A Midsummer Night’s Dream

May 16th - October 11th Festival Theatre Ticket Info
Generally Positive Reviews based on 15 Critics
This is a listing for the 2014 season. For this years shows click here.
15 Reviews

Both beyond Shakespeare’s wildest dreams

Charles Isherwood The New York Times

Charles Isherwood of the NY Times on the Chamber play “I emerged stunned and disoriented, partly stimulated and partly exhausted. Theater rarely makes you feel any of these things consistently, let alone simultaneously.” and this of the other “Mr. Abraham’s production ranks among the most purely enchanting I’ve seen”

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Shakespeare wrote the play to accompany aristocratic nuptials

Rob Ormsby Blogging Shakespeare

“Abraham emphasizes his concern with Dream’s and its source material’s representation of ceaseless metamorphosis in the unfolding of true love’s unsmooth course…Whatever loose ends or conflicts may remain between spouses, the director appears to want to accommodate them on behalf of what the Wedding Couple represent along the way to normalizing the new normal.”

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Well worth one of your summer nights

Scott Miller Cressman The New Hamburg Independent

“Director Chris Abraham’s update on the 420-year-old story is a home run…performances are strong throughout. Chick Reid plays the fairy Puck with mischief and a touch of the otherworldly.”

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Stretching Shakespeare

Chris Jones The Chicago Tribune

“Abraham is making a statement. Good for him, say I. There is great value in a production that takes such joy in the sudden changes in the world. The moment should be marked…But whatever the gender or the soundtrack, you still have to believe in the complexity of the relationships.”

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Bard may be the quintessential dead white European dude

Martin Morrow The grid

“[Director] Chris Abraham’s exuberant version…is a glorious rainbow…framed as the entertainment at a modern, multiracial gay wedding, this inclusive Dream has it all: same-sex lovers, a drag fairy queen, adorable kids, funny old folks, a Deaf character speaking in sign language, and a May-December marriage.”

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Wentworth and Beaty exquisite

Robert Cushman The National Post

“[Scott ] Wentworth himself moves naturally into the role of Theseus; Maev Beaty is his Hippolyta, and theirs are the best performances of these roles I have ever seen.”

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Bard dropped for Bruno Mars Lyric

Robyn Godfrey The Bard and the Boards

“Dream has some of the finest poetry in the entire Bardic canon, and such lines were sacrificed so that a food-fight, wet-t-shirt contest and cheesy 80’s ballads could be inserted while a group of diminutive fairies sings Bruno Mars.”

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A joyous production

Lynn Slotkin The Slotkin Letter

“Abraham has made bold choices that enhance the play; asks the audience to suspend its disbelief just a bit, trust in the words and believe in that world…The transformative power of love and wonderful, thoughtful, joyous theatre.”

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Depressingly foolish and self-indulgent

Jamie Portman Capital Critics circle

“An audacious concept fails to reach its potential — perhaps because Abraham had no real idea what to do with it. Instead both it and the play itself are pulverized into stupidity by a director who should know better.”

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Love is in the air

J. Kelly Nestruck Globe and Mail

“there is something about Abraham’s Dream that makes you feel as if you’ve been set free, particularly after an opening week of solid, but stuffy versions of classic plays at Stratford.”

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Beautiful design

Lauren Gienow Broadway World

“Designer, JULIE FOX outdoes herself…he Festival Theatre stage is transformed into a beautiful and lavish ‘enchanted forest’ of sorts. Green grass covers the stage, lights dangle throughout, and in the centre is a small pond that is used to hilarious effect in the second act.

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Outrageously daring adaptation

Geoff Dale Donald's Dish

“lighten up and remember what the impishly sly Puck says:
‘If we shadows have offended /Think but this, and all is mended / That you have but slumber’d here /While these visions did appear.'”

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Abraham draws out timeless themes

Christina Strynatka The Examiner.com

“Thanks to Abraham, Stratford’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is exactly why Shakespeare’s works continue to endure almost 400 years after his death. If kept in their original form, his plays would grow continually out of touch with modern audiences, despite the depth and beauty that lays in them.”

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Bruce Urquhart The Stratford Beacon Herald

“There’s love on stage – a love for Shakespeare, a love of theatre and a genuine love between friends – that elevates this Stratford Festival production…Abraham has tried to do something different, interweaving Shakespeare’s greatest comedic love story with this warm show of love between friends.”

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First ever review 1/2 star review

Richard Ouzounian The Toronto Star

HalfStar“Let me make it clear that my dislike of the show had nothing to do with its central framing device (that it’s all being performed to celebrate the marriage of two men) or its selective use of gender-blind casting (Titania is played by a man, Lysander by a woman).”

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Reviews Breakdown

11 3 1

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