Directing A Midsummer Night's Dream
San Francisco Shakespeare Festival's Shakespeare on Tour is back for the first time after the pandemic! And I had the immense pleasure of directing this spring's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"... and what a dream it was!
This play is probably my favorite of Shakespeare's. It holds a special place in my heart as it was my first play ever when I was in fourth grade. It introduced me to theatre. I knew from that moment on that this was the way I wanted to spend my life. The fairies and magic are the perfect way to get young people excited and involved, but it works for adults as well. It is funny and ridiculous, but it also has so much heart.
“Environmental work and environmentally-conscious theatre has always been at the core of my work as an artist and a human. We at SF Shakes are a member of the EarthShakes Alliance. During the pandemic, there was the first Globe4Globe Conference about Shakespeare and Environmentalism as well as EarthShakes launching their website with lots of resources. It was wonderful! I found myself incredibly inspired by the piece This Distemperature by Parrabola so named after Titania’s speech. I felt the relevancies of Midsummer even more reflected in the changing environment. I’m really interested in how we can highlight that in this condensed version. The fairies in our production will take the shape of local California flora and fauna and give a voice to our non-human neighbors."
Another Inspirational piece was Akaina Ghosh's "Takes on Shakes" with SF Shakespeare during the pandemic. They explored consent in A Midsummer Night's Dream. This play is a perfect introduction to the concept of consent as numerous characters have magic performed on then without their consent, which leads to the hijinks of the play. I often would teach with SPARC Theatre's "So Wise So Young" program in 2nd grades in the Livermore School district. In this program, we explore "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and the kids are always asking if Demetrius is still under the love spell. They pick up on the lack of consent between Titania and Oberon.
I am so grateful for the amazing cast and the opportunity to work on this piece. I am just beginning on my director journey and this was a perfect place to explore and develop new ideas and concepts. The cast was so imaginative and creative that it made this process a joy. I am truly looking forward to more directing gigs in the future!
The show runs from February 14th till May 6th and will be touring to locations all over California!
For public show dates and more information check out the website below:
Featuring: Christopher Prescott Carter, Charlie Lavaroni, Parker Sera, Robert Kittler, Yamini Jain, Nayalie Ayala, Evan Held, Marjan Safa, Alan Coyne, and Bianca Chestnut
Costumes by Lee Patel
Music by Min Kahn
Assistant Director and Production Manager Robyn Grahn