Culture clash: Expanding horizons through the arts |

Culture clash: Expanding horizons through the arts

As a senior in high school, I had the opportunity to travel with my theater class to London for a whirlwind tour of the city, its vibrant theatrical scene and a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon.

While visiting the birthplace of Shakespeare, we took in a production of “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Although the language and accents were a lot to take in during the ever-flowing comedy, the production left a lasting impression.

Seeing it again Saturday at the Nevada Theatre brought back some of the great memories of the trip but also highlighted just how much of the production I missed or forgot so many years ago. When I met with Jac Royce, the director of Sierra Stages’ “Midsummer Night’s Dream,” she said she wanted to make Shakespeare accessible. Royce’s time spent one on one with the actors really shined through on stage.

Yes, it’s Shakespeare. Yes, it’s Old English. But if you take the time to listen, it is worth the while.

The Bard’s work is an integral part of our culture. His themes — from comedy to tragedy — are relevant in modern times and pop up frequently in literature, art, music and movies.

This weekend, Sierra Stages will offer a few perks in addition to great community theater. At today’s performance (March 14), the cast and crew will host a meet and greet following the play. Patrons can have their photos taken on stage with the cast, ask questions about the production and learn more about community theater.

Sierra Stages is also continuing its raffle through the final seven performances for the popular pub sign and the swing. Attendees can purchase tickets for $1 or get an arm-span-width worth for $20. For more about the production, go to

As the Nevada Union High School Choir prepares to leave next week for the Baltic States, I wish them well. (See Jennifer Terman’s story about the choir on page A1 of the March 14 edition of The Union). It is a chance of a lifetime to experience the arts in another culture at such an impressionable age.

Features Editor Brett Bentley can be contacted at

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