Canon Fodder: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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With our 2014 production of Othello GreenStage will complete Shakespeare's canon! We're continuing our celebratory look back at every play.

Today's play is A Midsummer Night's Dream, our most often-performed play; we’ve done it five times over the years. The reasons are simple. It’s a popular favorite, and the story of lovers and fairies frolicking in the forest is a perfect fit for summer outdoors in the parks.

Our first Midsummer was performed in 1993, and directed by Tony Driscoll. It was the first show with GreenStage for Ken Holmes, now managing director, who played Demetrius. Eli Simons was Peter Quince, John Bogar played Oberon, David Russo had the role of Puck, and Jeff Taylor was the lion. You may recognize Russo as a filmmaker; his movie “The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle” received some significant attention on the film festival circuit.

We did Midsummer again the following summer, with mostly the same cast, though this time Russo directed and Driscoll took on the role of Bottom. That's the cast of the 1993-94 productions in the photo above. In 1998 we did Midsummer twice, staging it both indoors and outdoors. Tom Sunderland directed; the versions were about the same, though there were some cast changes between the two mountings. Familiar GreenStage faces Erin Day, Ken Holmes, and Lisa Viertel were in the cast. Playwright Wayne Rawley was Demetrius for the indoor mounting. We love the photo of Day and Holmes at right.

After ‘98 we left Midsummer alone for eight years, next staging it in 2006. Directed by Steve Cooper, the cast featured Shawn Law, Nicole Vernon, Heather Persinger, and Hana Lass. Our fifth and most recent staging of Midsummer was in 2013 in a production directed by Ken Michels and including David Rollison, Taylor Davis, Gina Marie Russell, Michael Ramquist, and others.

How many of GreenStage's productions have you seen? Check our complete list of shows since 1989!