The course of true love never did run smooth but Bakersfield Community Theatre is more optimistic about its production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which opens Friday.

Director Rebecca Worley, who came to the show just a month before it opened, said she was excited to help bring this classic to the stage.

"This is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays because of its darker look at love and the complications caused by jealousy," she wrote in an email.

"Midsummer" focuses on a complicated romantic tangle of lovers Lysander and Hermia (Nicholas Roy Morgan III and Jacqueline Salazar) and Helena (Victoria Olmos) who loves Demetrius (Josh Carruthers) who loves Hermia. Chaos ensues when the king of the fairies, Oberon (Xian Fredericksen), attempts to help Hermia with a potion, the administration of which is botched. 

As with many Shakespeare adaptations, this show is ripe for a fresh setting, in this case Nice, France, in the early 1950s.

Worley wrote, "It’s far enough after WWII and they are starting to get their hope back for a brighter future, which I think this play has that essential message."

Even beyond the setting, the story of love, jealousy and misunderstandings is bolstered by the Bard's words. Worley said she would like audiences to come away with an appreciation of relationships.

"They are hard and they take work but if there is love then it’s worth it," she wrote. "That’s one of the hearts of this play. All of the characters are struggling in their relationships but, with hard work and a little help, they remain strong in their love."

Of course, with feuding fairies and mechanicals (laborers) struggling to put on a play within the play, there is plenty to amuse as well as illuminate.

"Come prepared to laugh and enjoy the play," Worley wrote.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" opens Friday at Bakersfield Community Theatre and runs Fridays and Saturdays through March 23 with one 2 p.m. matinee on March 17.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

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