Midsummer afternoon’s “Dream”

Last time I wrote a life-update entry, I mentioned the Shakespeare Santa Cruz offsite, but didn't go into detail.

Not gonna go into detail now, either. Suffice it to say, it was a nice performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in SSC's nice outdoor performance space; and unlike the last version I saw, this one was entirely in English. Gave me even more appreciation for how well the multilingual production handled things, I think.

During the first half of the SSC version the other week, we were sitting in the sun, which got very hot; after intermission, we moved down the hill into the shade, and somehow the second half was much better than the first half. (That "somehow" is sarcastic; point being, the heat made it hard to concentrate on the show, and the shade made it much easier.)

One thing I was struck by: during much of Dream, various characters spend significant amounts of time asleep onstage. I wonder if the actors find it boring.

Another thing I wondered: has anyone done a Dream reworking in which the first person seen on awakening is one of the same-sex characters? I imagine some judicious Googling would lead me to the answer, but no time for that right now.

3 Responses to “Midsummer afternoon’s “Dream””

  1. cj

    speaking as an actor who has spent sometime the equivalent of asleep on stage: It isn’t boring, it is nerve wracking, but ya get to use it.

  2. Catherine


    1) I haven’t spent a lot of time onstage asleep since I was 10, but it *was* nervewracking–I kept waiting for someone to screw up and obsessing about ways to fix things just in case something went wrong.

    2) I dunno about the Dream specifically, but “mysteriously woke up in bed together” (alternately, naked in an alley together or something) is a classic slash-cliche setup. I have a great fondness for slash cliches, so I read a fair number of those stories.

  3. Jed

    So is “sleeping” onstage more nervewracking than being offstage? It sounds like it is, but can you elaborate on why? Is it just that you have to stay very still?

    Re slash cliche: interesting; didn’t know that.

    But I was thinking more about the pursuit than about the being in bed together–throughout much of Dream, various men are chasing various women. (The Titania/Bottom romance has less of a pursuit element, but it’s less what I’m interested in here.) So I’m thinking that the tangled web of interest and pursuit and rejection there might develop some interesting further tangles if (say) Demetrius woke up and immediately saw Lysander instead of Helena.


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