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A Midsummer's Night Rave

The Dresser is going on the record to say that Washington, DC's Shakespeare Theatre Company's 25th Anniversary Free For All production A Midsummer Night's Dream that runs from September 1 through September 13, 2015, belongs in the rave category. Shh, she saw the current dress rehearsal of this 2012-2013 revival!

MIDSUMMERS.jpgAdam Green as Puck is outstanding in how he stands. His body language is cause enough for raving. However, Director Ethan McSweeny has conceived the fight in the forest between the fairy-dusted lovers Hermia (Chasten Harmon), Lysander (Stephen Stocking), Helena (Julia Ogilvie), and Demetrius (Ralph Adriel Johnson) in what the Dresser sees as mad mosh pit rave scene where ecstasy is messing with youthful heads. In addition his circus like portrayal of Titania's (Sara Topham) fairies who pop out of many trapdoors in the stage and swing like acrobats from ceiling chandeliers, along with Titania sleeping in an elevated grand piano, reminds the Dresser of what Jean Cocteau did in his film La Belle et La Bete. And certainly Bottom (Tom Alan Robbins), when Puck crowns the pompous weaver with an ass's head, becomes Tatania's beloved monster!

It's an enchanting evening running two hours and 45 minutes and if you are lucky you will snag a ticket.

Salvation is what Theseus, Duke of Athens, grants the madcap lovers of A Midsummer Night's Dream. In a way it's all about appearance and what is acceptable in the milieu in which one live. W. T. Pfefferie 's poem "Salvation" speaks to Shakespeare's Dream from the 21st century.


This place is cool.
This is my coolest shirt.

Let me see what I can salvage
from past scattered moments.

I once believed I was a dream.
A felt hat worn by a rakish angel.

But what I thought was salvation
was really only car wrecks.

Lucky for me, I believe in redemption,
in sins forgiven.

A balloon rising over sandy mountains,
a paper heart cut with crooked scissors.

Something that keeps me warm,
on this, the coolest day of the year.

by W. T. Pfefferie
from My Coolest Shirt

My Coolest Shirt Copyright © 2015 W. T. Pfefferie


Comments (1)

barbara goldberg:

I saw the same production and have to say what stands out, beyond performances by Puck and Bottom, is the brash, acrobatic, sometimes over-the-top stage direction. Smacks of burlesque, not in a bad way, but one which leads me to the conclusion that slapstick and farce are immortal. And, on that point, the play's most famous takeaway: "Oh what fools these mortals be."

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