Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company Presents:
A Midsummer Night’s Charity Stream
On Jun 20th, 2020, In support of Black Lives Matter, #8toAbolish, and community bail funds across the country, the Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company hosted a charity drive as its first production — a full live-streamed performance of William Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Worlds Elsewhere supported donations to the Community Bail Fund, a 70+ collection of bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organizations, curated by ActBlue.
Donors who made donations before the curtain fell on A Midsummer Night’s Charity Stream’s Act IV were thanked on stream, and the top three donors got a special surprise during Act V.
Watch it on Youtube!
Click here for our thank you video!
The play has always been the thing.
Support police abolition: 8toabolition.com
Updates at: fb.me/WorldsElsewhere
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Company Artistic Statement
Theatre, given its nature as a medium made of people in space, has always been a first victim during times of plague.
When the COVID-19 pandemic spread through the world at the start of the year 2020, theatres closed, and millions were left unemployed.
Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company was founded during this terrifying time. It is our mission to create theatre without a theatre - to create a space online that can serve as a theatrical one. Our company shall create an online space that serves the same function that theatre has served for millennia — as a place of catharsis and healing.
About This Production
A Midsummer Night’s Dream takes place over the course of four days (or possibly five, scholars debate) leading up to the prestigious wedding of the Duke of Athens to his Amazon Queen. A ragtag band of performers is charged with preparing wedding entertainment, while four young lovers struggle to seek happiness when their feelings run counter to the arrangements of their parents. As the wedding draws closer, the performers and lovers find themselves pawns in a game between the fairy king and queen. A fairy’s charms could render even the mightiest of intellects useless in their path… given that, the fools that these mortals be don’t stand a chance.
This staging-minus-a-stage of A Midsummer Night’s Dream began as a very different production. The inaugural production for Worlds Elsewhere Theatre was originally going to be the avant garde classic French precursor to surrealism, dadaism, and a hundred other movements, Alfred Jarry’s King Ubu. There was a first table read and a handful of rehearsals, but changing times called for a defter play.
So, we kept our inertia going and decided to turn our efforts towards something simpler, more accessible, and fun. Naturally, we went to Shakespeare.
Times change, as they always do, and even in tough times we can mark the calendar. The midsummer solstice is a time of renewal, and to mark the holiday we chose Shakespeare’s comedy of changing times.
It’s easy to forget that the Dream takes place at the end of a war - the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta marks the peace after the Athenian conquest of the Amazons. “Hippolyta, I woo’d thee with my sword, and won thy love, doing thee injuries;” Theseus confesses in the opening scene. He leaves an entire bloody campaign implied, but quickly brushed aside. “But I will wed thee in another key” he promises, inviting hope that their nuptials will lead to a new order, and a new peace.
Shakespeare’s comedy sends its characters, nobles and commoners who could easily end up dead in a tragedy, are sent out of their existing social order and into a fairyland. That is, a land where love rules all, identity is fluid, norms are broken, and anything is possible. It’s a dream that is both respite and roadmap, inspiring them to see their world in a new way.
It is in this spirit that we hope to dream of a better world. We invite you to join us for this dream, and in a world changed for the better on the other side.
— Kyle Kallgren & David Kowarsky
About the Issues
There are many issues one might have with the justice system in our country, but among the most urgent is bail reform. The profound inequity in how the bail system treats defendants with and without money, and the consequential ability of the police to confine people who have not been given trial is, as Snout would say, “a parlous fear.” This only grows more true in the world where mass arrests grow common, and politicians seek to justify suspending the right to a speedy trial.
We believe that the problems that plague our society cannot be solved by growing threats of force, but only by growing presence of empathy.
We believe our political institutions must fundamentally and consequentially reimagine their understanding of “the police” — before those forces can live into their declared functions to serve and protect the people.
We believe that those who have the strength to protest deserve our support and not to be deprived of freedom as they place their bodies on the line to preserve it for us all.
It is in service of these beliefs that we chose the community bail fund by organized by Actblue as the target of our philanthropic endeavor. We must give strength and support to those who take the responsibility of direct action personally upon their shoulders and incur wrath the consequences of a system that is already profoundly biased against people who aren’t wealthy.
In addition, bail fund donations are, in nearly all cases, very likely to be used multiple times as most defendants do show up, and the funds are thus recovered in their entirety.
- Introduction - Arielle Dundas
- “Can She Excuse My Wrongs?” by John Dowland, performed by Henry Kathman
- Act I
- “The Internet Is Haunted”, written and performed by James McConnaughy
- Act II
- “Ophelia” by Sebastian Blake Stott, performed by Katherine Rose Turbes
- Act III
- “Backyard Escapades”, written and performed by Jared Gilman
- Act IV
- “My Melancholy Baby” by Ernie Burnett, Lyrics George A. Norton, performed by Morgan Stutler
- Act V
- “Wildwood Flower (I’ll Twine Mid The Ringlets)”, an Appalachian folk song, performed by Hannah Moran
- Outro & Talkback - Arielle Dundas, Kyle Kallgren, David Kowarsky, and Ilana Greenberg-Sud
Cast and Crew
Arielle Dundas (Master of Ceremonies, understudy: Snout; she/her) is a stunningly talented standup comedian, at least that’s what she’s written in this bio. She is based in New York City and/or Amsterdam, it’s a little unclear at the moment. She has performed all over the world, including two hours at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Philosophical, but personal. Silly, but cerebral. Provocative, but primarily hilarious. (@arielledundas on twitter/instagram)
Boostocking (Cobweb; she/her) is a podcaster, writer, and wistful ghost staring out of a stained glass window. Keeping things eerie but positive is her goal. She is one of the main creators and developers of the (hopefully soon to premiere) Fearly Beloved, an inclusive, diverse, and LGBT+ filled comedy podcast about how to be kind and welcoming to a world of magical beings who have finally come out of the crypt after years in the shadows. You can find her and updates about her works on her Twitter @boostocking.
Daniel Russell (Snug; he/him) is thrilled to be a part of this production with all of these very talented (and attractive) people. If you have any interest in a series of shorts about billiards in an apocalyptic world, check out @Ronnie_Rockit on Twitter.
Dave Kowarsky (Producer, Assistant Director, understudy: Oberon; he/him) has a degree in Folklore and Mythology, because he thinks storytelling is really important. He’s been involved in Internet video for about as long as Internet video has been something in which you can have a full time job. By day, he is employed as a production manager at Cornerstone OnDemand in their studios division, producing world class learning content for a global client base of over 7000 companies. He pursues commercial and character voiceover and is a passionate patron of the New York Neo Futurists, with whom he’s studied their unique brand of experimental theater. He’s thrilled to join Worlds Elsewhere and be working with fellow academic overanalyzers and lovers of genre parody. (twitter: @khyros)
Devin Day (Pease-blossom, understudy: Helena; she/her) is DTF (death to fascism).
Dodger Of Zion (Technical Director; she/her) is a Twitch streamer, and guest contributor to sports podcast The Dumpster Fire. Her work with Worlds Elsewhere is her first performing arts work since 2018, when she played a spectator in the Hollywood film Creed II. When not streaming, Dodger can be found tending to her vegetable garden, playing Animal Crossing, or walking in Myrtle Beach. (dodgerofzion on Twitch)
D. Stachowiak (Moth; she/her/they/them) is a podcaster, academic, and former bartender. On Trash & Treasures, she and her co-hosts discuss niche and genre films, books, and television, looking at what “works” and what doesn’t, often through a queer lens. She is currently enrolled in a PhD program at University of Delaware, having previously earned an MA in Texts, Technology & Literature from UMBC. Her academic interests include 20th century pop culture, genre studies, fanworks, gender and sexuality, horror, monstrosity, and the gothic. (@dorothynotgale / @trashpod twitter; trashandtreasures on Patreon)
Emily Clark (Titania; she/her) is an LA-based actor, producer, singer, teacher, director, music director, and Youtuber! Her web series, Stealing Focus, delves into all things Musical Theatre, including reviews and history lessons. Some favorite shows include Mr. Burns: a post-electric play (Edna), Skullduggery: The Musical Prequel to Hamlet (Berta), The Taming of the Shrew (Biondello), Matt & Ben (Matt Damon), Assassins (Squeaky), HAiR (Jeanie), and Merrily We Roll Along (Mary). Graduate of UC Santa Cruz, the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and the Upright Citizens Brigade. Artistic Director of The Unknown Artists, co-founder of Play Club West. (@emilyabclark on twitter)
Grady W Smithey III (Snout; he/him) likes to think of himself as neither particularly rude, nor particularly mechanical. Recent notable roles include Kokol in Marat/Sade, Arnold in Sinatra, Grumpy Old Manchild in The Cartoon Physicist’s Very Late 2nd Anniversary, and an evil Clown in Strangling Brothers’ Haunted Circus. (@snakebitcat on twitter)
Haley Callahan (Peter Quince; she/her) is an artist, video essayist, and working class Youtuber living in Los Angeles, California. Her channel explores art, pop culture, and fandom sociology. Currently she is working on a series that uses Disney Parks to teach art history. She is intensely excited and proud to be acting, particularly as a comedic Shakespeare character like Quince, and when the world is safe again, the first thing she’s going to do is get a chiropractor appointment and a Labyrinth tattoo. (@Tricksterbelle on Twitter, Tricksterbelle on YouTube)
Hannah Moran (Fairy, understudy: Philostrate, Mustard-Seed; “Wildwood Flower”; she/her) is so thrilled to be part of this production! After not having done any theatre in her college career, it is a treat to be able to step back onto the (virtual) stage. Hannah graduated Wheaton College this past May with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education; she plans on attending Framingham State University to obtain her Master’s in Special Education this fall. Endless thanks to Kyle, David, Ilana, James, and the entire cast and crew of “Midsummer Night’s Stream”. Give me your hands if we be friends! (Hannah Moran on YouTube, @HannahBea_Moran on twitter)
Harry Boyd (Demetrius; he/him) has been a professional actor-muso for over six years since training at GSA and prior to lockdown was touring with the national west end tour of ‘Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story’ as a main role and the trumpet. Since lockdown Harry has been repeatedly working with The Show Must Go Online, one of the leading online performance production companies and moved into professional voice acting and singing using his home studio. Harry has always adored Shakespeare’s work and jumped at the chance to perform one of the bard’s best plays in support for a very important and worthwhile cause. (@harryboydactor on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook, harryboydactor.com)
Henry Kathman (Egeus, understudy: Lysander; “Can She Excuse My Wrongs?”; he/him) is an English Teacher and Video Essayist who writes of Animation, Literature, Film, and Philosophy. From Gothic Literature’s influence within Over the Garden Wall, to an in-depth analysis of the entire Moomin series, he wishes to apply the principles of education to all media. In addition to this, he is also a host of The Pink Aisle Podcast, which examines our complex relationship with Barbie and other girl-oriented properties through the lens of their films. To perform in this company is a great honor, and he hopes that you will consider giving your support in his endeavors. (@kathmanhenry on twitter/tumblr, Henry Kathman on Youtube)
Hilary Thomas (Puck; they/them/she/her) is a voice actor and producer currently living in Seattle. Past roles include Frontier Brain Anabel in Pokémon: Battle Frontier; Nyx in Queen’s Blade; and Justine in the original off-off-Broadway musical Dogboy and Justine. They were also one of the establishing members of the NYC Nerd Cabaret, performing with the group for several years. Though they mostly spend their time behind the scenes as a producer for the Pokémon animated series and movies, they are thrilled to be returning to the (virtual) stage by reprising the role of Puck for the Worlds Elsewhere Company. (@airspaniel on twitter)
Ilana Greenberg-Sud (Producer, Stage Manager, understudy: Titania, Narrator, Fairy; she/her/they/them) has been involved in theatre for 20 years, from backstage to on-stage to front-of-house to management. She especially loves charitable and activist theatre; she has produced or directed The Vagina Monologues three times, and has stage managed The Crucible, among other productions. She is honored to work with such a talented group of performers. Ilana can be found on Twitter at @melaynebakes, where she can be seen yelling about politics, queer and Jewish issues, and representation in media, as well as being a Giant Nerd.
Jacob Brode (Starveling, understudy: Puck; he/him) is a high school Physics and Math Teacher by day, grad student by night, and YouTuber on the weekends. Jake is thrilled to be a part of the Worlds Elsewhere Theater Company’s debut production! Despite over a decade of experience with college and community theater, with plenty of directing, writing, scenic design, and other production roles under his belt, this is his first theatrical performance since portraying a Satanic muffin in 2009. You can witness Jake’s most recent artistic pursuits on the Database Ranger’s Power Reviews YouTube channel, where he engages in adventure-filled Power Rangers meta-analyses alongside his wonderful wife, MJ. (DatabaseRanger on Twitter/YouTube, DBRangersPowerReviews / DRProductionCompany on Facebook)
James Ketelaar (Oberon, understudy: Demetrius; he/him) is an actor and podcaster based in Brooklyn, who is pretty very online. Follow him on Twitter @docprofessorman, check out his older podcasts at thehaterscast.libsyn.com, or look up The Haters Cast and Movie Improvie wherever you get your podcasts! And keep an eye out for his upcoming real-play podcast, Dangerous Times at Chill Haven High!
Jamie McConnaughy (understudy: Cobweb; “The Internet is Haunted”; she/her) is a 30 year old, Alaskan born dork who can’t believe she wound up in this production with real actors. When not writing about film or television, she can be found on her Twitter @elessar42 or her twitch, elessar4242 and in case you’re wondering, yes both of those are a reference to Lord of the Rings. Her tumblr (football-in-tuxedos) is a reference to The Room, so you know what you’re in for if you choose to follow her.
Jared Gilman (understudy: Starveling, Moth; “Backstage Escapades”; he/him) While he’s definitely had experience studying film acting, Jared’s never studied understudying before, nor has he ever done an original cabaret performance, so uh we’ll see what happens there. (@realJaredGilman on twitter)
Katherine Rose Turbes (Narrator; “Ophelia”; they/them) is a cabaret performer, monologist and actor. They primarily perform their own work, focusing on personal narratives and often dealing with themes of mental illness, grief and trauma. In the before times, KRT frequently performed at Bluestockings Bookstore as part of Joan Dark’s Get On The Stage, and at Metropolitan Bar as part of Joanie Drago and Octavia Leona Kohner’s Gender Experts Party (and will hopefully return when the world reopens). Amidst the plague, they’ve been uploading performances to their YouTube Channel Instagram and Facebook Page.
In 2010, Kyle Kallgren (Director, Theseus; he/him) made the unfortunate decision to enter online video professionally. Since then he has Created Content for various websites, including Your Tube. Videos of his have received recognition from sites like Film School Rejects, Fandor, Polygon and BFI/Sight & Sound. He currently lives in Queens with his incredible fiancé Jourdain Searles. He has no pets. (oancitizen on YouTube, @KyleKallgren on twitter, KKallgren on Patreon)
Laura Crone (Hermia; she/her) is an actress who has been working on a lot of non-acting stuff for a while but could not be happier to be coming out of “retirement” for this project! She also makes videos featuring underqualified film analysis, music theory-type adventures, deeply personal shenanigans, and swords at lauracrone on youtube. (@down_w_lcc on twitter, @thelccwontletyoube on instagram)
Maciek Nowak/Wensleydale Cheddar (Mustard-Seed; they/them) is a stammering mess of a manga podcaster and video essayist from Poland. English phonetician by trade, they discuss short series in Manga Mosaic and read through World Trigger volume by volume in Duckface Diaries, mostly talking about structure, character dynamics and political readings. Look out for their animated fantasy series, Pengantar, coming out in December! (@WensleyCheddar on Twitter, Wensleydale Cheddar on YouTube, podcasts on Spotify).
Matt Crowley (Flute; he/him) is a video essayist and filmmaker from Kent, England. After leaving college with an Advanced Diploma in Performing Arts, he created a series of short films under the production banner ‘The House That Jack Built’ (or THTJB), becoming a film columnist and critic for the website blog. Eventually, he teamed with long time friend and creative, Sam Lightwing, to create video essay series ‘So Much for Pathos’ in late 2013. The House That Jack Built currently has over 350,000 channel views, with popular So Much for Pathos episodes including: ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’, ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, ‘I Love You, Phillip Morris’ and ‘Watchmen Part 1 & 2’. (TheHouseThatJackBuilt on YouTube, @MattJCrowley on twitter)
Meryl Federman (Lysander; she/her) is a TV & film accountant, and lifelong haver of feelings about Shakespeare and classical drama. In college she ran the Shakespeare group for two years, and knew she’d never really stop engaging with these texts. These days you can find her hanging around The Shakespeare Forum in New York, providing feedback to people workshopping their pieces. One of her pipe dreams is to produce a film adaptation of Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, which isn’t Shakespeare, but is close. Thanks to WETC for this opportunity to play for a good cause!
Mike Fatum (Bottom; he/him) is a host of the Ace of Geeks Podcast, a wonderful excuse for three friends to hang out and talk about the culture that shapes us. The Ace of Geeks Podcast Network also includes Disney Vault Divers, a review of every Disney movie ever made, with more new shows coming soon. He’s also the Community Manager for Star Trek Online, a sword fight choreographer and a theater director in the Bay Area. Black Lives Matter, Trans Rights are Human Rights. Teach kids compassion early, and put an end to bullying once and for all. You can find him on Twitter @VengeanceGOD.
Morgan Stutler (understudy: Snug, Flute, Pease-Blossom; “My Melancholy Baby”; he/him) - An aspiring voice actor originally from Michigan, Morgan moved to Richmond Virginia in early 2018 and has been steadily working his way up to having a proper presence online. A student of Italian swordsmanship and martial arts, a gamer, LARPer, singer and student of history, Morgan streams on Twitch at @mrmorphine482.
Olivia Giovetti (Hippolyta; she/her) is a cultural critic and “audacious hybrid” (NYTimes) based in Berlin. Recent work has been published by the Washington Post, Architectural Digest, Lit Hub, and VAN Magazine. She’s the former Classical & Opera Editor at Time Out New York and her writing has been heard onstage at BAM as part of the Next Wave Festival. (@ogiovetti on twitter, oliviagiovetti.com).
Regina R. Russell (Helena; she/her) is a New York based actress and director. Originally hailing from the Bronx and a graduate of Cornell University (B.A. Theatre Arts) and East 15 Acting School in London (M.F.A Acting), Regina’s favorite roles include: Trainee in Brimstone Valley Mall, Elaine the Lady of Shallot in The Table Round and The Siege Perilous, Hel in Hel Hath No…, Exeter from Occupy: Harry Henry V, Persephone in the Love and Death Trilogy, Hero in Much Ado About Nothing, and Nedriss Narr in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. IG: @reggirenee.
Sam Marchiony (Philostrate, understudy: Hermia; she/her) is the creator of La Femme Fictionale, a web series for examining media through a critical feminist lens. The show has been on hold as she finishes her Masters thesis, but she remains dedicated to the empowerment of those disenfranchised by patriarchy and white supremacy. She considers her crowning achievement to be writing a one-act play calling Shakespeare a misogynist and her interests outside of feminism include musical theatre and stanning Natalie Portman. You can find her on YouTube, or follow her on Twitter @FemmeFictionale. Death to Fascism. Trans Rights are Human Rights. Black Lives Matter.
Executive Director - Kyle Kallgren
Producer - David Kowarsky
Producer - Ilana Greenberg
Technical Director - Dodger of Zion
Banner art by Kyle Kallgren.
Horn Call Attribution
Horn Call from Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony — recorded by TaranP, sourced from freesound.org
Mendelssohn’s Techno Wedding Remix by TPRMX
“Enchanted Valley” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
“Danse of Questionable Tuning” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License