From Much Ado About Nothing in the Wild West, to an Arabian Twelfth Night, Shakespeare’s plays are often reimagined in different settings. Director Lavinia Hart has reinterpreted Theatre and Dance at Wayne’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a Slavic fairytale. The play is originally set in Ancient Athens, but changing the setting allowed for creativity and an unconventional style. Designers Fred Florkowski and Mary Copenhagen were tasked with creating a set and costumes which transport the audience into the fantastical world of the play. To establish the Slavic fairytale setting they took their inspiration from the illustrations of Russian artist Ivan Bilibin. His 1902 illustrations of the Tale of Vasilisia the Beautiful, featuring infamous Russian folklore witch Baba Yaga, were particularly influential. The richer earthier color palette, not found in the typical Western fairytale, lends an air of mystery to the mischievous characters. The lighting and sound, designed by students Andrew Cora and Kelsey Nowak, create a mystical atmosphere which complements the nimble, delicate movement choreographed by Biba Bell. Other Slavic inspired nuances, such as a sculpted dragon throne and skull lanterns, bring surprising elements to this familiar story.
Relocating the tale makes for a stunning visual reinterpretation. Take in this unique and beautiful production starting October 12th. Get your tickets at theatreanddanceatwayne.com.