In the farce, Demetrius is a young Athenian who is engaged to an Athenian woman, Helena, but through fairy mischief, he finds himself chasing after another woman named Hermia, who is in love with a man named Lysander.
That experience was the launching pad for his theater career that has included working with Plan B Theatre Company and the Salt Lake Acting Company and appearing on stages across the country.
"While I was in the role, I realized how much I loved Shakespeare," Perry told The Park Record. "I found I had a good ear for his language, the way he wrote the plays, and that gave me the confidence to go forward and pursue acting.
"There were some other plays that I enjoyed doing, but it was this one that helped me discover that I was good at theater," he said.
When the Egyptian Theatre's YouTheatre program presents "A Midsummer Night's Dream" this weekend, Perry will have come full circle, because he is the director.
"Jamie Wilcox, who is the YouTheatre program director, came up with the idea of creating 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' set to the music of the '80s," Perry said. "I think she wanted to incorporate all of Park City's musical theater-talented kids, along with Park City kids whi were more interested in the dramatic performance, and this was a way to get both groups of kids to into the same show."
Perry said it's an "absolute honor" to share this with the kids.
"Not only am I passionate about Shakespeare, I am also passionate about the music that we are using in the play, because I grew up with the music of the '80s," he said.
Some of the tunes include Dead or Alive's "You Spin Me Right Round (Like A Record)," Wham's "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go," The Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," and the '70s song "We Will Rock You," by Queen.
"We also have some Spandau Ballet, Cher, Pat Benatar, Whitney Houston and I even think we've got some Duran Duran, so there is a wide selection of '80s music that we do," Perry said. "We're going to sing to karaoke tracks."
Scholars believe Shakespeare wrote the play between 1590 and 1596, and Perry has helped the cast, consisting of 28 children ranging in age from 12 to 17, to learn a bit of its history.
"We talked about it during the YouTheatre summer camps that we held this year at Park City High School," he said. "However, since we had so much to do, we weren't able to learn a lot of it.
"But what we have been able to do, we have been addressing some of the history of the play here and there," Perry said. "I've also given them assignments where they would do some research and bring those things into rehearsals. That way they build up the work ethic of an actor, and I've helped them build on that."
The production that the kids will present is a simplified version of the play.
"The language has been adjusted to help younger kids understand what they are saying, but the script is not completely modernized," Perry explained. "It still captures a lot of the poetry and the original language wherever possible. And I liked this version because it was more accessible, but also taught them how Shakespeare wrote.
"The play was originally written in five acts, and we're doing a shortened version without an intermission," he said.
Jenn Taylor designed the sets.
"Her husband Isaac is building the sets and they are a beautiful," Perry said. "They make a wonderful team."
Perry also wanted to thank musical director Mary Anderson-Bailey.
"She is great," Perry said. "I've seen similar versions where parts of the scenes were sung, but not like how we're doing this."
He also encouraged Park City residents to attend the production for the actors' benefit.
"We would love people to come see the show," he said. "We want to fill the house for these kids, because they have worked so hard on this production. It will be a lively and fun show that all ages will enjoy."
The Egyptian Theatre's YouTheatre program will present "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on Friday, Aug. 8, and Saturday, Aug. 9. Friday's show will begin at 7 p.m. and Saturday's productions will be performed at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. The play is presented in musical form featuring '80s hits. Adult tickets are $14 and youth tickets for ages 17 and younger are $9. They can be purchased by visiting www.parkcityshows.com.