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‘Dreamland, a Musical’ coming to Chatham Mills

Click to enlarge ‘Dreamland, a Musical’ coming to Chatham Mills

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Kasey Goldston (front), of Sanford, as Dewdrop, a fairy; and (back, from left) Adam Stark, of Pittsboro, ... (more)

03.14.2011Arts & EntertainmentCollege & CommunityStudents/Graduates

PITTSBORO - Don't miss the wild, wacky, colorful jazz-age rendition of Shakespeare's popular fantasy, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as Central Carolina Community College theater students and Chatham Community Theatre present "Dreamland, a Musical."

Central Carolina theater instructor Ellen Bland and Chatham county playwright Drew Lasater bring Lasater's delightful adaptation of the fantasy to the stage in an encore for the performance troupe. "Dreamland" premiered in 2007 at Chatham Mills and returns by popular demand.

"This year's show features as talented and diverse a group as our previous shows," Bland said. "The tremendous feedback we had from its previous performance encouraged us to bring it back to delight audiences again. This is grassroots theater at its best." 

Bland calls it "grassroots theater" because she never knows who her students will be until a semester begins. The spring play is selected to fit the strengths of the students and blend them with the talents brought by involved community actors and production people. The plays are also selected to appeal to diverse audiences.

Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" takes viewers into a fantasy world of young lovers, comic bungling amateur actors, and mischievous fairies. Lasater's adaptation updates the action to the 1920s jazz era, adding sparkle, great music and fun.

 "Dreamland, a Musical" runs April 8-10 and 14-17 at Chatham Mills, 480 Hillsborough St., Pittsboro. Tickets are $13 online at or at the CCCC Chatham Campus, in Pittsboro. Show times are: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 8-9; 3 p.m. Sunday, April 10; 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 15-16; and 7 p.m. Sunday, April 17.

Under Bland's direction, the college's theater students and Chatham Community Players have been bringing quality productions to residents of central North Carolina since 2003. That was the year audiences and reviewers raved about "Millworker" by Bland and Lasater. The show chronicled, in word and music, the everyday struggles and hopes of residents in a Depression-era North Carolina mill town. It was based on "Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill Worker," a volume of Southern oral history stories compiled by UNC-Chapel Hill scholars.

Since then, the performance group has played to sold-out crowds for popular shows such as "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "Kudzu, a Southern Musical,"  "Working, a Musical," and more.  

The past two spring musicals have also included the high-energy work of NYC professional music director Creighton Irons, along with a rock/jazz combo band of local professional musicians. Both Irons and the same musicians, hooked on the genuine enthusiasm of the grassroots group, return for a third show with "Dreamland."