Quotidian serves fanciful Shakespearean comedy with Irish twist

Ian Blackwell Rogers (Puck) and Madie Kilner (Faery) in Quotidian Theatre Company’s “An Irish Twist on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.” COURTESY PHOTOIan Blackwell Rogers (Puck) and Madie Kilner (Faery) in Quotidian Theatre Company’s “An Irish Twist on Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.” COURTESY PHOTO  Directors often set Shakespeare’s works in times and places different from the originals. Quotidian Theatre Company is transposing “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to Regency Ireland.

“Much as the stories of the lovers, rude mechanicals [laborers], and fairies converge in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ a few of my passions came together to inspire our Irish twist on Shakespeare’s classic comedy,” said Stephanie Mumford, QTC’s co-founder. “The play has always been a favorite of mine since I saw Max Reinhardt’s magical 1935 film version.”

Mumford and Leah Mazade adapted the play and are co-directing it. But they attribute much of the production’s “authentic Irish atmosphere” to Kate Bole and Peter Brice, choreographer and music director, respectively, Mumford said.

“I’ve been a traditional Irish dancer since the age of seven,” said Bole, who studied and taught with the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance. “Soon after I found I had a real love for choreography.”


Widower fails at controlling daughters in ‘Hobson’s Choice” at Quotidian

Hobsons ChoiceStephanie Mumford costumes Rebecca Ellis and Matt Baughman for "Hobson’s Choice." COURTESY PHOTO BY BILL HURLBUT  What do you call a take-it-or-leave it proposition that really offers no choice at all?

A “Hobson’s Choice.”

That’s also the title of a play by Harold Brighouse (and several movie versions – one of which starred Charles Laughton) about an authoritarian English widower and his self-made success as a cobbler, who tries to pressure his three daughters to stay with him and under his thumb. A clash of wills ensues when his daughters, especially the eldest, Maggie, push back; they’re determined to leave home and get married.

“Hobson’s Choice” is a romantic comedy – with a bit of a less-ominous “King Lear” thrown in – in an upcoming production from Quotidian Theatre Company.


Quotidian alternates two plays by its favorite authors

Quotidian Theatre Company has long embraced the works of the late American playwright Horton Foote and Irish playwright Conor McPherson. Artistic director Jack Sbarbori developed not only a working relationship but a friendship with both men.

Now Quotidian is offering one work each by Foote and McPherson in repertory for the final productions of 2017-2018.

“St. Nicholas,” which McPherson wrote at the age of 26 and helped to establish his reputation, concerns a Dubliner who may have encountered vampires.


Discovering some of MoCo's lesser-known theatrical venues

01 OBLIVION by Unexpected Stage Company PhotoCredit Rachel Ellis copyJonathan Frye and Ruthie Rado star in Unexpected Stage's production of "Oblivion." COURTESY PHOTO BY RACHEL ELLIS  Theater lovers all know the Round House Theatre, the professional theater company that produces performances at its 400-seat location on East-West Highway in Bethesda.

Theater enthusiasts may be less familiar with some of the other theater venues in the area.

One is the Unexpected Stage Company, which is based in Bethesda, at least for now.

The “unexpected” in its title doesn’t refer to the fare offered by the professional regional theater, but rather to the fact that husband-and-wife team Christopher Goodrich and Rachel Stroud-Goodrich, co-artistic directors, came across an abandoned stage while driving around Seneca Creek State Park.

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