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Flowery Branch drama students dream up 1960s park
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‘A Midsummer Night's Dream'

When: 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday and Nov. 13 and 15, 2:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Flowery Branch High School, 4450 Hog Mountain Road, Flowery Branch

How much: $7 adults, $5 students

More info: 770-967-8000

All they need are some twittering birds, and the setting for Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Calif., would be complete.

When theater students at Flowery Branch High School take the stage tonight for their first performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," they will be surrounded by trees, trampolines and a bridge they can really walk across. It's all part of the abridged and updated version of Shakespeare's classic tale, set in the 1960s rather than the original dreamy fantasy land Shakespeare wrote.

And that updating, students said, helps them have an even greater appreciation of Shakespeare's work.

"It makes it a lot more fun and exciting; it's more fun to do," said senior Connor O'Donnell, who plays Demetrius. "And I like Shakespeare. It makes me really enjoy Shakespeare."

The students will be doing a little bit of everything for the show, including singing and dancing. Which is nice, O'Donnell said, because he can stretch his talents - he's already in chorus, but dancing is a relatively new endeavor for him.

Suz Amedi, a junior, said she uses Jackie Kennedy as the inspiration for her character, Hippolyta.

"I love the 1960s, so I think it's really cool that we're putting it in that time period," Amedi said. "I love Jackie Kennedy and the Kennedys in general."

The students' teacher, Jessica Rosa, said they put a lot of work into creating scenery that was vibrant and alive, almost creating another character out of the setting.

"Instead of entering a fairy world in the woods, they're entering Golden Gate Park in San Francisco," she said. "And so it's really bright colors, people are skateboarding across the stage, it's a really fun show."

Amedi agreed.

"When we first started, I was worried it would be too much, but I love it," she said. "The stage is green, so it portrays grass. And there's a tree and a tree house and there are actual real plants on stage ... There's just so much going on - there's a rainbow, you can walk over the bridge, there's trampolines on stage.

"There's a lot to it. It's kind of like a playground."

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