Monday, May 4, 2009

How to make Shakespeare interesting

I bought season tickets to the university's drama series this year. It included musicals (Chicago is the reason for the tickets), dance (ballet, modern mostly for Whitney) and plays. Yesterday was the last one in the series and it was William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Now I'm not a big Shakespeare person. Whitney had to read this one last year in school and didn't like it. So I was sort of dreading it. I ended up going by myself as Whitney had dance pictures. We have really good seats, fifth row right in the middle. But when I got there, the audience was set up slightly different. They had taken out some of the seats to have stairs go underneath and then it looked like there would be audience interaction. I was sitting right next to the downstairs. Then I read the program and the director said that he wanted to make it more approachable to college students so he set it in modern day New York City. They still spoke the lines like Shakespeare wrote but they were portrayed as the ultra-rich. One of them even carried around her little dog. But the most interesting thing was "The Woods". Rather than being a real woods, it was a nightclub. We had all sorts of techno music and popular cultures songs. Many of which may have been inappropriate for young children. The audience was a mix of college aged and old people so they must have been shocked. The "fairies" were dressed up like nightclubbers in very skimpy outfits. I don't think that is what Shakespeare had in mind. They even had a beat-boxing Puck and a rapping Oberon.
(Photos are from the OU Fine Arts website)


  1. Good thing Whitney had pictures, huh? lol Got a bit more than you bargained for there. I actually liked "Midsummers Night Dream". Kind of quirky though.

  2. That would be very different!!