Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Takes Many Forms on Boston Stages This Spring
Boston Ballet, Boston Lyric Opera, ArtsEmerson, and American Repertory Theater Offer Special Promotions
BOSTON, MA (April 4, 2011)—This spring, some of Boston’s biggest arts organizations will celebrate the season with programming related to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Boston Ballet, Boston Lyric Opera (BLO), ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage, and American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) will all present performances inspired by the play in April and May.
Each organization offers unique interpretations and settings, creating a rare opportunity for arts enthusiasts to experience one of Shakespeare’s best-known comedies through music, dance, song, and more.
Discounted tickets to Midsummer-themed programming are available with the purchase of regularly priced tickets to another participating event. For more information, contact the partnering institutions directly.
SEE the video featuring perspectives from ArtsEmerson Executive Director Rob Orchard, Boston Lyric Opera’s General & Artistic Director Esther Nelson, and Boston Ballet Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen.
April 7–17, 2011: Boston Ballet presents George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Boston Opera House, a lucid and inventive telling of Shakespeare’s play. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was Balanchine’s first original, full-length ballet. Called by critic Clive Barnes “a fantasy spectacle of love,” this work is a masterful combination of storytelling and choreography danced to the exquisite sounds of Mendelssohn. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was choreographed for New York City Ballet and premiered in 1962. The production includes a large cast complete with 25 students from Boston Ballet School and sets and costumes designed by Luisa Spinatelli from Teatro alla Scala in Milan. The last time A Midsummer Night’s Dream was danced by Boston Ballet, it was called “a winner, a gorgeous, spirited production given strong performances throughout the ranks, including the excellent orchestra led by Jonathan McPhee” by the Boston Globe. Tickets are $10 off for partnering Midsummer ticket holders for performances on April 8 at 8:00 pm, April 14 at 7:00 pm, and April 16 at 2:00 pm. For more information, visit www.bostonballet.org or call 617-695-6955.
April 29–May 10: Boston Lyric Opera presents Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Citi Performing Arts CenterSM Shubert Theatre. A mysterious, moonlit forest; a group of hormonally charged young lovers; and a band of famously inept but endearing amateur actors encounter the shimmering world of Oberon, Tytania, Puck, and their fairy attendants—and all are transformed. As the shadowy forest continually shifts and morphs around them, the characters seem to float in and out of each other’s dreams and overlap into each other’s consciousness. William Shakespeare’s magical play and Benjamin Britten’s luminous and witty score combine to question love, loyalty, and reality in BLO’s new production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Conducted by David Angus in his first appearance at the podium as BLO’s new Music Director. Tickets are 20% off for partnering Midsummer ticket holders. For more information, visit www.blo.org or call 866-348-9738.
Starting May 20: ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage presents Susurrus with music based on Benjamin Britten’s opera Midsummer Night’s Dream. Susurrus is part radio play, part sonic art, and part stroll in the park. Edgy young Scottish playwright David Leddy’s site-responsive work melds dramatically spiraling theatrical writing and performance art in an unconventional location as the audience wanders Boston’s Public Garden while experiencing Susurrus through the headset of an MP3 player. It’s a play without actors and without a stage. It’s “a sensual reinterpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a contemporary edge” —The List. Tickets are $25; $5 off for partnering Midsummer ticket holders. For more information, visit www.artsemerson.org or call 617-824-8000.
Ongoing: The American Repertory Theater presents The Donkey Show which opened the A.R.T.’s 2009-2010 season and continues to play every Saturday night at 8:00pm and 10:30pm at OBERON (2 Arrow St, Harvard Sq). Directed by Diane Paulus, The Donkey Show is inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wherein the enchanted forest of Shakespeare’s classic comedy becomes the immersive glitter covered world of disco as the lovers escape from their real lives to experience a night of dream, abandon, and fantasy. Set to hits from the 70s, The Donkey Show is a crazy circus of mirror balls, feathered divas, roller skaters, and hustle queens. Tickets from $25. Partnering Midsummer ticket holders get $5 off Dance Floor tickets. For more information, visit www.americanrepertorytheater.org or call 617-547-8300.
For complete online information visit www.bostonballet.org/midsummerinboston
About the Partnering Companies:
Boston Ballet: Since 1963, Boston Ballet has been one of the leading dance companies in the world on stage, in the studio, and in the community. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mikko Nissinen and Executive Director Barry Hughson, the Company maintains an internationally acclaimed repertoire and the largest ballet school in North America, Boston Ballet School. Boston Ballet maintains a repertoire of classical, neo-classical, and contemporary works, ranging from full-length story ballets to new works by some of today’s finest choreographers.
Boston Ballet School, the official school of Boston Ballet, has a long-standing dedication to excellence and access and reaches more than 10,000 students ages 2 to adult each year through Boston Ballet School classes, Summer Dance Workshop, Summer Dance Program, Citydance, Taking Steps, and Adaptive Dance. The wide array of dance programs are held at three studio locations in Boston, Newton, and Marblehead with additional programs throughout New England, as well as community centers and in Boston Public Schools. For more information, visit www.bostonballet.org
Boston Lyric Opera: Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) is New England’s largest opera company. Founded in 1976, BLO is recognized for its artistically excellent productions of a diverse repertoire that entertain and inspire audiences and feature emerging operatic talent. BLO produces three mainstage productions at the Citi Performing Arts CenterSM Shubert Theatre in Boston, an Opera Annex production in a found space, and a fully staged, one-hour English version of a popular Opera for Young Audiences throughout New England. BLO’s programs are funded, in part, by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit www.blo.org.
ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage: ArtsEmerson is the organization established by Emerson College to program the Paramount Paramount Mainstage, Cutler Majestic Theatre and other venues at Emerson’s Paramount Center. The inaugural season includes over 100 performances of 18 different productions, including world premieres, Boston debuts and works being developed in the new facilities created by Emerson College. ArtsEmerson, under the artistic leadership of Rob Orchard, gives Boston audiences a new level of cultural choice, bringing professional American and international work to its four distinct venues: the beautifully restored 590- seat Paramount Mainstage; the versatile, intimate Black Box Theatre, which can seat up to 150 people; the state-of the art 170-seat Bright Family Screening Room (all located within the new Paramount Center a cornerstone in the revitalization of downtown Boston); and the beloved, historic 1,186-seat Cutler Majestic Theatre in the heart of the Theatre District, fully restored by Emerson in 2003. For more information, visit www.artsemerson.org.
American Repertory Theater: The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) is one of the country’s most celebrated resident theaters and the winner of numerous awards, including the Tony Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and regional Elliot Norton and I.R.N.E. Awards. In 2002, the A.R.T. was the recipient of the National Theatre Conference’s Outstanding Achievement Award, and in May of 2003 it was named one of the top three regional theaters in the country by Time magazine.
In 2009, the A.R.T. welcomed its new Artistic Director, Diane Paulus. Armed with the A.R.T.’s mission to expand the boundaries of theater, Paulus and her team have engaged thousands of new theatergoers at performances of Sleep No More, The Donkey Show, Gatz, Best of Both Worlds, Johnny Baseball, and Cabaret as well as festivals like Emerging America. Critics and audiences have embraced the immersive environments that have become hallmarks of A.R.T. productions. The Theater has broadened its focus to include the audience’s total experience, providing them with a sense of ownership in the theatrical event. The A.R.T.’s new club theater OBERON, which Paulus calls a “second stage for the 21st century,” is an example of one initiative that has not only become an incubator for local artists but also has attracted national attention as a groundbreaking model for programming. Through all of its work, the A.R.T. is committed to building a community of artists, designers, technicians, administrators, and audience. For more information, visit www.americanrepertorytheater.org.