“Lovestruck” Promises a Uniquely Enchanting Midsummer’s Night
Sep07

“Lovestruck” Promises a Uniquely Enchanting Midsummer’s Night

We’ve all been there. It’s the classic teenage tryst: You’re in love with one guy, but your dad says you have to marry another. Your best friend is secretly crushing on the guy your dad likes. So you try to elope with your true love. But before you know it, the two guys are poised to fight, a group of woodland fairies puts magic love potion on everyone, the love triangle gets really messy, and the fairies bewitch everyone into a deep sleep. Okay, so most high school dramas never get as complicated as Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” But it does make for a time-honored story. It also makes the ideal inspiration for a dreamy “immersive theater” performance – which is exactly what the Fort Wayne Dance Collective has planned with the Lovestruck event on Friday, September 11, 2015. Lovestruck is the Dance Collective’s annual interactive, “choose-your-own-adventure” fundraising event. The engaging event takes the audience room-by-room through the entire Foellinger-Freimann Botantical Conservatory building and outdoor gardens. In each space, audience members encounter a new scene, a unique dance sequence, or another act of the Lovestruck plot. Like most dance performances, Lovestruck‘s main scenes are expressed through dance, in a loose, modern-day interpretation of Shakespeare’s magical romance. But unlike most performances, the Lovestruck dancers and actors interact with the audience throughout the entire evening – inviting them to join in every step the story. While the dancing is choreographed, the “immersive” nature of the event ensures surprises at every turn. Lovestruck is the third event of its kind, following Starcrossed (2013) and Wonderland (2014), the FWDC’s previous immersive performance fundraising events. Starcrossed told the “Romeo and Juliet” story by placing each guest into one of the two feuding families – Montague or Capulet – and leading them through the rooms, backstage passageways and hidden hallways of the Embassy Theatre. Wonderland, performed last year, explored several floors of the mysterious and time-untouched Masonic Temple, which was transformed through performance into Alice’s wonderland. Both events were mesmerizing and unlike anything I’ve ever attended in Fort Wayne. While most live performances ask you to simply sit and watch, these events make you an active part of the show. Performers talk to you, ask questions, invite you to join them – transporting you fully into fourteenth century Verona, madcap Wonderland, or a woodland fairyland in ancient Greece. The engaging experience is made even better by exploring every part of a unique local building – taking you into spaces you might never see otherwise. Because the whole experience is casual and self-directed, socialization is encouraged. Guests are free to interact with each other and with all of the performers. A...

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