POST: 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' - even a hint of truth
What's it about?
A Midsummer Night’s Dream unravels a tale of rebellion and lust. Four young lovers find themselves wandering deep in a forest. They all share one thing, running away from the truth. First we have the source of the problem, Hermia, who is faced with a grave decision: marry Demetrius (the man her father had chosen for her) or choose her dearly beloved Lysander (and be sentenced to death for disobeying her father). Hmmmm… That sounds a little drastic, don’t you think? Then comes Lysander, a man who cannot see the world beyond Hermia but will never be the man her father wants her to marry. Following behind him is Helena, Hermia’s close friend... but how close of a friend is put up for question when Helena is love struck by the dashing Demetrius, whose fate has already been decided. And that Demetrius poses as a problem for the two fair maidens as he is to wed one against her will while the other is obsessed with him but for her he shares no affection. There is love and there is forbidden love, sending the lovers on an escapade deep into the forest. There they find their world flipped upside down when a love spell is cast on them, but the catch - each awakens loving the wrong person. This inflicts chaos, outrage, violence, and even a hint of the truth. But when four lovers spend the night in a forest it all may just as well become a midsummer night’s dream. :)
What did I experience?
Imagine a world where you were told whom you were to marry. As absurd as it sounds, that’s the way things used to be. Take a moment to ponder - the only other option besides an arranged marriage could be your death. Now in my eyes, how is that justifiable? So you are telling me that if I were to give up a man I were being forced to marry for a Klondike bar that I have to die for my choice? Seriously…
What path would you choose? One where you die a martyr in the hopes that someone someday will see how wrong they were sentencing you to your death? Or do you follow orders and do as you’re told to do?
I am a firm believer that some rules were meant to be broken. Of course, rules are made to keep the peace and lead by example but if we all never thought outside of the box then the world would be a dreary place. I can’t even blame Hermia for running away! I hope she had some sort of plans past the running away from home part - but I felt her torment and struggle, having such a heavy weight to bare, basically a decision between life or death. When she chose to run away I just wanted to stand up and shout, “Yeah, you go girl!”
The language that our dear friend William Shakespeare used is difficult to decipher and understand. Going in to see the show, I had some basic knowledge of the plot because I was introduced to it back in my freshman year of high school. But coming out of the show, I was taken aback. There was so much play on words. The last time I remember seeing this show, there was a death scene that lasted nearly 10 minutes. It was very serious and an emotional moment, however, at this show the actors were really getting a kick out of things. The death scene was exaggerated and this time instead of a simple stab to the chest the actor imitated killing himself a multitude of times: from a bullet to the head, to pretending to hang himself, to even a death behind the wheel of a car because of texting and driving. I was sent into fits of laughter! Fits. With a tissue in one hand those 2 hours and 30 minutes went by in a breeze.
Going in, I was anticipating some hardcore Shakespeare: the costumes, the mood, you name it. Instead I was stunned as I entered into a small dimly flourescent-lit room with what looked like purple carpeting on the stage. It wasn’t until the lights came on when I saw that the carpet was no carpet - SAND ALL OVER THE STAGE! And I mean sand… like the kind you’ll find on the beach. There I was mentally preparing for the worst when suddenly my thoughts changed and I am thinking, “Dear god, is this the right show?!” The coolest thing about that particular stage was towards the end of the show you weren’t paying attention to it. It just made sense, like the sand was supposed to be there. It was like one great big sand box, the kind you’d play in as a child. It very well could have been symbolic for a sandbox and the play area of the evening - much like children who like to build sandcastles, this was the place where the actors would be able to mold their story.
Going to see this show, you need an open mind. There were no props, just bodies. I needed to go back to kindergarten and get my thinking cap on to play pretend. There were no elaborate costumes just the actors dressed in very comfy and sporty clothing with fluorescent strips on them. At the end of it all, none of it really mattered. I was more focused on the actors and the way they told their story than anything else. It almost seemed like if there were beautiful costumes they would take away from the show.