A 1980s Adaptation of Shakespeare’s Classic Comedy

Janson Cobiella (Director/Script Adaptor)
Presented by Will Pewitt (Producer/Script Adaptor)

NOTE POSTPONED EVENT!
Due to severe thunderstorms in the area, we have made the careful decision to postpone A Midsummer Night Out to Friday, August 4.
All purchased tickets will be valid for the rescheduled date. Additionally, we will be offering a family-friendly version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Saturday, August 5 at 10 a.m. Purchase tickets below.

August 4 - August 5, 2023

Poster image of “A Midsummer Night's Dream”

Ready for a romp through Shakespeare, ’80s style? Take a chill pill with Billy Shakes and a gnarly troupe of actors from UNF Shakespeare. Produced by Will Pewitt (faculty in the Department of English) and directed by Janson Cobiella, their scripting effort aims to turn the Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens into an unforgettable night of rad hijinks and bodacious comedy as four lovers in a freakazoid love dilemma have their fortunes turned even further upside down by the tubular shenanigans of Puck, Titania, Oberon, and the world of the fairies.

UNF Shakespeare and the Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens are excited for yet another of their unique pairings of canonical drama performed in a beautiful venue. In years past, the two organizations have partnered to bring audiences Much Ado About Nothing and The Mask of Night (an original Shakespearean mashup co-authored by Pewitt and Midsummer heroine Jade Marino, playing Hermia). With this show, thespian, writer, and artist Janson Cobiella takes the wheel not only directing and playing Oberon, king of the fairies, but also bringing his uniquely righteous ’80s vibe to this stellar script.

As this is just one of our Shakespearean offerings this year, we sincerely hope you will consider attending and donating to our new Shakespeare Fund which assists tremendously in providing funding to ensure we can continue these kinds of productions. See you cats in the forest!

Giving to the UNF Shakespeare Fund

The UNF Shakespeare Fund relies on the generosity of alumni and friends to provide immediate support for productions. All gifts, regardless of size, help to support and enhance our student’s UNF experience through student programming, out-of-classroom education, curriculum enhancement, and more. These plays provide UNF students and volunteers with a stepping-stone to begin thinking about important topics, as well as a space to explore their own ideas.

Give now!

 

Performance Dates

Jacksonville Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Friday, August 4, 2023
An Enchanting 21+ Event

7 p.m.
8:30 p.m.

General Admission $15    |    VIP Package $25
(21+ Social Gathering)

Come enjoy a midsummer night at the Arboretum. This first-of-its-kind event for the Arboretum featuring a 1980s adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” from UNF Shakespeare, alongside drinks, food, a live DJ, optional speed dating, and more!

For $15, this mystical, 21+ social gathering will be a great way to mingle and meet new people in Jacksonville.

If you’re looking for a little something extra, the Arboretum is offering a $25 VIP Package featuring one mystical drink ticket and an enchanted nature tour.

Purchase tickets for Friday here!

 

Saturday, August 5, 2023
Family Matinee

10 a.m.

General Admission $5.

Purchase tickets for Saturday here!

 

JACKSONVILLE ARBORETUM & BOTANICAL GARDENS

Logo for the Jacksonville Arboretum and Botanical Gardens1445 Millcoe Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32225

View map for directions

 

Cast & Crew

Headshot of Clio Chazan-Gabbard

Clio Chazan-Gabbard (Technical Director), a rising senior at the University of North Florida, is majoring in sociology and is a member of the Hicks Honors College. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys traveling, crocheting, painting, spending time with her cats, and being in nature, either on the beach or in the mountains. She used to spend most of her time on stage performing in many ballets, and she has returned to the performing world with UNF Shakespeare as both cast and crew.

Headshot of Janson Cobiella

Janson Cobiella (Director, Script Adaptor, Oberon) is a writer, actor, and designer from Stuart, Florida, transplanted to Jacksonville where he completed his English and creative writing undergraduate studies at UNF. He is elated to be playing another of the Bard’s characters, previously enacting Polonius, King Lear, and Claudio with UNF Shakespeare. Janson loves running wooded trails, crafting and painting miniatures, devising dramatic D&D adventures, and exploring any place where good stories happen. His deepest thanks go out to his fiancé. Enjoy the show most majorly! Adios amoebas.

Headshot of Jamie Getman

Jamie Getman (Lysander) is a junior studying psychology and fine arts at UNF. She has been involved in a number of UNF Shakespeare’s shows, including Guildenstern in Hamlet and Banquo in The Mask of Night, and is very excited for this new opportunity! Jamie would like to thank her friends and brothers for always supporting her journey in theater!

Headshot of Erin Ledbetter

Erin Ledbetter (Puck) is a junior at UNF majoring in English with an interdisciplinary studies minor in acting and theater. Her love of acting began when she became a part of her high school theater productions. Erin has previously played the roles of Frosch and Ivana in the UNF Opera Theater production of Die Fledermaus. This is her first performance with UNF Shakespeare. She is excited to perform the role of Puck in UNF Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Headshot of Erin Ledbetter

Jade Marino (Hermia) is a graduate student at the University of North Florida with degrees in both classical voice and English. She is a regular member of UNF Shakespeare with experience performing, script adapting, and assistant directing. Her previous roles include Ophelia and Lady Macbeth. Along with two operatic productions, her musical roles have included Maria in The Sound of Music, Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family Musical, and Rapunzel in Into the Woods. Jade is thrilled to take part in her seventh project with UNF Shakespeare and return to A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a brand-new light!

Headshot of Will Pewitt

Will Pewitt (Producer, Script Adaptor) teaches Shakespeare, creative writing, and world literature at the University of North Florida, where he is also a Faculty Fellow with the Hicks Honors College. He has been advisor and adaptor to numerous Shakespeare projects previously, including co-authoring a mashup of a dozen plays called The Mask of Night, and is working as director and producer on a multilingual version of Othello for Fall ’23. As a writer, his work in poetry, philosophy, fiction, and Arabic translation has appeared in publications such as The Oxford Anthology of Translation, North American Review, Global Politics Magazine, and Arab Lit Quarterly, among others. If he is not building drip castles at the beach with his toddler, he is likely being chased by her around the Arboretum — to whom Will is deeply grateful for making this event possible.

Headshot of Jade Marino

Brooke Reams (Demetrius) has been in more than 23 musicals and plays throughout her childhood, and several more in her college years, including Shakespeare in the Park during a DeLand art festival performing As You Like It. She partakes in oil painting and gardening on her free time, when not working at the nonprofit FCNMHP clinic as a vet tech. Her companion pet is a young torti cat, Cynder, who was rescued at two weeks old, brought to her very clinic years ago. She graduated with a B.A. in evolutionary neuroscience with a minor in ASL this spring, and is currently networking before taking the next step in her academic career. Brooke wishes you all a good time at the show today, and hopes you enjoy the rest of your time with us.

Headshot of Brooke Reams

Julianne Rotne (Queen Titania) is thrilled to regale you with this production of Midsummer. She has performed in shows such as 42nd Street and Into the Woods, and is also known as the lead singer of the alt rock band Maddy’s Twin. Julianne is a UNF alumnus who majored in chemistry and minored in hard knocks. Although her first love is performing arts, she would like to profess a close second to be her ridiculously good-looking fiancé who encouraged her to make this return to the stage.

Headshot of Avery Rutzen

Avery Rutzen (Helena) is excited to perform in her second show with UNF Shakespeare following her appearance in Much Ado About Nothing in the spring of 2023. She is an English education major and hopes to bring her love of Shakespeare and theater in general to the classroom. Avery will also be making an appearance in Othello in the fall and could not be more excited to continue her journey of exploring Shakespeare’s brilliant work.

Photo Gallery of A Midsummer Night’s Dream Performance