“All the world’s a stage”, wrote William Shakespeare in As You Like It, some 500 years ago. Showbiz Theatre Company has doubled down on that idea for a different work of Shakespeare… by tearing down their stage.
Director James Reed had a unique vision for his production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, opening this evening at Showbiz. He wanted the story interpreted through the mind of a modern child. He also wanted the play to be presented in the round, meaning the action takes place throughout, and sometimes between, where the audience is seated. The audience isn’t looking at the stage; the stage surrounds them. The atmospheric lighting designed by veteran lighting designer Matthew Timoszyk serves to enhance the feeling of immersion experienced by the audience.
Though the dialogue in Midsummer is classic Shakespeare, Reed has injected the show with hints that these images are taking place within a contemporary young girl’s imagination, so cell phones are used by the players and modern music provides a backdrop. Even the costumes are contemporary, often with great comedic effect.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream tells four interconnected stories taking place in both ancient Greece and Fairyland. Showbiz’ rendition is introduced by a prologue conceived by Reed which shows a young girl whose parents are too busy for her, so she retreats into her imagination where the Shakespearean action unfolds and humor abounds.
The show opens tonight, April 13 at 7:30pm, and runs until April 29th. For more information or to buy tickets, visit http://showbiztheatre.org/.