Shakespeare With A Twist
I always love watching interpretations of Shakespearean plays. Personally, I find that, in general, no matter what the alterations, the garment still seems to … well, fit comfortably. And there have been many alterations over time, such as changes in place and time.
But how about some changes of a different nature? Like a lesbian love affair? Or a performance that, overall, shows more like a musical than a Shakespearean Comedy?
Interested? Then you may want to check out the latest Shakespearean production by the Seattle Shakespeare Company that is directed by Sheila Daniels: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – perhaps Shakespeare’s most popular comedy – currently playing at Intiman Theatre October 20th until November 13th, 2011.
The Seattle Shakespeare Company stepped in to support Intiman after reports of its financial woes earlier this year; its production of The Threepenny Opera – their first performance at Intiman – broke previous records during its three-week performance run. Last season – which includes indoor productions, Wooden O outdoor productions, tours across the state of Washington, and in-school residencies – resulted in an 11% increase in those served: some 53,000+ individuals. Incidentally, the Seattle Shakespeare Company just announced its 10th straight season in a row with a balanced budget; it has just completed its 20th anniversary season, with a budget that has tripled over the last eight years. Last June, the Seattle Shakespeare Company received a three-year grant in the amount of $85,000 from the Washington Women’s Foundation in order to further develop the Regional Shakespeare Alliances in schools and communities throughout the state.
But back to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As Jeff Fickes, Communications Director at the Seattle Shakespeare Company informed me in a recent telephone interview (your Hedonista attended as media a couple of weeks ago), this production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is “Not your traditional way of looking at the show.”
Its artwork pictures dark, moss-covered rocks that twinkle – almost sinisterly – in the moonlight and invite us to “Come play in the dark, mischievous night….”
Added Jeff: “It’s only when you move into the forest that things get twisted.”
In this production, Lysander is a woman by the name of Lysandra (played by Christine Marie Brown) and in love with the lovely Hermia (played by Allison Strickland). Puck (played by Chris Ensweiler) is more sinister minion than playful trickster. And the cast of fairies – who sing and dance in a very physical, sensuously bestial, and tribal way – are more dangerous than whimsical.
In short, this is a series of love stories that are more bittersweet than sugar-coated. And the performance of Todd Jefferson Moore as Nick Bottom is alone worth the ticket price.
Including tonight, nine performances remain. The dates and times of these performances, which run Thursdays through Sundays and include six evening and three matinée performances, can be located on the Ticket Calendar. Tickets range in price between $15-$40 for adults and $15-$25 for seniors and students, with prices for groups of ten or more attendees in the $20 to $23 range.