What You'll Get
- $18 for two general admission tickets (up to $36 value)
This production transforms the natural environment of the outdoor theater into an urban wonderland through gesture, dance, and music. The audience is guided on a tour from the gated community of Athens, where the rich, privileged lovers lead sheltered lives, all the way to Forest, a broken down city with a punk rock energy and leather-clad fairies. The repression of the rich will be overthrown, the fairies will fight relentlessly for anarchy, and the touring performance artist collective The Mechanicals will dazzle with their conceptual, experimental production of “Pyramus and Thisbe”.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
Perhaps Shakespeare’s most popular comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream exists in two worlds: one like a dream, the other filled with dreamers. The former is the world of the faeries, and it’s that world in which we spend most of our time. The other world belongs to the play’s central quartet of lovers, who hightail it out of Athens and into the forest, unwittingly entering a place that’s every bit as heady, heightened, and dizzying as the blush of a budding romance or the pangs of unrequited love. For under its magical canopies, the woods harbors meddling sprites, a misapplied love potion or two, and one poor fool with the head of an ass.
That fool’s name is Bottom, and, despite the whirlwind plot that surrounds him, it’s to this character that Midsummer truly belongs. One of Shakespeare’s meatiest comedic roles, Bottom is the unfortunate fellow responsible for the play’s most gut-splitting laughs as well as its profoundest moments of pathos. As the hapless leader of the band of “rude mechanicals,” Bottom is rehearsing a play in the woods when he draws the ire of Puck, the mischievous sprite that guides the audience through the production. After Puck bestows him with the head of an ass, Bottom awakens Titania, the faerie queen, who’s been bewitched to fall in love with the first creature she sees. Their lusty romance is rich fodder for comedy, of course, but in the moments after the enchantments have waned, Bottom regrets that the “dream” has died, longing for a world and a love that were never quite real. With that kind of stuff to play with—plus a climactic trainwreck-within-a-play that dares the actor playing Bottom to chew the scenery and swallow it whole—it’s no surprise that the likes of Kevin Kline and James Cagney have been drawn to the role.
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Jul 10, 2016. Limit 20/person. Valid only for option purchased. Redeem on day of show for a ticket at the venue box office. Refundable only on day of purchase. Discount reflects merchant's current ticket prices, which may change. ADA seating cannot be guaranteed; contact box office prior to purchase for availability. Ticket value includes all fees. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
About Hampshire Shakespeare Company
Each summer, as stars glitter in the sky, Hampshire Shakespeare Company illuminates the crowd below with open-air renditions of the Bard's greatest hits. As showgoers lounge on their blankets, chairs, or elephants, the company stages interpretations of Shakespeare's plays that prize intelligibility and entertainment. In addition to its main-stage shows, the Hampshire Shakespeare Company also puts on a youth theater production each year to give youngsters a taste of the stage, and buoys playwrights from throughout the Valley with workshops and readings.