A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Can Shakespeare be any more fun, you say? Just add some puppets!

By Olesya Komarnytska

 

Here are some eye-catching past productions, in a variety of media, which brought the Bard’s vision alive with the help of some talented craftsmanship.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company of Washington, DC recently mounted this gorgeous Ethan McSweeny production of The Tempest as part of its 2015/16 season. On the surreal set of white sand and wreckage that is Prospero’s island, the actors share the stage with colossal puppets designed by James Ortiz.

shakespeare-theatre-company-the-tempest

https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/colossal-puppets-help-create-a-monumental-tempest-at-the-shakespeare-theatre-co/2014/12/30/083c1e38-8a77-11e4-ace9-47de1af4c3eb_story.html

 

http://www.broadwayworld.com/washington-dc/article/The-Shakespeare-Theatre-Company-Presents-William-Shakespeares-THE-TEMPEST-20141124#

 

a-midsummer-nights-dream

The stop motion master Jiří Trnka’s last feature film was the 1959 Sen noci svatojánské (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). In this film, he created expressive stop motion characters within highly detailed landscapes and scenarios that were further brought to life through the classical compositions of Vaclav Trojan. The film was punctuated by some quite comedic moments that couldn’t have been achieved through anything other than stop motion.

Sen noci svatojánské was recently shown as part of TIFF’s Magic Motion: The Art of Stop Motion Animation retrospective.

 

 

 

And of course, this short review wouldn’t be complete without a tip of the hat to The Muppets. I feel the Swedish Chef exhibits a wonderful mastery of the iambic pentameter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club – Winter Registration Opens December 1st!

td-shakespeare-for-kids-library-club

“…my library / Was dukedom large enough…”
– Prospero, The Tempest, 1.2 –

The TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club is a FREE readers’ theatre program for Bards-to-be, ages 7-12!

Join Shakespeare in Action for storytelling adventures!  Explore worlds of magic, ghosts, silly mix-ups, and swordplay in some of the greatest stories ever told!

Jump into plays like Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Tempest, Comedy of Errors, and Henry IV.

Play drama games, read aloud from one to three scripts, build confidence, get a head start on high school, and make friends with other Shakespeare fans!

The TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club is led by professional actors and educators. Register in person at your chosen participating Toronto Public Library branch from the list below:

SATURDAYS, January 30 – March 5, 2016
Registration Opens December 1, 2015

Morning  (10AM – 12PM)

Afternoon  (2PM – 4PM)

Help us spread the word by sharing this post through your social media outlets!

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TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club – Extend your young Bard’s learning with these click-and-print resources!

...and act a little out.

Are your young Bards participating in the Fall session of the TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club?  Or have they participated in the past?

If so, we have some free click-and-print activities for them to try at home and extend their learning!

Click here, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the green “Download Now” button.

Registration for the Winter session opens December 1st!  For more information click here.

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TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club – Fall Registration Opens October 1st!

td-shakespeare-for-kids-library-club

“…my library / Was dukedom large enough…”
– Prospero, The Tempest, 1.2 –

The TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club is a FREE readers’ theatre program for Bards-to-be, ages 7-12!

Join Shakespeare in Action for storytelling adventures!  Explore worlds of magic, ghosts, silly mix-ups, and swordplay in some of the greatest stories ever told!

Jump into plays like Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Tempest, Comedy of Errors, and Henry IV.

Play drama games, read aloud from one to three scripts, build confidence, get a head start on high school, and make friends with other Shakespeare fans!

The TD Shakespeare for Kids Library Club is led by professional actors and educators. Register in person at your chosen participating Toronto Public Library branch from the list below:

SATURDAYS, November 7 – December 12, 2015
Registration Opens October 1, 2015

Morning  (10AM – 12PM)

Afternoon  (2PM – 4PM)

Help us spread the word by sharing this post through your social media outlets!

 shakespeare-in-action-logo     td-bank-logo
toronto-public-library-logo

Summer Camp – Day 19 – “Hamlet” (Teen Camp Show!)

The play in pictures – a mix of photos from the morning’s dress rehearsal and the final show:

- Young Co. for Teens -  L-R: 3 Lords, Laertes, Ophelia, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet.  King Claudius:

– Young Co. for Teens –
L-R: 3 Lords, Laertes, Ophelia, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet. King Claudius: “Though yet of Hamlet, our dear brother’s death, the memory be green…”

Horatio tells his good friend, Hamlet, about a Ghost: "A figure like your father, armed at point exactly, appears..."

Horatio tells his good friend, Hamlet, about a Ghost: “A figure like your father, armed at point exactly, appears…”

L-R: Polonius, Laertes, Ophelia.  Polonius blesses his son before his son leaves for France.

L-R: Polonius, Laertes, Ophelia. Polonius blesses his son before his son leaves for France.

L-R: Polonius and his daughter, Ophelia.  Ophelia: [Hamlet] hath, my lord, of late made many tenders of his affection to me.

L-R: Polonius and his daughter, Ophelia. Ophelia: [Hamlet] hath, my lord, of late made many tenders of his affection to me.”

L-R: Marcellus, Hamlet, Horatio see the Ghost and jump back. Hamlet:

L-R: Marcellus, Hamlet, Horatio see the Ghost and jump back. Hamlet: “Angels and ministers of grace defend us!”

L-R: Ghost of Hamlet Senior, Horatio, Hamlet, Marcellus - a photo taken from the balcony earlier in the week.

L-R: Ghost of Hamlet Senior, Horatio, Hamlet, Marcellus – a photo taken from the balcony earlier in the week.

The Ghost of Hamlet Senior speaks to Hamlet: "I am thy father's spirit...If thou didst ever thy dear father love, revenge his foul and most unnatural murder."  Hamlet feigns madness to seek out the truth.

The Ghost of Hamlet Senior speaks to Hamlet: “I am thy father’s spirit…If thou didst ever thy dear father love, revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.” Hamlet feigns madness to seek out the truth.

L-R: Polonius and Ophelia, who describes her frightful encounter with Hamlet.

L-R: Polonius and Ophelia, who describes her frightful encounter with Hamlet.

L-R: Guildenstern, Rosencrantz, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude.  The King and Queen ask the two to find the cause of Hamlet's madness.

L-R: Guildenstern, Rosencrantz, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude. The King and Queen ask the two to find the cause of Hamlet’s madness.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Polonius, King Claudius.  Polonius reads Hamlet's love letter, , believing love to be the cause of Hamlet's madness.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Polonius, King Claudius. Polonius reads Hamlet’s love letter, believing love to be the cause of Hamlet’s madness.

Hamlet "reads." Note the orientation of the book.

Hamlet “reads.” Note the orientation of the book.

L-R: Hamlet, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern.  Hamlet knows his friends are reporting to the King:

L-R: Hamlet, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern. Hamlet knows his friends are reporting to the King: “I am but mad north-north-west…I know a hawk from a hand-saw.”

The Players arrive.  Hamlet will have them act "The Murder of Gonzago," a story that mirrors the murder of Hamlet Senior.  He wants to see King Claudius' reaction - to "catch his conscience."

The Players arrive. Hamlet will have them act “The Murder of Gonzago,” a story that mirrors the murder of Hamlet Senior. He wants to see King Claudius’ reaction – to “catch his conscience.”

Hamlet:

Hamlet: “To be, or not to be, that is the question…”

Ophelia is shaken; Hamlet suspects that her father, Polonius, is spying:

Ophelia is shaken; Hamlet suspects that her father, Polonius, is spying: “Let the doors be shut upon him…”

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Horatio. Hamlet:

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Horatio. Hamlet: “There is a play to-night before the king…Observe mine uncle…”

L-R: Guildenstern and Rosencrantz watch "The Murder of Gonzago" - Hamlet's "mouse-trap."  The play within the play was filmed and shown on screen.

L-R: Guildenstern and Rosencrantz watch “The Murder of Gonzago” – Hamlet’s “mouse-trap.” The play within the play was filmed and shown on screen.

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Guildenstern, Rosencrantz. Hamlet: "Do you think I am easier to be play'd on than a pipe?"

L-R: Players, Hamlet, Guildenstern, Rosencrantz. Hamlet: “Do you think I am easier to be play’d on than a pipe?”

L-R: King Claudius and Hamlet.  Hamlet:

L-R: King Claudius and Hamlet. Hamlet: “Now might I do it pat, now he is praying…”

Queen Gertrude tells King Claudius that Hamlet has killed Polonius (his death scene was on film).

Queen Gertrude tells King Claudius that Hamlet has killed Polonius (his death scene was on film).

Ophelia unravels after her father's death, descends into madness and sings: "He is dead and gone, lady..."

Ophelia unravels after her father’s death, descends into madness and sings: “He is dead and gone, lady…”

L-R: Laertes, Queen Gertrude, King Claudius.  Laertes:

L-R: Laertes, Queen Gertrude, King Claudius. Laertes: “Where is my father?…How came he dead?”

Ophelia:

Ophelia: “And in his grave rain’d many a tear…”

Laertes:

Laertes: “Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia!”

King Claudius and Laertes plot revenge against Halmet. The King will set up a duel, through which Laertes can kill Hamlet. King Claudius: "Revenge should have no bounds."

King Claudius and Laertes plot revenge against Halmet. The King will set up a duel, through which Laertes can kill Hamlet. King Claudius: “Revenge should have no bounds.”

Ophelia has drowned.  Laertes:

Ophelia has drowned. Laertes: “I have a speech of fire, but this folly douts it.”

L-R: Clown and Hamlet.  Hamlet:

L-R: Clown and Hamlet. Hamlet: “Whose grave’s this, sirrah?”

Hamlet:

Hamlet: “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio…”

Laertes and Hamlet grapple in Ophelia's grave, as other rush to intervene.

Laertes and Hamlet grapple in Ophelia’s grave, as other rush to intervene.

L-R: Attendants, Laertes, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet, Attendant, Horatio.  Hamlet:

L-R: Attendants, Laertes, King Claudius, Queen Gertrude, Hamlet, Attendant, Horatio. Hamlet: “I loved Ophelia: forty thousand brothers could not, with all their quantity of love, make up my sum.”

L-R: Hamlet and Osric, who presents the wager.

L-R: Hamlet and Osric, who presents the wager.

L-R: Laertes, King Claudius, Hamlet.

L-R: Laertes, King Claudius, Hamlet.

L-R: Laertes and Osric. Laertes chooses a

L-R: Laertes and Osric. Laertes chooses a “sword unbated” anointed “with contagion.”

Osric presents the foils to Hamlet, as King Claudius stands by.

Osric presents the foils to Hamlet, as King Claudius stands by.

King Claudius announces the wager.

King Claudius announces the wager.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Osric, Hamlet, Lord, Horatio.  Queen Gertrude offers Hamlet a drink which, unbeknownst to her, is poisoned.  Hamlet refuses...and Gertrude drinks it.

L-R: Queen Gertrude, Osric, Hamlet, Lord, Horatio. Queen Gertrude offers Hamlet a drink which, unbeknownst to her, is poisoned. Hamlet refuses…and Gertrude drinks it.

Osric:

Osric: “Nothing, neither way.”

Centre: Osric tends to the wounded Laertes. Right: Queen Gertrude collapses in Hamlet's arms.  Hamlet, too, is near death.  Queen Gertrude: "The drink, the drink! I am poison'd."

Centre: Osric tends to the wounded Laertes. Right: Queen Gertrude collapses in Hamlet’s arms. Hamlet, too, is near death. Queen Gertrude: “The drink, the drink! I am poison’d.”

Hamlet poisons King Claudius:

Hamlet poisons King Claudius: “Thou incestuous, murderous, damned Dane, drink off this potion…”

Hamlet dies in Horatio's arms.

Hamlet dies in Horatio’s arms.

Horatio (far right):

Horatio (far right): “Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince: And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!”

The cast and directing team!

The cast and directing team!

Oh dear...

Oh dear…

Joe, Director

Joe, Director & Filmmaker

Sabio, Assistant Director

Sabio, Assistant Director

Gabriella, Assistant Director, Kids' Camp

Gabriella, Assistant Director, Kids’ Camp

Isabelle, Summer Student

Isabelle, Summer Student

Summer Camp – Day 9 – “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Kids’ Show!)

- Kids' Camp -  L-R: Demetrius, Egeus, Duke Theseus, Hippolyta, Lysander, Hermia.  Egeus is displeased that his daughter, Hermia, favours Lysander over Demetrius.

– Kids’ Camp –
L-R: Demetrius, Egeus, Duke Theseus, Hippolyta, Lysander, Hermia. Egeus is displeased that his daughter, Hermia, favours Lysander over Demetrius. (Rehearsal)

L-R: Hermia and Lysander plan to flee Toronto.

L-R: Hermia and Lysander plan to flee Toronto.

L-R: Hermia and Helena, who wishes she could

L-R: Hermia and Helena, who wishes she could “sway the motion of Demetrius’ heart.”

Helena:

Helena: “How happy some o’er other some can be! Through [Toronto] I am thought as fair as she.” (Rehearsal)

Peter Quince:

Peter Quince: “Here is the scroll of every man’s name…” (Rehearsal)

L-R: Puck and Titania's Fairy. Puck:

L-R: Puck and Titania’s Fairy. Puck: “I am that merry wanderer of the night.”

L-R: Oberons' Fairy, Oberon, Oberon, Puck, Titania, Titania's Fairy.  Oberon and Titania quarrel.  (Rehearsal)

L-R: Oberons’ Fairy, Oberon, Oberon, Puck, Titania, Titania’s Fairy. Oberon and Titania quarrel. (Rehearsal)

L-R: Oberon, Oberon, Puck...and the purple love-in-idleness flower, whose juice

L-R: Oberon, Oberon, Puck…and the purple love-in-idleness flower, whose juice “will make man or woman madly dote upon the next live creature that it sees.” (Rehearsal)

L-R: Oberon, Titania, Oberon. Oberon anoints Titania's eyes: "Wake when some vile thing is near."

L-R: Oberon, Titania, Oberon. Oberon anoints Titania’s eyes: “Wake when some vile thing is near.”

L-R: Lysander and Puck. Puck mistakenly anoints Lysander's eyes.  (Rehearsal)

L-R: Lysander and Puck. Puck mistakenly anoints Lysander’s eyes. Lysander falls for Helena…and abandons Hermia. (Rehearsal)

L-R: Bottom, Flute, Bottom, Snug.  The amateur acting troupe rehearse in the woods.  Puck is about to make some mischief.

L-R: Bottom, Flute, Bottom, Snug. The amateur acting troupe rehearse in the woods. Puck is about to make some mischief. (Rehearsal)

L-R: Bottom and Flute. Flute:

L-R: Bottom and Flute. Flute: “O Bottom, thou art changed!”

Titania:

Titania: “What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?”

L-R: Bottom and Titania.  Bottom:

L-R: Bottom and Titania. Bottom: “Reason and love keep little company together now-a-days.”

L-R: Demetrius and Hermia, who questions Demetrius about Lysander's whereabouts.  Hermia:

L-R: Demetrius and Hermia, who questions Demetrius about Lysander’s whereabouts. Hermia: “I pray thee, tell me that he is well.”

L-R: Puck, Demetrius, Oberon, Oberon.  Oberon anoints Demetrius' eyes.  (Rehearsal)

L-R: Puck, Demetrius, Oberon, Oberon. Oberon anoints Demetrius’ eyes. Demetrius falls for Helena too. (Rehearsal)

Helena, who believes that everyone in love with her is mocking her:

Helena, who believes that everyone in love with her is mocking her: “Can you not hate me, as I know you do?”

L-R: Helena, Demetrius, Hermia, Lysander.  Helena:

L-R: Helena, Demetrius, Hermia, Lysander. Helena: “I pray you, gentlemen, let her not hurt me.” (Rehearsal)

L-R: Helena and Demetrius, sleeping.

L-R: Helena and Demetrius, sleeping.

L-R: Puck, Lysander, Oberon, Oberon, Titania.  Time to set things right.

L-R: Puck, Bottom, Oberon, Oberon, Titania. Time to set things right.

L-R: Lysander, Egeus, Duke Theseus.  Egeus summons the horns to wake the lovers.

L-R: Lysander, Egeus, Duke Theseus. Egeus summons the horns to wake the lovers.

L-R: Demetrius, Helena, Hermia, Lysander.  Demetrius:

L-R: Demetrius, Helena, Hermia, Lysander. Demetrius: “Are you sure that we are awake?” (Rehearsal)

Peter Quince in Pyramus and Thisbe, the play within the play:

Peter Quince in Pyramus and Thisbe, the play within the play: “In this same interlude it doth befall that I, one [Quince] by name, present a wall…”

L-R: Thisbe, Wall, Pyramus, Pyramus.  Pyramus and Thisbe - lovers separated by a wall - plan to meet at

L-R: Thisbe, Wall, Pyramus, Pyramus. Pyramus and Thisbe – lovers separated by a wall – plan to meet at “Ninny’s” tomb. (Rehearsal)

L-R:  Moonshine and Lion in "Ninny's" tomb.

L-R: Moonshine and Lion in “Ninny’s” tomb.

L-R:  Pyramus, Thisbe, Pyramus, Moonshine.  Thisbe: "Come, trusty sword...adieu, adieu, adieu."  (Rehearsal)

L-R: Pyramus, Thisbe, Pyramus, Moonshine. Thisbe: “Come, trusty sword…adieu, adieu, adieu.” (Rehearsal)

The Cast!

The Cast!

Aris, Director

Aris, Director

Gabriella, Assistant Director

Gabriella, Assistant Director

Isabelle, Summer Student

Isabelle, Summer Student

Summer Camp – Days 7 & 8

Four days will quickly steep themselves in night;
Four nights will quickly dream away the time…

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I.i –

 

Where has this week gone?!  The Kids’ Camp show happened earlier today – photos to follow!  In the meantime, here are two of our favourites from earlier in the week:

- Young Co. for Teens -  The ensemble explores 3 dimensions of performance and polarities in theme and intent

– Young Co. for Teens –
 Exploring 3 dimensions of performance and polarities of theme and intent

 

One of this summer’s most beautiful moments: Thursday – the morning after a long day of rehearsal and the day before the show – Aris (Director), Gabriella (Assistant Director), and Isabelle (Summer Student) crank Twist & Shout through the auditorium for the kids.  They all danced their hearts out on stage:

- Kids' Camp -  Twist & Shout!

– Kids’ Camp –
Twist & Shout!