Go Big or Go Home: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

The Cast. Photo found on It’s A Fiasco Facebook page.

It’s a Fiasco Theatre Company
by William Shakespeare
Sponsored by the City of Cambridge and the Cambridge Arts Council – presented under the auspices of the Actors’ Equity Association Member’s Project Code.

June 19 – 29, 2014
Longfellow Park, 175 Mt. Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA
It’s A Fiasco on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

Think for a moment of the conditions under which Shakespeare was performed in the Elizabethan era and you realize this play was never meant to be locked away in an ivory tower. At the time the words of these plays were fresh, so was the concept of public sanitation. Most of the population was illiterate, and probably a good amount of them shared their skin with some form of vermin. Even in the hallowed halls of royal theater, the patrons probably stank to high heaven and air conditioning was a couple of centuries from being invented. So if at first glance it seems incongruous to speak some of the English language’s best poetry next to a Cambridge water park, it might be best to remember this probably would have been considered a pretty gentile staging grounds back in the day.

The It’s a Fiasco production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” helps us lose our reverence for Shakespeare, and in return it unlocks the play’s simple poetry. The script has been trimmed to just the fun bits, and the actors have been well-trained in the fine art of voice projection. Each action on stage is broad without being melodramatic, and the big space allows the actors to create larger-than-life characters who still seem completely believable….at least in a farce. The production is both a perfect introduction to the beauty and fun of Shakespeare for young theatergoers and a pleasant diversion for more seasoned lovers of the Bard’s work.

The energy of the production mingles well with the joyful delirium of the plot, in which lovers lose themselves, stumble into temporary sorrow and find lasting rapture, all egged on by the same summer breezes that the audience enjoys. If you missed this production, keep an eye out for more Fiasco productions, as the company specializes in bringing the Bard’s words to outdoor summer crowds.

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