The Western Michigan University Theatre’s current production of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” features an inspiring actor with cerebral palsy in a leading role.
“If we shadows have offended, think but this, and all is mended: That you have but slumber'd here While these visions did appear. And this weak and idle, theme, no more yielding but a dream…”
The production is a dream come true for Western senior Margaux Wellman, who plays Puck in one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies.
“When I saw the cast list initially, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ I was so excited because Puck is - it’s a dream. Honestly, this role is incredible.”
Wellman was born with mild cerebral palsy, a group of disorders that affect movement and muscle tone. She walks with a limp she uses in her art to celebrate differences.
“From an early age I realized there weren’t people like me on screen or on stage or on TV and I wanted to do something about that.”
Her determination is on display in her final role at Western after being cast by the play's director, Kate Thomsen.
“It was fun to put her in a place of incredible power. Puck has a lot of power in the world of this play, and I knew that Margaux had done a lot of growth on that that I was really excited for Margaux to get to explore.”
Wellman says she uses that power on the stage to break boundaries.
“Traditionally when we think of disability, we don’t automatically think of power. But Puck is the one that holds all of this power. Puck is the one that creates the entire fairy world. And I’m living in a world that was not made for disabled people and isn’t necessarily, all of the time, accessible. But because Puck created this fairy world, it’s 110-percent accessible all of the time, and there is so much beauty and so much power in all of that.”
Tickets for the outdoor performances on June 5 and 6, 2021, at Western Michigan University are available on the WMU Theatre website.