Theatre: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Yale Dramat’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Stephan Kaliski, is a glorious, candy-colored technical wonder. A wall of lamps illuminates the theater, a disco ball sparkles, and a fluorescent moon changes colors overhead; the set becomes by turns a high school cafeteria, yoga studio, and stage for an impromptu rap battle. This is an eccentric and exuberant Midsummer, unabashedly ambitious in scale and directorial vision. It is a production which embraces the fundamental strangeness of the play, its psychosexual ambiguity and, uneasy negotiation of the boundaries between dreams and reality.

“Dreams tap into a part of your brain that’s a little more primal…there’s a lack of inhibition in dreams that you don’t have in real life,” says producer Chris Homburgér, TD ’16, explaining that this Midsummer is envisioned as a collectively-shared dream. And indeed, the show is a dreamy feast for the senses, with stunning and memorable visual moments in every scene. But the production’s technical virtuosity is only half its charm; it also features universally credible, intelligent performances. Rebecca Brudner, BR ’16, is a particular standout as Puck, displaying an electrifying verbal and physical agility.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is “one of the biggest shows at Yale this semester” says Homburgér, showcasing the work of dozens of Yale performers and production staff members in addition to professional designers like Christina Watanabe and Jason Sherwood. Artistically, the production is a triumph, and its wit, inventiveness, and visual eloquence make one want to linger in this Dream long after the curtain has fallen.

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