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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Drunk Shakespeare to bring tipsy entertainment to Bryan-College Station

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Photo Courtesy of Emma Lawson

Zach Brattin, who is playing Lysander in Meridian Theatre’s Drunk Shakespeare.

This weekend, Bryan-College Station will go from Southern to Shakespearean. 

On Saturday, Oct. 22, the Meridian Theatre is bringing Drunk Shakespeare to the Bryan-College Station area for the first time ever. Taking place at the Downtown Elixir and Spirits Co. in the LaSalle Hotel at 7:30 p.m, the Meridian cast will be performing William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” but with a tipsy twist — half of the cast will be drinking throughout the production. 

“‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ basically has three groups: You’ve got the lovers, the rude mechanics and the fairies,” Jennifer Reiley, who plays both the characters of Oberon and Theseus, said. “So basically, half of each group will be getting progressively drunker throughout the night and the other half will stay completely sober.” 

According to Rodney Bettis, the actor playing Peter Quince, the cast is made up of various performers that have worked with different companies across the Bryan-College Station area and is diverse in age, experience and expertise, with some performers coming from a musical theater background and others from the area of traditional plays.

“It’s always fun to work with new people,” Bettis said. “A lot of these people do almost exclusively straight plays, and then there’s some of us who do exclusively musical theater, so to kind of have the two worlds come together is a lot of fun.”

The founder of the Meridian Theatre, as well as the show’s director and actress playing Helena, Savannah Barrera, is excited at the prospect of the show bringing in a diverse audience, as it can appeal to a wide variety of people. 

“The show can appeal to everyone,” Barrera said. “If you are interested in Shakespeare, there you go. If you are interested in theater in general, there you go. If you’re a college student who likes drinking, there you go.”

As a whole, the cast has emphasized its excitement for the show, as well as the idea that audience members by no means need to be Shakespeare experts to attend. According to Barrera, audience participation will also be encouraged as there will be a drinking game that occurs throughout the show. 
“Nobody’s going to have any pressure on them to come out here and understand Shakespeare,” Reiley said. “I think for everybody it’s going to be a nice, fun community experience. So even if you don’t ever want to see a Shakespeare show in your life, this may still be one that’s worth coming to because it will be completely different from any other standard Shakespeare show.”
Tickets for the show can be purchased online through the Meridian Theatre’s website and are $20 for general admission.

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  • Chandler Nichols, who is playing Tom Snout in Meridian Theatre’s Drunk Shakespeare.

    Photo Courtesy of Emma Lawson

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