After its barn theater in Battlefield Park was no longer useable, actors associated with the Rose Barn Theater were in search of a venue.

Sarah Evans, a Rose Barn director, proposed that the Berea Festival of Learnshops sponsor a play that learnshop participants and the community could enjoy in the evenings.

“Learnshops said sure! Go for it!” Evans said Thursday, and she began assembling a cast for Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Performances began Thursday and will continue at 7 p.m. through Sunday outside the Russel Acton Folk Center.

Tickets are $5, and guests are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets.

Most of the players have been in previous Rose Barn Theater or Spotlight Acting School plays, Evans said.

A few of the play’s experienced cast also are Eastern Kentucky University or University of Kentucky alumni. Some are members of the Lexington Singers.

Performing at the barn in Battlefield Park was a challenge, she said.

When it rained, “Whether we were in the barn or not, it rained on us.”

The venue had rabbits and coyotes and mice, but plays would still draw 900 people over two weekends “to that old barn,” Evans said. When the pigeons came, however, “the actors just lost heart.”

The Rose Barn players wanted to perform, and she wanted to direct, Evans continued, and they found a way to do that.

The new group calls itself the Village Players, in honor of Berea’s Artisan Village near the folk center, where the players perform.

The Festival of Learnshops this year provided $500 to help fund the production, Evans said.

“We’ve had so many people pitch in and support us,” she said. “Even Galaxy Bowling let us use their party room to practice. We couldn’t carry our sets around, but we made do with chairs and whatever else we had.”

The play’s admission may be low, but the performance is high quality, Evans said. The admission price was kept low so more people could see the play, she said.

Everyone is encouraged to come enjoy the play, support the Village Players and celebrate the art form, Evans said.

In event of rain, the play will move inside the folk center.

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