cast, crew, and director. 

Family is at the heart of Matt's world, for whom he is thankful and he finds joy in the precious moments spent with his loved ones amidst his theatrical pursuits. Theatre, like a phoenix, has been declared dead countless times, yet it continues to rise again, fueled by the undying passion of its practitioners and the unwavering love of its audience. Thank you, dear audience, for all your love and support.

 

Ben Jones - Snug/First Fairy/Moth

A lead engineer by day (and too many nights), Ben has spent much more of his public time playing violin than acting. Still, he's no stranger to theatre, having made music for local productions at Albuquerque Little Theatre, The Vortex Theatre, and Mother Road, and having been on crew for numerous productions going back to a tech apprenticeship at ALT in 1985. He has lived within hearing of the UNM and Albuquerque stadiums the vast majority of his life.

 

Versai Knight - Helena

Versai trained in London at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Knight relocated to New Mexico in 2020 where she has been pursuing a career in film, TV, and modeling. Locally, Versai has appeared on stage as Miles in The Drawer Boy (Actors Studio 66), Irene in The Dresser (West End Productions), and Celia in As You Like It (New Mexico Shakespeare Festival). She is represented by Bankston Talent Agency, is a member of British Actors Equity, and SAG-AFTRA. www.VersaiKnight.com

 

Owen Danan Martin - Lysander

 

Brad Martinez - Philostrate/Fairy

Brad is an actor from Las Cruces, New Mexico. He holds a BFA in Acting from Columbia College Chicago. Brad would like to extend his thanks to his family, his mentor, Dawn Arnold and his dogs. He thanks you for your support and hopes you enjoy the show. 

Doug Montoya - Tom Snout

Doug Montoya is the founder of Cardboard Playhouse Theatre Company, celebrating its 18th year. Doug wears many hats as co-artistic director of CPTC: among them are director, producer, set designer and builder, marketer, and sometimes, even actor. He loves all aspects of the theater and especially the chance to help young artists grow and develop. Doug is very excited to be a part of this production. Working with all of these talented artists is a dream come true!

Tait Petersen - Demetrius

Tait is thrilled to be back with the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival for this year’s production of Midsummer! He studied performance at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he discovered his passion for stage combat and theatrical violence. He moved to Albuquerque in 2017 and has worked on a myriad of productions as an actor and fight choreographer. His New Mexico credits include Comedy of Errors and As You Like It with the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival; Zorro with Opera Southwest; She Kills Monsters, Lysistrata, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and Susan and God with the Vortex; as well as How the Stars Used to Shine There and Wolves with Theatre 3.

 

Alfredo Quiroz - Francis Flute

Alfredo Quiroz is a Mexican Actor/Artist/Music Producer & Entrepreneur born in Albuquerque New Mexico. Alfredo received his Bachelors in Art Studio at The University of New Mexico. During his time at UNM he studied acting and film along with studio art. In 2016 he starred in the television series ‘From Dusk Till  Dawn’, his first speaking role. Since then he’s starred in ‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’ (2018), ‘The Marksman’(2021), and most recently ‘Dead for a Dollar (2022)’. A Midsummer Nights Dream is Alfredo’s first time being involved in a full theatre production.

 

Diane Segera - Peaseblossom

Diana is an eclectic performer as a singer/songwriter in all genres and as an actress. Credits include original Songs for Poems performed in Ireland and U.S .and several CDs; lead singer in jazz and rock groups; soprano in several Opera Southwest operas and NMSC. She was the director/performer of The Sandivas and is the owner/teacher of The Singing Center. Her acting roles in Albuquerque include Fanny and Mrs. Jennings, Sense and Sensibility; Mrs. Boyle, The Mousetrap; Snoopy, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown; Caprice, Honky Tonk Hissy Fit; nurse in Romeo and Juliet.

 

Amy Suman - Oberon

Amy is thrilled to be part of this year’s NM Shakespeare Festival!  Favorite roles in her 40+ year career on stage have included Sinead in Pumpgirl with MotherRoad, Cass in Wonder of the World with Aux Dog, Sarah Kate in Afternoon of the Elves with Albuquerque Little Theatre, Mom/Wife in Jack Ruby Slippers with TWEED New York, Ma Joad in Grapes of Wrath at UNM Rodey Theatre. A 1994 graduate of  UNM Theatre & Dance, she furthered her craft at New York City’s Lee Strasberg Institute and worked for two decades with the Crisis Company as a role-player. Suman works by day in educational administration and health equity for all New Mexico’s children.  Her greatest role, however, remains “Mom” her two grown sons and bonus daughter!

 

Keith Allen West - Robin Starveling

Keith Allen West has won several Best Actor Awards on the film festival circuit. West has worked with multiple actors and directors from Academy Award winning films including Kody Smit-McPee (The Power of the Dog and Elvis), Forrest Goodluck (The Revenant), Basil Hoffman (Ordinary People), Kiowa Gordon (Dark Winds and Twilight) and Ernest Dickerson (Do the Right Thing). He has appeared in Paramount+ Interrogation, Half Brothers, Hell or High Water, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Longmire, Midnight Texas and many more.

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