Opening October 2017 on the Main Stage
We are pleased to announce the opening of a production that had to be rescheduled to the forthcoming season due to illness in the ensemble.
A Midsummer Night's Dream, a fairy-tale comedy, was written alongside Two Gentlemen of Verona and Love Labour's Lost in the early period of William Shakespeare’s creative output, sometimes called his »experimental« and »romantic« phase. The deceptively unassuming romantic comedy offers a wide variety of interpretations and gives rise to great expectations preceding each new staging. What is at stake here is the duality between dreams and reality, turbulent emotions and icy reason, tender love and primal instincts ... Shakespeare drew his inspiration from various sources, such as Ovid's Metamorphoses and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, as well as mediaeval romances. In the play within the play performed by workmen, Shakespeare pokes fun at ineptness and clumsiness often accompanying stagings presented by thespian companies. Some critics believe that he deliberately made fun of romantic, but tragic love, such as portrayed in his tragedy Romeo and Juliet, presumably written in the same period. Love is fickle and obscures reason in no time, but it wanes just as quickly, which is why vowing eternal fidelity can be very suspicious.
The play is set in the Athenian woods during the May Day celebrations preceding the wedding of Theseus, the duke of Athens, and Hippolyta. In contrast to the strict and orderly Athens, the woods where four Athenian lovers are wandering are ruled by magical creatures that can control the events as they please. They live dissipated lives, and their quarrels and bickering is harsh and uncompromising. With the help of magic, many odd things can happen in this wild environment.
While asleep, the lovers of A Midsummer Night's Dream are struck with something they would not dare to consider in broad daylight. Their eroticism strikes full blast, making them obsessed with desire and passion. However, since the play is a comedy, it is the Spring that has aroused their emotions and made them romp. Admittedly, their dreams were disconcerting, but the play is nonetheless a triumph of optimism and faith in life. Human beings are able to overcome unyielding rationalism which is initially advocated by Helena's father Egeus and Theseus, and they can take control of passions and instincts, set free on the lovers and Titania by Oberon and Puck.
A Midsummer Night's Dream corroborates that the world of imagination is an important component of human personality.