A Midsummer Night's Dream
By William Shakespeare
Directed by John Short
May 22-June 30, 2004
Kicking off the 2004 Shakespeare festival, HSC returns with a perennial favorite. A Mid Summer Night's Dream tells the story of 4 lovers who each want someone who they can't have; two like minded rulers from different worlds frustratingly anticipating their honeymoon; a group of clueless, wannabe actors, trying to put on a "tragic " play in record time for their Duke's upcoming wedding and a leading man, with an ego the size of Greece wanting to play all the parts; the marital spats of two omnipotent beings, who's conflicts wreak havoc on the weather and those around them; and all of this craziness is tied together by a certain mischievous imp. Love, breakup, sex, marriage, death, life, fairies, some interesting plants and a donkey and one crazy night in the woods of Athens all come together in Shakespeare's ode to marriage and relationships. A favorite with kids and adults alike, A Mid Summer Night's Dream pulls at your heart and your funny bone with a story where all is not as it seems. Where does fun end and danger begin? Are things innocently jovial or boarding on the perversely strange? Like a dream, the play takes on many layers.
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The nuptial preparations of Theseus, the ruler of Athens (Joshua Hill, seated) and Hippolyta (Gyda Arber) are interrupted by Aegeus (L. Robert Johnson) seeking the Theseus' intervention to get is daughter Hermia (Jennifer Short, kneeling) to marry Demetrius (Nathan DeCoux, second from left), than her true love Lysander (John Trigonis). Hamilton Park, Jersey City, NJ
As the party leaves to attend to other matters, the lovers Hermia (Jennifer Short) and Lysander (John Trigonis) plot to elope into the woods outside Athens. Pier A Park, Hoboken, NJ
The couple is interrupted by Helena (Paula Galloway) who is in love with Demetrius but won't return her affections because he wants Hermia. The couple tell Helena of their plans, but Helena decides to tell Demetrius. Kenilworth Borough Hall, Kenilworth, NJ
Celebrations are planned to mark the marriage of Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Egeus brings his rebellious daughter Hermia in front of the Duke for refusing to marry Demetrius, her father's choice, because she is love with Lysander. The Duke orders Hermia to obey her father or, according to Athenian law, she must face death or enter a convent. Hermia and Lysander decide to elope that night. They confide their plan to their friend Helena and she, in love with Demetrius and hoping to win his affection, tells him of the plan. That night, all four lovers steal away into the forest. A group of Athenian tradesmen, led by Peter Quince, are planning to perform a play, 'The Tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe' in celebration of the Duke's wedding. They decide to rehearse in the same forest.
The stressed Peter Quince (L. Robert Johnson) is having a hard time in his new career as a director, dealing with a temperamental leading man, Bottom (Carlos R. Fernandez). Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
Bottom (Carlos R. Fernandez) goes off on yet another tangent as poor Peter Quince (L. Robert Johnson) attempts to hand out parts for the play Pyramus and Thisbe that the group of first time actors intends to perform at the Duke Theseus' wedding. Fellow mechanicals Snug (Michelle Smith), Flute (David Law) and Starveling (Katherine Harte) look on Bottom in awe. Snout (Lisa Perez) looks on in disgust. Hamilton Park, Jersey City, NJ
Oberon and Titania, fairy rulers of the forest, have quarreled over Titania's refusal to give up her boy page to Oberon. Oberon, being very suspicious of the "special attention" being paid to this page, sends his mischievous servant Puck to find a magic plant, the juice of which, squeezed on the eyes of someone asleep, will cause them to fall in love with the first creature they see on waking. Oberon uses the juice on Titania and upon hearing of Helena's lament over Demetrius has Puck anoint him too. Puck mistakenly anoints Lysander instead who fall in love with Helena, which ticks Hermia off and when Puck tries to anoint Demetrius, it only complicates matters further. Titania, meanwhile falls rapturously in love with Bottom, one of the tradesmen who has been bewitched by Puck. Puck rendering his critique Bottom's acting skill gives him a donkey's heard. Eventually, however, all the enchantments are lifted, the human lovers are happily paired and Titania and Oberon are reconciled. The three couples are married and Bottom's troupe perform their play at the nuptial celebrations to a "eager" audience.
In the forest outside of Athens, Titania (Gyda Arber), the queen of the fairies, and her attendants run into her estranged husband, the king Oberon (Joshua Hill). Pier A Park, Hoboken, NJ
Titania's attendant fairies: Peaseblosson (David Law), Moth (Lisa Perez), Musterseed (Michelle Smith) and Cobweb (Katherine Harte) keep a watch on the Changeling "boy" (Carlos R. Fernandez) protecting him from Oberon. Pier A Park, Hoboken, NJ
King Oberon (Joshua Hill) summons his right hand man Puck (Andrew Gruen) to get revenge on Titania. He orders him to find a special flower that will cast a love spell on the intended person and make them fall in love with the first person that they see. Anderson Park, Hackensack, NJ
Puck listens intently on where to find the flower. Kenilworth Borough Hall, Kenilworth, NJ
Oberon (Joshua Hill) demonstrates how the flower got its potency.
Flute (David Law), Snout (Lisa Perez) and Bottom (Carlos R. Fernandez) rehearse the love scene from Pyramus and Thisbe out in the forest near the sleeping area of Titania.
Having obtained the flower Oberon places the love juice on Titania's eyes. Sinatra Park, Hoboken, NJ
Titania (Gyda Arber) is awakened to the lovely song of a guy with funny ears, the recently transformed Bottom (Carlos. R. Fernandez). Stratford Library, Stratford, CT.
Attending to this strange creature, Musterseed (Michelle Smith, left), Cobweb (Katherine Hart, above Bottom), Peaseblossom (David Law) and Moth (Lisa Perez) poke and prod. Stratford Library, Stratford, CT.
touch, taste and attend to his every whim. Pier A Park, Hoboken, NJ
Aside from Titania, Oberon orders Puck to give the love juice to a certain Athenian, namely Demetrius. Though he finally gets him he also nails Lysander. Both then fight over the dumbfouned Helena. Above Demetrius (Ashby Hill) finally gives Helena the attention that she has been wanting. Sinatra Park, Hoboken, NJ
A love struck Lysander (John Trigonis) struggles to get away from his fiancee Hermia (Jennifer Short) for his new "love" Helena. Anderson St. Park, Hackensack, NJ
The boys fight over Helena as a shocked Hermia looks on. Hermia accuses Helena of stealing Lysander. Helena accuses all of them of playing a mean trick on her and craziness ensues. Stratford Library, Stratford, CT.
Puck (Andrew Gruen) and Oberon (Joshua Hill) look on at the mayhem caused in the young lovers by the love potion. Though angry at Puck, Oberon sets everything right and the lovers awaken with the right partner renewed in their bonds. Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
With the lovers made up, three weddings instead of one take place and all gather to see the evening's entertainment. The "Tragedy" of Pyramus and Thisbe. Van Vorst Park, Jersey City, NJ
With Bottom (Carlos R. Fernandez) restored he assumes the leading man position and asks Wall (Lisa Perez) to show him the chink. Anderson Park, Hackensack, NJ
An annoyed Moonshine (Katherine Harte) shows Pyramus the moon in the final scene of their play. Anderson St. Park, Hackensack, NJ
The final gathering of fairies bless the house of Theseus and conclude the play. Anderson St. Park, Hackensack, NJ
Think but this and all is mended. That you but slumbered here, while these visions did appear as Puck bids the audience a good night. Anderson St. Park, Hackensack, NJ
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