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Algonquin Youth Ensemble Stars In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream On April 28 & 29

April 25, 2017

Production Concludes First Tuition Free Semester For Algonquin's Marquee Education Program

Caption: The Algonquin Youth Ensemble rehearses "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on the Algonquin stage. Pictured are cast members (Left to right) Diana Whaley, Emily Latshaw, Payton Siano, Ashley Moshett, Sarah Hendricks, Bianca D'Anton and Kelly Merk. (Photo Courtesy of Algonquin Arts Theatre)

MANASQUAN, N.J. (April 25, 2017) - Algonquin Arts Theatre produces a play by William Shakespeare for the first time as the Algonquin Youth Ensemble stars in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on April 28 & 29.

Algonquin Youth Ensemble is the Algonquin's marquee instructional program. Students are selected to participate through a highly competitive audition process prior to the start of the semester. In addition to rehearsing for their main stage performances, AYE students are enrolled in a class that runs in conjunction with the rehearsal period teaching theatre skills and concepts that are applied to the production.

Due to the support of Algonquin donors and sponsors, participation in this AYE production and class is completely tuition free to participants for the first time.

"By offering AYE as a tuition free program we have taken the important step of removing barriers to participation in our marquee education program," said Algonquin Executive Director Pamela Ward. "This isn't possible without the support of our sponsors, especially 'Broadway Ray Soehngen' and Eliot Arlo Colon, who made tuition-free AYE a reality."

Tickets are available online at and by phone at 732-528- 9211 for performances on Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29 at 8 p.m. The cast will also appear in two daytime performances for school groups on April 28 as part of the Algonquin's Education Series.

Written in the late 1500s, "Midsummer" is one of Shakespeare's most resilient comedies and most-performed works. The four plot lines in the play all connect through the celebration of the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, a former queen of the Amazons.

The cast of "Midsummer" is Ella Cardelfe (Spring Lake), Bianca D'Anton (Manasquan), Michael Deitz (Belmar), Sarah Hendricks (Brielle), Taylor Landau (Brick), Emily Latshaw (Wall), Emily Madeira (Howell), Jake Maglies (Brick), Kelly Merk (Point Pleasant), Jill Moran (Point Pleasant Beach), Ashley Moshett (Howell), Luke Pearlberg (Brielle), Analise Piemonte (Point Pleasant), Jack Ramina (Wall), Julia Scaffidi (Wall), Payton Siano (Brielle), Devlin Stark (Oceanport), Keelin Stark (Brielle) and Dianna Whaley (Long Branch).

"Midsummer" is directed by Ruben Nagy and produced by Algonquin Director of Arts Education Julie Nagy.

"Shakespeare can be fun and relatable," said director Ruben Nagy. "Midsummer is a great way to get your feet wet in Shakespeare. It's silly, fast-paced and well-loved by modern audiences."

Students on the production team include stage manager Olivia Verni (Point Pleasant) and the running crew members of Ryan Alger (Wall), Brendan Gillespie (Manasquan), Amelia Johnson (Manasquan) and Adam Knobloch (Marlboro).

As the students take the stage this weekend, AYE will be looking ahead to summer as it holds auditions for Peter Pan on Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30. Audition information is available online at

Algonquin Arts Theatre (AAT) is a 501c(3) non-profit center for performing arts, providing cultural enrichment and arts education for residents and visitors of Central New Jersey and the Jersey Shore through high quality performances and programs in theatre, music, dance and film.

Located in Manasquan, N.J., AAT is an integral part of the Shore Region, offering broad access to arts experiences across multiple disciplines. Deeply committed to education, AAT serves students of all ages not only through art and music instruction, but also through the unique communal conversation that exists between audience member and performer. The theatre provides a platform for local and regional performers to showcase their work and offers audiences the opportunity to engage very directly and personally in the arts, fostering greater participation and providing an engaging means for exploring personal and societal issues through the world of the stage.

Algonquin Arts Theatre's programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts / Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding is also provided by Manasquan Bank, Broadway Ray, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Freed Foundation, the PNC Foundation, the Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, the OceanFirst Foundation, the Investors Bank Foundation, the Provident Bank Foundation and the generosity of our patrons.

The theatre was voted New Jersey's favorite small performing arts center south of the Raritan River in 2015 and 2016.