A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream is one of William Shakespeare’s most popular plays, and for good reason. Frequently a young person’s introduction to the playwright’s work, it’s an entertaining comedy filled with magical fairies, earnest lovers, and funny mechanicals (as well as — in the best productions — intensely earnest mechanicals and lovers who are also… Continue Reading »
Posts Tagged: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
The spiced air of India was the stuff of legend in Shakespeare’s England, and is brought to vivid life in this famous passage from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” These were images which Shakespeare knew his audiences would understand, during a period in which England had begun its sea voyages to Asia in earnest, and the fabulous possibilities of directly accessing the merchandise of India were being realized for the first time.
Double-casting is a theater technique (as opposed to a literary one) that creates a meta-narrative, transforming a large-cast play into a present-tense adventure. Actors swapping costumes and changing roles (and sometimes genders) becomes part of the thrilling ride, and theater’s fundamental artifice becomes its strength. Theater’s very artificiality becomes a feature, not a bug. Shakespeare utilized this trick to both amplify subtext and heighten the drama.
While the global population of European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) is stable, their numbers have been rapidly declining in the UK for decades, especially in rural areas. This has led to a huge upswell of conservation efforts as people try to protect the UK’s only spiny mammal, and one of these efforts is centered in Shakespeare’s… Continue Reading »
Artist Paul Glenshaw takes a close look at Titania and Bottom as he draws the scene from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” depicted on a Folger bas-relief.
What should you watch for in a production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream?” We asked some friends what they look for in this classic play.
“Fools and Mortals,” a new novel from New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell, tells the story of the first production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Elizabethan England, from the perspective of William Shakespeare’s younger brother Richard.
Lewis Carroll gave this lovely 1868 edition of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” with delicate cut-paper images by Paul Konewka, to his illustrator for “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” John Tenniel.
Promptbooks let us peer into the minds of some of history’s greatest theater-makers and see how they imagined Shakespeare’s plays.
Known for his complex imaginary contraptions, W. Heath Robinson also produced exquisite illustrations for editions of Shakespeare’s works.