A circus spin for Shakespeare this summer

Noah Lapook and director David Catlin rehearse a scene from 'A Midsummer Night's Daydream.'

Eight performers will create more than two dozen characters in “A Midsummer Night’s Daydream,” a wild reimagining of Shakespeare’s tale of love, madness and mischief.

The 90-minute romp was adapted and directed by Northwestern University alumnus and faculty member David Catlin, a co-founder of Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre.

The world premiere of “A Midsummer Night’s Daydream” will have a two-week run July 21 to 30 at the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, on the Evanston campus.  

Through circus, silliness and song, the production unites the creative team that gave Northwestern, Chicago and the national theater community “The Little Prince” and “Moby Dick.”

Set in the neighboring worlds of a very civilized Athens and a deep and darkened garden-woods, the farce includes a mandolin, a violin, puppets, song, blank verse, circus acts, Greek royals, gardening clowns, gravity-defying feral faeries, unrequited lovers, a jealous and petulant goddess, a ferociously sweet lion, cocoons full of giant insects, a lonely firefly and a singing mermaid.

Much of Shakespeare’s glorious words from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” have been preserved, but the language has been trimmed -- and even borrowed from other Shakespeare plays -- to make room for more song and hilarious storytelling.

For tickets and program and event details, visit the Wirtz Center website.

“A Midsummer Night’s Daydream" is recommended for ages 12 and older.

Performance times are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with an additional matinee performance on Saturday, July 29 at 2:30 p.m.

Single tickets are $10 - 25. Advance tickets for Northwestern students are $6.

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