Midsummer is about love. But what is love? Something stable like a rock, or fluid like the temperature? Catholic Church doctrine teaches that love is a decision. What do you say? As skyscraper building humans, we have a mighty opinion of ourselves. But how much is really under our control? This play examines the deceptive spirits of human nature – not all of them, just the innocent loving ones – spirits of perception and imaginative creation, like the wonder of birth and a child’s irrepressible energy. The dichotomy between the city and the woods is Shakespeare’s way of leading us out of our proud rational selves to a place more internal, scary, unknown, and magical. So when we come back to our “thinking” city selves, maybe our self-perceptions and the true meaning of loving will be more fully apprehended.
For a play set in ancient Athens you may be wondering why we don’t have anyone dressed in togas. Firstly, do you really want to see a play with everyone wearing togas? Secondly, Shakespeare wrote and performed this play for a rich man’s wedding celebration. And though he uses a lot of Grecian references he also uses plenty of English folklore as well. So, since Shakespeare wasn’t being too serious, must we be? Thinking of a world of conformity and ego, why not 1962? Thinking of wild freedom, why not George Clinton, leader of the 70's funk band Parliament. Or maybe, it’s all a capricious dream.