A Midsummer Day’s Play

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Company members perform "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on the Alumni Lawn.

Summer is in full swing, and has brought with it blue skies, birds and the Grassroots Shakespeare Company’s summer tour. UVU enjoyed a real treat with the company performing on campus twice.

Their first performance was on Wednesday, June 8, where they performed “As You Like It” on the Quad, and again on June 15 at the UVU Alumni House with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

“I’m really proud of everybody,” said Alex Ungerman, one of the companies founding members. “It usually takes 2 months to prepare for a show, and we’ve done 3 shows in 1 month.”

The Grassroots Shakespeare Company was founded three years ago by Ungerman and Mark Oram and have been touring every summer since. The goal of the company is to perform the works of Shakespeare as they were originally performed with minimal practice, costumes, and props. Grassroots now consists of 11 cast members of both BYU and UVU students.

Ungerman stated that the Grassroots Shakespeare Company also do what they call “play-a-day” workshops, which he noted are an authentic experience similar to how Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed. “Theatre majors and students of other majors are all encouraged to participate in the workshops,” said Levi Brown, a student and cast member. “Anyone who is studying Shakespeare should give [the workshops] a try.”

“It’s a really fun and unique experience,” said Davey Morrison-Dillard, a BYU student and cast member. “As an actor, you have some experiences where your heart is into [the show], and some where it’s not. But we’re all in this together.”

The performances on campus were uproariously funny. The energy and charisma of the performers flowed from the stage and kept the audience enraptured, entertained and eager for more.

Performances by the Grassroots Shakespeare Company are largely for donations to charities and scholarships. According to Ungerman, the Company has recently obtained a non-profit status, and is now able to receive donations and grants, which currently proceed to the Forgotten Carols scholarship fund for students in the Colleges of Humanities and Culinary Arts.

The Grassroots Shakespeare Company recently performed at the Orem Summerfest on Friday, June 10, in Provo Canyon Park on Monday, June 13 and has also participated in the Noorda Summer Theatre Camp, also taking place at UVU.

For the rest of the summer, the Grassroots Shakespeare Company will be touring across Utah, with performances in Orem, Logan, and Kaysville. Information on each performance is on their website at http://www.grassrootsshakespeare.com.

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