Playing Puck: Tim Huey ’10 Discusses ‘Midsummer Night’s’ Character

November 19, 2009

Hartwick College's Department of English and Theatre Arts will present four more performances of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, November 19-21 at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on November 22 in Slade Theatre, Yager Hall, on the Hartwick College campus.

Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for Hartwick College students, faculty, and staff. Reservations, while not required, are strongly suggested. They may be made by calling 607-431-4CAP (4227) or online at

Shakespeare's classic spins a tale of magic and mischief, as several fairies meddle in the lives and loves of four young mortals. The tale also chronicles the misadventures of a band of actors that performs a play at the Duke's wedding.

Puck (Tim Huey '10), who serves the fairy king Oberon (Joey Haws '09), dwells at the center of the action in Shakespeare's world. Crashing into his first scene with the other fairies, Puck pesters each one with a witty line about himself. He teases Oberon as well, mocking the king while feigning the guise of a loyal servant.

Often the source of trouble, whimsical Puck is a one-person chorus for the audience as he darts from one scene to the next, pausing only to shake his head at the foolish mortals in the forest. During the fight between Helena (Rebecca Hodder '11) and Hermia (Blair Coppola '11), Puck watches from above, silently egging each woman on by turn and reacting with disappointment when their spat abruptly ends.

"And all should be well" Puck states near the end of the play, crossing his fingers for luck as he rushes off to undo his mischief.

Huey offered several insights into the formation of his character.

"[Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts] Marc Shaw is a great director because he gives you a little something to work on and expects you to take it further. He'll say, 'Think about this' and 'How can you use that.'"

Huey explained that rather than dictate his expectations for a certain character, Shaw encouraged the actors to explore their own interpretations.

"One of the notes he gave me was 'How should Puck stand?' I started to think about why Puck is so grounded in his movements." Huey added, "I realized it was because he's always ready to run off somewhere, to get the flower or carry out an order."

Huey also commented on Puck's black costume, which featured silver chains and red sneakers.

"I'm usually a preppy boy in my day-to-day life. It was great to play this totally cool punk rocker. To play a character the exact opposite of me and not worry about the consequences was great."

By Alicia Walstad '10
Photos by Kaitlin Reeder '10

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum merges traditional liberal arts study, personalized teaching, and experiential learning approaches to emphasize Connecting the Classroom to the World. Add to that a wide range of off-campus internships, collaborative research, study-abroad opportunities, and a unique January Term, and Hartwick prepares students for the world ahead. Strong financial aid and scholarship programs keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030