A Midsummer Night's Dream
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Robert Richmond & Lindsay Rae Taylor
Photos by Jason Ayer
The version of Midsummer I served as Dramaturg on ended up having a very similar raison d’etre to Player King, existing as a love letter to theatre as a whole. We conceived of the entire play happening in a very open space—exposing the back wall of the University’s proscenium theatre to utilize the entire space to its fullest. Our forest was composed of umbrellas that shuddered and shook when Oberon and Titania approached and expanded and contracted as though breathing when Titania lies down with the transfigured Bottom. Our rude mechanicals hammed up their parts not as particularly bad actors, just actors that very very much enjoyed their spotlight. Our fairies were decked out in leather and glam rock excess, meant to show their otherness in a way that would frighten the parents of the young folk in the audience with their loud rock and roll and dancing.
As Dramaturg I helped actors understand the language of this early comedy, researched the origins and source stories of the Greek and fairy characters, and helped develop the many practical theatrical effects we devised to do by hand, showcasing the malleable nature of theatre and its ability to happen with any level of resources. The concept, design, and direction of the piece were all in line with our mission statement to show theatre as universal force of expression.
Director: Robert Richmond & Lindsay Rae Taylor
Dramaturg: Ryan Stevens
Set Designer: Neda Spalakjovic
Choreography: Madeline Jazz Harvey
Costume Designer: April Traquina
Lighting Designer: Bruce Auerbach
Production Stage Manager: Ashley Martin
Sound Designer: Danielle Wilson