Thursday, March 10, 2011

Map to this Crazy Forest

Below I have posted a quick look character map for A Midsummer Night's Dream. This should assist you when reading the play, for if you get lost and aren't quite sure who a character is (as there are many of them), you can be aware as to who is who with a quick glance. Simply locate the name of the character on the map below, and surrounding it are arrows, linking it to the other characters with a short explanation as to why they are linked together.

A Prankster of a Narrator

Puck is one of the most well known Shakespearian characters and since A Midsummer Night's Dream has no actual protagonist, Puck is generally looked at to be that, because without him there would be no play. I have a page here that analyzes Puck and his role within A Midsummer Night's Dream. This will give a sort of basis on which to view the other characters in the play.

The Role of Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream 

Isabel Bordas del Prado, Ana. "The Role of Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream." Mural. Universitat de València, 2006. Web. 10 Mar. 2011.

An Easier to Understand Version

There is a book series out called No Fear Shakespeare, inside each of these books is a different play by Shakespeare with not only the original text, but a side by side comparison with completely updated language. This is a fantastic way for people who wouldn't normally read Shakespeare to get into it and completely understand it, though as a script text it isn't a very good option. I will still post a website up that will allow a look into these books, for A Midsummer Night's Dream specifically, because this could be something that actor's could read first to gain a better understanding of the play before going into the flowery language.

No Fear Shakespeare

Crowther, John, ed. “No Fear A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” SparkNotes LLC. 2005. Web. 10 Mar. 2011.

To Right Way to Make-Up

Many people do not know how to do their own make-up well, let alone their own fantasy make-up. In this show there are far too many people who are going to have to do their own make-up, because we're not Broadway people! This by no means is the design that your make-up and hair designer will have you do, but these videos are essential for everyone to watch. It is a whole series of free videos to show you how to apply fantasy make-up correctly, so take an hour out of your day, or maybe less, to make sure you can get this right! If you have any questions, you're designer will be able to help you much more throughly.

Watch Me

"Fantasy Eye Makeup: Video Series." eHow, n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2011

The Man Behind the Dream

Shakespeare is someone we all know the name of, and some of us know the plays that he has created for the world to remember him by, but how much do we truly know of him? That's why I decided to have a little refresher course on not only his life and works, but also specifically the play A Midsummer Night's Dream. With the help of Oxford Reference Online, I have found a couple of fantastic entries for you to read. The links are below, enjoy!


A Midsummer Night's Dream

"Shakespeare" The Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre. Ed. Phyllis Hartnoll and Peter Found. Oxford University Press, 1996. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Central Washington University. 10 March 2011

"Midsummer Night's Dream, A" A Dictionary of Shakespeare. Stanley Wells. Oxford University Press, 1998. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Central Washington University. 10 March 2011

Older and Newer Shakespeare

Thought it's odd to think about there being older plays and newer plays by Shakespeare, he of course wrote all his plays over the course of his life. A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest are two of his works that are often compared to one another. A Midsummer Night's Dream is a play that Shakespeare did in his earlier days, while The Tempest is one of the plays he finished towards the end of his days. Each play has it's own merits, but I found a monograph analysis that talks a bit about them, and then focuses on A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's a good read and makes for some interesting ideas, so please read it here in website form!

"The Drama: Its History, Literature and Influence on Civilization.", vol. 13. ed. Alfred Bates. London: Historical Publishing Company, 1906. pp. 152-157.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Fresh View on an Old Play

Benjamin Britten and Baz Luhrmann's version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" was created for Opera Australia, and by all accounts is outlandish, but quite amazing. This video is a taste of the production, and it really allows you to open your mind to something far more than the standard Elizabethan performance. Not just are the visuals, the light, sounds, make-up, costumes and sets, out there, but the sound of it all puts you in another place. If you can watch this performance in it's entirety, I would wholly recommend doing so.

Luhrmann, Baz and Floyd Productions. "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Video. Vimeo. Opera Australia, Mar. 2011. Web. 09 Mar. 2011.