Players Guild announces ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ cast

Photo by Cylla Von Tiedmann
“The Wizard of Oz” flies into the Detroit Opera House June 17 to 24 with Danielle Wade (left) as Dorothy and Robin Evan Willis as Glinda. For tickets call 800-982-2787 or go to or

Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will weave its spell on the stage of the Players Guild of Dearborn Aug. 15 to 17, with a talented cast of local high school and college-age actors.

Director Katie Suchyta of Dearborn wanted to offer teens and young adults a chance to hone their craft in a non-musical stage production.

She said she chose a Shakespearean play because the classics are among the best ways to build acting technique, and the text is continually open to new interpretation.

“‘Midsummer’ is an ensemble piece,” Suchyta said. “It allows every member of the cast to build a fascinating character and bring the text alive.”

She said over-analysis of Shakespearean plays in an educational setting often robs them of their magic in the quest for philosophical meaning.

“Shakespeare wrote plays specifically to entertain, and it’s the actors’ job to make it happen,” she said. “This cast is fantastic. I’ve never met so many young so ready to begin working. Auditions were amped with energy and I know the production will be so as well.”

The cast includes Cory Thomas of Belleville as Theseus, Jenna Gadille of South Rockwood as Hippolyta, William Dunn of Taylor as Philostrate and Mary Mentor of Dearborn as Egea.

Playing the young couples in love are Kimberly Alley of Rochester Hills as Hermia, Shannon Hurst of Warren as Helena, Nick Marek of Westland as Lysander and Michael Suchyta of Dearborn as Demetrius.

Daniel Morency of Grosse Pointe Park plays Oberon, with Samantha York of Dearborn as Titania.

Playing the fairies are Holly Knick of Allen Park as Puck, with Shannon Bingham of Dearborn Heights as Peaseblossom, Veronica Estigoy of Livonia as Mustardseed, and Dearborn residents Katerina Stanley as Moth and Karyna Sitkowski as Cobweb.

The mechanicals include Sarah Kornacki of Dearborn as Peta Quince, Matthew Pecek of Grosse Pointe Park as Nick Bottom, Matthew Morlin of Lincoln Park as Robin Starveling, and Dearborn residents Abdel Raouf El-Alami as Snout, Kyle Tillman as Francis Flute, Christian Plonka as Snug and Jonathan Lundblad as Pat.

The first North American tour of the new stage adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz” runs June 17 to 24 at the Detroit Opera House.

To order tickets, call 800-982-2787 or go to or

While the show retains the Arlen and Harburg songs from the Oscar-winning movie score, the creative team added some new songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Windsor, Ontario, native Danielle Wade plays Dorothy, with Robin Evan Willis as Glinda, Jamie McKnight as Scarecrow, Lee MacDougall as Lion and Mike Jackson as Tin Man.

Opening night features pre-show crafts and free ice cream in the DOH lobby, plus a free children’s ticket (18 and under) with each adult ticket purchased for select seat locations subject to availability.

The Showbiz Kidz and Starz family theater group has begun enrollment for two summer theater classes for children age 4 to 18 that will run July 14 to Aug. 20, with an Aug. 23 evening showcase.

Glee Music Camp runs 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, with an Action Acting class running 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays. The fee is $75 for one class or $125 for both.

The program is at the Royal Majestic Theater, inside Trillium Academy, 15740 Racho Road in Taylor.

For more information and registration forms, go to or contact the group at

Dearborn actress Samantha York performs in “Stone Soup: A Wrap Opera,” a hip-hop re-imagining of the classic folk tale for children June 19 to 29 at Wayne State University’s Hilberry Theatre, 4743 Cass Ave. in Detroit.

Public performance dates are 10:30 a.m. June 19, 20, 26 and 27, and 2 p.m. June 21, 28 and 29.

Tickets are $5 for children and $8 for adults. For tickets, call 313-577-2972 or go to

Others in the cast include Brad Smith of Waterford, Jada Johnson of Lawrenceville, Ga.; Garett Harris of Royal Oak; Tayler Jones of Detroit; and Madison Miller of Howell.

“Stone Soup” tells how a stranger, using his wits, convinces a suspicious town to cooperate and contribute to the group good through a pot of soup that starts with a simple stone.

“This is a simple story about cooperation,” said director John Wolf, chair of the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance. “We hope that ‘Stone Soup’ provides students with information about the benefits of learning to work together.”

Wolf hopes their hip-hop version appeals to children as well. The 40-minute show will tour 25 Detroit Schools from May 14 to June 25, reaching more than 6,500 students as part of an ongoing commitment to educational outreach.

“It is vital to keep the arts alive in the minds and imaginations of young people,” Wolf said. “The cuts in education budgets have resulted in the removal of imagination-enhancing classes. Bringing ‘Stone Soup: A Wrap Opera’ to school children does not replace these important classes, but it is a step forward to enhancing the creative thinking of these children.”