As Theseus, the duke of Athens, prepares to marry his relucant fiancée, he sanctions Egeus’s request that his daughter Hermia be forced to marry Demetrius, a man she does not love. Hermia, fearing death or nunnery, flees to the wood with her best friend Helena- she to elope with Lysander and Helena to win Demetrius’ love. Lysander and Demetrius, both in love with Hermia, follow in hot pursuit. Each of the four hope to be united with their true love. In the same forest, a group of tradesmen rehearse a play for the duke’s wedding entertainment. In the course of the night, the king of the fairies and his assistant Puck use their magic to take revenge on the fairy queen and confound the helpless young lovers. By morning, the fairies have set everything to rights. The tradesmen’s hilarious entertainment, a joyous wedding dance, and the blessings of the fairies end the play.
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Alvin Epstein is a former artistic director of the Guthrie Theater and associate director of Robert Brustein's Yale Repertory Theatre. He has directed over twenty productions (five at the American Repertory Theater, including the inaugural A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1980) and performed in over one hundred (over fifty at the A.R.T.). His A.R.T. roles include Old Man in Lysistrata, the Herald in Marat/Sade, Dionisio Genoni in Enrico IV, John of Gaunt/First Gardener in Richard II, Erich Honecker in Full Circle, McLeavy in Loot, Shabelsky in Ivanov, and Lee Strasberg in Nobody Dies on Friday; Mr. Epstein has also appeared in The Doctor's Dilemma, Antigone, Three Farces and a Funeral, The Winter's Tale, Charlie in the House of Rue, The Merchant of Venice, In the Jungle of Cities, The Bacchae, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, When the World Was Green (A Chef's Fable), Slaughter City, Tartuffe, The Tempest, Beckett Trio, The Threepenny Opera, and Waiting for Godot, among many others. His twenty Broadway and off-Broadway productions include his debut with Marcel Marceau, the Fool in Orson Welles's King Lear, Lucky in the American premiere of Waiting for Godot, Clov in the American premiere of Endgame, Peachum in The Threepenny Opera (co-starring with Sting), and the world premiere of Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin's When the World Was Green (A Chef's Fable). For twenty years he and Martha Schlamme performed A Kurt Weill Cabaret on tour in the U.S. and South America and a year's run on Broadway. He has performed at many resident theaters throughout the U.S., in films and on television. Awards include Most Promising Actor ('56 Variety Poll), Brandeis Creative Arts Award ('66), Obie for Dynamite Tonight! ('68), Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence ('96), and the IRNE Award for Best Supporting Actor as Shabelsky in Ivanov ('99). Mr. Epstein teaches acting at the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University.
Set design by
Set design by
Tony Straiges' set designs for Hartford Stage in addition to The Glass Menagerie include Rough Crossing, Enchanted April, Long Day's Journey Into Night, A Christmas Carol—A Ghost Story of Christmas, and The Great Magoo. Broadway designs include Golden Child, Rumors, Artist Descending A Staircase, I Hate Hamlet, Into The Woods, Sunday In The Park With George, John Curry's Ice Dancing, Copperfield, and TimBukTu! Recent designs include A Flea In Her Ear at the Alley Theatre and Giselle for the Royal Swedish Ballet (Stockholm).
Costume design by
Lighting design by
Music Directed by
Selected musical adaptations by
Carmen de Lavallade
1927 – 2023
As founding director of the Yale Repertory and American Repertory Theaters, Robert Brustein supervised well over two hundred productions, acting in eight and directing twelve. He wrote eleven adaptations for the American Repertory Theater and was the author of many books on theater and society. Mr. Brustein also served for twenty years as director of the Loeb Drama Center, was a Professor in Harvard’s English Department, was a Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University, and drama critic for The New Republic. He was inducted as a member in to the American Theatre Hall of Fame, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and received numerous awards including the George Polk Award in Journalism, the Commonwealth (Massachusetts) Award for Organizational Leadership, and the Eugene O’Neill Foundation’s Tao House Award for serving the American theater with distinction, and the National Medal of the Arts.
At A.R.T., his produciton of Six Characters in Search of an Author won the Boston Theatre Award for Best Production of 1996. His play Demons, which was broadcast on WGBH radio in 1993, had its stage world premiere as part of the A.R.T. New Stages. His play Nobody Dies on Friday was given its world premiere in the same series and was presented at the Singapore Festival of Arts and the Pushkin Theatre in Moscow. His play Spring Forward, Fall Back was performed in 2006 at Theater J in Washington, D.C., and at the Vineyard Playhouse; The English Channel was produced in 2007 in Boston and at the Vineyard Playhouse, and played at the Abingdon Theatre in the fall of 2008, receiving a nomination for a Pulitzer Prize.
Brustein also wrote Shlemiel the First, based on the stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer and set to traditional klezmer music, which was directed and choreographed by David Gordon. After the original presentation in 1994 at A.R.T. and in Philadelphia at the American Music Theatre Festival, which co-produced the show, Shlemiel the First was revived several times in Cambridge and subsequently played at the Lincoln Center Serious Fun Festival, the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, and toured theaters in Florida and in Stamford, Connecticut. The play has also been produced at Theater J in Washington, DC. His short plays Poker Face, Chekhov on Ice, Divestiture, AnchorBimbo, Noises, Terrorist Skit, Airport Hell, Beachman’s Last Poetry Reading, and Enter William Shakespeare were all presented by the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. Brustein was also the author of Doctor Hippocrates Is Out: Please Leave a Message, an anthology of theatrical and cinematic satire on medicine and physicians, commissioned by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement for its 2008 convention in Nashville.
Brustein served as a Professor of English at Harvard University, Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Suffolk University in Boston, drama critic for The New Republic, and former dean of the Yale School of Drama. In 2003 he served as a Senior Fellow with the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University, and in 2004 and 2005 was a senior fellow at the National Endowment for the Arts’ Arts Journalism Institute in Theatre and Musical Theatre at the University of Southern California.
He was the Founding Director of the Yale Repertory Theatre and the American Repertory Theater and served for twenty years as director of the Loeb Drama Center, where he founded the American Repertory Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. He retired from the artistic directorship of A.R.T. in 2002 and subsequently served as Founding Director and Creative Consultant.
During his tenure at A.R.T., Brustein wrote eleven adaptations, including Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck, The Master Builder, and When We Dead Awaken, the last directed by Robert Wilson; Three Farces and a Funeral, adapted from the works and life of Anton Chekhov; Luigi Pirandello’s Enrico IV; and Brustein’s final production at A.R.T., Lysistrata by Aristophanes, directed by Andrei Serban. He also directed numerous adaptations while at A.R.T. including a Pirandello trilogy: Six Characters in Search of an Author, which won the Boston Theatre Award for Best Production of 1996, Right You Are (If You Think You Are) and Tonight We Improvise; as well as Ibsen’s Ghosts, Strindberg’s The Father, and Thomas Middleton’s The Changeling.
Over the course of his long career as director, playwright, and teacher, he participated in the artistic development of such theater artists as Meryl Streep, Christopher Durang, Christopher Walken, Cherry Jones, Ted Talley, Michael Feingold, Sigourney Weaver, James Naughton, Mark Linn-Baker, Henry Winkler, James Lapine, Tony Shalhoub, Tommy Derrah, Rocco Landesman, Linda Lavin, Michael Yearga, William Ivey Long, Derek Maclane, Steve Zahn, Peter Sellars, Santo Loquasto, Tom Moore, Albert Innaurato, and many others.
Mr. Brustein was the recipient of many distinguished awards, including:
- Fulbright Fellowship to the University of Nottingham
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
- Twice winner of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism
- George Polk Award for Journalism (Criticism)
- The 2nd Elliot Norton Award For Professional Excellence in Boston Theatre (formerly the Norton Prize), presented by the Boston Theatre District Association
- New England Theatre Conference’s Major Award for outstanding creative achievement in the American theatre
- American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts
- Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters
- Association for Theatre in Higher Education Career Achievement Award for Professional Theatre
- The Commonwealth Award for Organizational Leadership
- Inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame
- United States Institute for Theatre Technology Lifetime Achievement Award
- National Corporate Theatre Fund Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Theatre
- Gann Academy Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts
- Eugene O’Neill Foundation’s Tao House Award for serving the American theatre with distinction
- National Medal of the Arts
- Players Club Hall of Fame
Marianne Owen returned to the A.R.T. this season to play Mrs. Sorby in The Wild Duck and The Mother in Six Characters in Search of an Author. She appeared in fourteen productions during the first four seasons at the A.R.T., and took part in its first European tour. Since that time she has worked at Playwrights Horizons, the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Guthrie Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, the The Goodman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, and Arizona Theatre Co.; and has been a company member at the Seattle Repertory Theatre for the past nine years, acting in over twenty-eight productions. Her roles include Maggie in Dancing at Lughnasa, Grusha in The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Bananas in House of Blue Leaves, Betty in Landscape of the Body, Heidi in The Heidi Chronicles, and Frosine in The Miser. She also played Charlotte in the national tour of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing with Brian Bedford.
Stephen Rowe (Tito Belcredi in Enrico IV) is a founding member of the A.R.T. company whose work includes A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Lulu, Man and Superman, The Wild Duck, and his one-man show Albee's Men (which opened the 2002 season at the Berkshire Theatre Festival). His Broadway credits include The Nerd, Some Americans Abroad, Serious Money, and Spoils of War. New York Shakespeare Festival audiences have seen him in The Tempest, Macbeth, Coming of Age in Soho, A Private View, and The Normal Heart. His extensive working relationship with Edward Albee includes The Zoo Story and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at Vienna's English Theatre, the international Albee Directs Albee project, and last season's Tiny Alice Off-Broadway. Since his last A.R.T. appearance in Full Circle, he has performed in Mark Lamos's School for Scandal and in Emily Mann's Romeo and Juliet, both at the McCarter Theatre; and in Defying Gravity at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Mr. Rowe has performed at Yale Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle, and has received the Bay Area Theatre Critics Award for his performarnce in Berkeley Rep's Sight Unseen, and the DramaLogue Award for So Many Words at South Coast Repertory in Los Angeles. He has been seen on television in Law and Order, E.R., Cheers, Wings, L.A. Law, Beverly Hills 90210, and Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and in the films Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and Basic Instinct.
A.R.T. Senior Actor, founding member of the Yale Repertory Theatre and the A.R.T. Yale: more than 40 productions (including The Seagull). A.R.T.: 100 productions including The Seagull (three turns as Sorin), Julius Caesar, Three Sisters, The Onion Cellar, Major Barbara (Undershaft), Heartbreak House (Shotover), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Quince four times, Snug once), Henry IV (Falstaff), Twelfth Night (Toby Belch), The Caretaker (Davies), The Homecoming (Max), Loot (Truscott), Man and Superman (Mendoza/Devil), Waiting for Godot (Vladimir), The Threepenny Opera (Peacham/Petey), Ivanov (Lebedev), Three Sisters (Chebutkin), Buried Child (Dodge), The Cherry Orchard (Gaev) and The King Stag (Pantelone). Teaches at Harvard College, Harvard’s Summer and Extension Schools and at the A.R.T/MXAT Institute. Trained at the Old Vic Theatre School and subsequently taught there. Acted at the Old Vic, Young Vic, The Royal Court, in the West End, in films and television and has been hosting his own show “The Caravan” for the BBC for five years. Came to the U.S. with the satirical revue The Establishment and acted on and off Broadway, at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and at the Lincoln Center Festival. Lectured on Shakespeare in India and the Netherlands Theatre School. Received the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Boston Actor and the Jason Robards Award for Dedication to the Theatre.
Max Wright (Spooner in No Man's Land) was seen in A.R.T.'s first production, A Midsummer Night's Dream, in The Inspector General and in Happy End. He is best known for his role as Willie Tanner on the television series Alf.
Walter van Dijk
Walter van Dijk
Carmen de Lavallade
Carmen de Lavallade
Vincent Every, Jennifer Geidt, Sophia Geidt, Andrew Parker
Vincent Every, Jennifer Geidt, Sophia Geidt, Andrew Parker
Elinor Anderson-Bell, Nancy Armstrong, Janey Bishoff Boroff, Marya Danihel, Ben Duffy, Kenneth Fitch, Jeffery Gall, Wayne Hankin, Marshall Hughes, Thomas Jones, Peter Kubaska, Nancy Mayans, David Ripley, Marilyn Ross, Laura Schultz, Bob Sparling, Scott Truel, Nela Wagman