Midsummer

Based upon William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Choreography by
Olivier Wevers

Lighting design by
Michael Mazzola

If these thoughts have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream…

William Shakespeare

Midsummer

behind the scenes video

  • Dates

    May 9-11 &
    16-18, 2014

  • Price

    $40 – Adult
    $35 – Senior
    $30 – Child
    $20 – Student
    $12 – Student Rush

Casting for Midsummer

Casting subject to change

TitaniaYuka Oba
OberonNicholas Schultz
PuckGiovanni Yoshida
MothCassidy Isaacson
MustardseedDemi Trezona
PeaseblossomLaura McQueen Schultz
CobwebMorgan Frasier
ShakersIsaac Aoki, DJ Strong, Darrell Haggard, Ednis Gomez*
HermiaConnie Flachs
LysanderSteven Houser
HelenaHannah Wilcox
DemetriusDave Naquin
BottomStephen Sanford
Tom Snout (tinker)Gracie Huber
Robin Starveling (tailor)Megan DeMuro
Nick BottomEthan Kroll**

* Guest artist     **GRBS Junior Company member

Synopsis

The Dreamer
Young Nick, a misfit, is an avid reader with a wild imagination. He loves nature and science, believes in magical creatures and dreams of running for President when he grows up. In bed one midsummer night, fueled by his day’s adventures, he drifts into a deep sleep and finds himself in a world where bright flowers burst open revealing sweet love drops, youthful lovers court, grownup politicians change their stripes, and through it, all magical fairies inject their perverse sense of humor into the mortal collage.

The Fairies
Queen Titania and King Oberon love each other, but make a game of dueling over the young dreamer’s attention. Oberon orders his minion Puck to bring him a magic flower, whose nectar he will squeeze into his Queen’s eyes as she sleeps. The magic drops will cause Titania to fall in love with whatever creature she sees upon waking, thus embarrassing her in front of her Kingdom and giving him the upper hand.

The Lovers
Lysander and Hermia are in love. Helena loves Demetrius, but he has fallen out of love with her and in love with Hermia. Helena pursues Demetrius who chases Hermia.

The Mistake
Witnessing this love tangle, Oberon orders Puck to drop some of the magic flower’s nectar in Demetrius’s eyes so he will awake in Helena’s company and fall back in love with her. But Puck mistakes Lysander for Demetrius, and places the magic drops in his eyes instead. In the confusion, Helena stumbles over Lysander, waking him. As he lays eyes on Helena, he falls madly in love with her, dismissing Hermia.

The Switch
Looking for the perfect creature to make Titania fall in love with, Puck spots Nick Bottom, an ambitious politician busy running in the dreamland’s presidential election, and transforms him into an donkey. As luck and Puck would have it, Bottom-the-ass is the first creature Titania sees on waking from her enchanted slumber. She falls in love with him and tends to his every desire.

The Mess
Though Oberon enjoys the trickery, he becomes angry when he realizes that Puck has ruined his attempt to reunite Helena and Demetrius. Oberon himself anoints Demetrius with the love nectar. When Demetrius proclaims his love to Helena, however, she feels mocked by both Demetrius and Lysander and runs off.

The Fog
Finally, Oberon puts an end to all the quarreling. With Puck’s help, he confuses the four lovers in a fog and tires them so they fall asleep. He then squeezes love nectar in Lysander’s eyes and insures that the first person he sees on waking is Hermia, thus securing their love and peace between the two couples.

The End
All that remains is to lift the spell on Titania, and for them to reconcile their differences.

Olivier Wevers

Choreographer

Originally from Brussels, Belgium, Olivier Wevers is the founder and Artistic Director of Seattle’s critically acclaimed contemporary dance company Whim W’Him. In 2012 Wevers was honored with the City of Seattle’s Mayor’s Arts Award and in 2011 he received the Princess Grace Choreographic Fellowship. In both 2011 and 2010 Wevers’ work took home the grand prize award at the Annual Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in California and he has also been named by Dance Magazine as one of their 25 to watch.

Wevers first began exploring choreography in 2002 while still a Principal Dancer at Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB). In 2009 he founded Whim W’Him to create a “platform, centered around choreography and dance, for artists to explore their craft through innovation and collaboration.” In 2011 Whim W’Him was named the resident dance company of Intiman Theatre.

Besides developing new creations for Whim W’Him, Wevers has created works for numerous companies and festivals in Canada, Japan, and the United States, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater, Seattle Dance Project, Cornish Dance Theater, Grand Rapids Ballet, Northwest Dance Project, Ballet X, Prix de Lausanne, PNB’s Laugh Out Loud Festival, White Bird’s 4×4 Ballet Project, Against the Grain/Men in Dance, and Seattle’s Bumbershoot.

Wevers was chosen to participate in the 2009 National Choreographers Initiative held in Irvine California. In 2008, he was the recipient of the Artist Trust/ Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship Award, recognizing his work, Shindig, commissioned by PNB, while in 2006, he was selected to participate in the prestigious New York Choreographic Institute.

Wevers danced as a Principal Dancer at Royal Winnipeg Ballet before becoming a Principal with PNB, where he danced lead roles in the major full-length classical ballets, as well as in contemporary works by the world’s most noted choreographers.

Discovering Midsummer in Grand Rapids

1381683_10151754916879735_3629462_n1Let’s take a peek at what Olivier has been concocting in Grand Rapids. The piece now being choreographed for GRB is ballet for the 21st century. In it, Olivier pares down the narrative even further, explores unresolved tensions between Oberon and Titania, and radically strips away the usual green-and-mossy-bower setting in favor of a totally white stage, with all the characters clothed in white except the mortal lovers and (to some extent) Bottom.

But lest you fear that with the departure of decoration, magic too will flee, let me hasten to note that the colors to be employed will make vivid and dramatic contrast to the background, while otherworldly lighting effects will be conjured up by that wizard of the illuminated stage, Michael Mazzola.

By Victoria Farr
Read the story at Whim W’Him | Published: October 1, 2013