Are you sure that we are awake? It seems to me that yet we sleep, we dream.
I have always wanted to direct a version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and when I first came to International School Manila and saw the high school courtyard I thought it would be the perfect place to create a dream. A Midsummer Night’s Dream has always been my favourite Shakespearean play as I remember playing Puck as a young person and all the fun I had. I wanted the young people of the middle school to enjoy the challenges of Shakespeare in ways that excite, engage and inspire them. I believe that young people get the most out of Shakespeare when they “play” – with the language, the characters and the action. The power of ensemble was vital, I hoped to foster a way of working together – for both the cast and crew – that enabled everyone’s ideas and voices to be heard.
This production was very interested in the transformative nature of dreams. It is through dreams we can deal with our fears, overcome obstacles and, more importantly, become the people we want to be; for, as the Bard himself said: “We are such stuff that dreams are made on”. For me, I believe this is the true essence of the play. Middle school is a time of finding yourself, having fun, challenging perceptions and learning to believe in yourself. If the play was able to touch a few hearts, generate laughter, create dreams and make people believe in what they are capable of, then our job was done.
To achieve this vision, I had a few key approaches:
The set was outdoors in the high school courtyard.