Known for its comedy, magic, and romance, Midsummer has a disturbing dark side too.
The play kicks off with an engagement forged in war, a father threatening death to his daughter, and an escape into the woods where the environment has been decimated by the force of a fairy feud.
“And thorough this distemperature we see the seasons alter… and the mazed world, By their increase, now knows not which is which.”
In these times of environmental destruction and climate change, it’s striking to see these concerns front and center in Midsummer. Only by setting aside their pride and desire to dominate can the inhabitants of the world of Midsummer (fairies and mortals both) create harmony and rebuild the world they want to live in.
The play begins and ends in the court of Athens, with those scenes staged in the park’s lush green waterfront “amphitheater,” but as the lovers flee the unjust justice of the court, they enter into a world destroyed by wind and flood where only salt remains.
This now barren landscape is being created by artist Marc Poirier as an extension of the massive salt piles looming next to the harbor below the Tobin Bridge. Marc’s company, Longleaf Lumber, has donated large timbers salvaged from the Hingham Naval Shipyard to construct a crib structure reflecting the
marine architecture of Boston Harbor’s piers and bridge abutments, which thanks to Eastern Salt will be filled with road salt to create this haunting world.
Marc Poirier began his career as a painter, and received his MFA in painting and sculpture from Columbia University School of the Arts. He went on to found Longleaf Lumber, a Cambridge based reclaimed and antique lumber mill, and has recently merged his passions to create large scale site specific sculpture. Most recently at Apollinaire he created the multi-level maze set for the production of Everyman, and the centerpiece bar in the new Black Box theater. At over 5’ tall and 60’ across, with Midsummer he is taking his work to a much grander scale.
Sound Designer/Composer David Reiffel will be creating the sonic world with a full size upright piano mounted on the salt. This is David’s 18th show with Apollinaire. His work has also been heard coast to coast from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to Boston’s SpeakEasy Stage. He recently won the Norton award for Outstanding Musical Direction. Lighting Designer Christopher Bocchiaro will be lighting the two worlds of the play and designer Susan Paino is creating the costumes.
One of Boston’s great comedic actors will take on one of dramatic literature’s great comedic roles.
Actor Brooks Reeves, who was widely recognized for his portrayal of Kulygin in this season’s Three Sisters (receiving both Norton and Irne nominations), stars in the role of Bottom. Brooks’s most recent Boston appearance was in dual roles in Love, Valor, Compassion, which DigBoston’s Christopher Ehlers recognized as “one of the best performances of the year.”
Audience members are encouraged to bring blankets and beach chairs, a picnic to enjoy along with the harbor views, and walking shoes for the 2 moves during the performance.
Performances are July 11-29, 2018 • Wed.-Sun. • 7:30 • Free!
PORT Park, 99 Marginal Street, on the Chelsea Waterfront.
Free parking is available on site.
Information/Directions: www.apollinairetheatre.com or (617) 887-2336.
In case of rain, call (617) 887-2336 to check status.
Running Time apx. 1 hour 30 minutes, plus 2 short intermissions to change location.