MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, by William Shakespeare
In Athens, royalty is partying. Duque Theseus is preparing to wed Hippolyta, amazon queen, whom he captured in combat. Egeus, an important city lord, demands the application of an old law: the father has the right to choose the husband for his daughter. If she refuses to marry, she is condemned to death or chastity. Hermia, his daughter, is willing to face death for her loved one, Lysander. Demetrius desires her and refuses to concede his position. Helen, Hermia’s great friend, loves Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander flee the city. Helen, aware of the elopement, warns Demetrius. He chases the lovers and Hermis follows him in hope of some reward.
In the meantime, six Athenian artisans, prepare a theatre play to present in the royal marriage parties. During the night, they all cross each other in the woods, where Oberon and Titiana, lords of the powers of Nature, negotiate a lover’s quarrel. Oberon decides to confound everyone. Lovers, artisans, and Titiana herself live hours of confusion.
Reality and fiction mix until “peace and quiet” is restored with some mischief and magic in the mix.
The will to perform this play with an already established cast, mostly women, led us to transform the artisans of the original text into a group of women artisans, equally in love with the art of acting and desire to please their lords. As a result, we highlight on scene the fragility of the female presence in a rigidly hierarchical world.
Shakespeare places the royal couple discussing the role of imagination of artists and spectators as they watch the artisan’s play. To the play within a play we added an additional level: the actors representing the characters that are playing Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Translation: Fernando Villas-Boas
Direction: Cristina Carvalhal
Dramaturgy: Cristina Carvalhal and Fernando Villas-Boas
Assistant Director: Sérgio Castro
Scenography and Costumes: Ana Vaz
Lighting design: Pedro Carvalho
Music and Sound design: Sérgio Delgado
Cast: Alheli Guerrero, Ana Arqueiro, Ana Gouveia, André Teixeira, Diana Sá, Emílio Gomes, Mané Carvalho, Manuela Ferreira, Sara Costa, Sara Pinto Pereira, Teresa Arcanjo, Tiago Correia
Cast of the Creative Workshop: Carla Silva, Alexandrino Silva, Elisabete Abreu, Elisabete Eustáquio, Filipa Pereira, Hugo Jorge, Madalena Gomes, Sílvia Cruz, Paulo Silva.
Location: Jardins do Centro Cultural Vila Flor, Guimarães
Dates: July 14th to 18th, 2010
Production Teatro Oficina