Myra Klarman Photography families / seniors / headshots

Shakespeare in the Arb: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

 
Shakespeare in the Arb: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | This version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream begins in the Peony Garden. Hippolyta and Theseus (Gail McCormick and Chris Harrison) watch on as Egeus (Rich Tolman) tries to force his daughter Hermia (Allison Stock) to marry Demetrius (Sean FitzGerald). But Hermia wants to marry her beloved Lysander.
This version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream begins in the Peony Garden. Hippolyta and Theseus (Gail McCormick and Chris Harrison) watch on as Egeus (Rich Tolman) tries to force his daughter Hermia (Allison Stock) to marry Demetrius (Sean FitzGerald). But Hermia wants to marry her beloved Lysander.

There was no way I was gonna miss watching my first Shakespeare in the Arb production last week. It’s not that I’m a huge lover of Shakespeare or anything. Quite the opposite: I often shy away from his works. But I really wanted to see some of my favorite performers from the Burns Park Players, including several children, who are in the cast. And I couldn’t let another year go by without the adventure of photographing a theatrical performance in one of my favorite portrait locations.

All I can say is, “What a revelation!” If you haven’t yet seen a Shakespeare in the Arb production, now in its 10th year, this would be a great year to start. Save for the mosquitoes (pack repellent), I would characterize the entire experience as glorious. And I say that, even though on the night I attended, the last 5 minutes of the performance were canceled due to a raging downpour. My camera was safe and dry under a rain cover. My body, however, was not so fortunate: by the time I made it to my car, I was drenched down to my skivvies.

UM Lecturer Kate Mendeloff started Shakespeare in the Arb in 2001, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream was its very first production. Many of the locations and costumes were used in the original production. And several actors are even reprising their roles. I won’t lie and say I understood all of it, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the performances. This production was much more kinetic and visual than the Shakespeare performances I’d seen years ago, and that really helped keep me fully engaged with the action.

Here’s a link to Roger Lelievre’s review in AnnArbor.com. For performance times, ticket prices, etc., visit this page. Finally, the Facebook event page shows which actors are performing which roles on which evenings.

Shakespeare in the Arb: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | The audience, seated on chairs and blankets, watches the action. During the performance I attended, umbrellas provided protection from both the sun and rain. | UM lecturer Kate Mendeloff not only has directed every Shakespeare in the Arb production, but with flag in hand, she also leads the audience to the various locations within the Arb where the action is staged.
The audience, seated on chairs and blankets, watches the action. During the performance I attended, umbrellas provided protection from both the sun and rain. | UM lecturer Kate Mendeloff not only has directed every Shakespeare in the Arb production, but with flag in hand, she also leads the audience to the various locations within the Arb where the action is staged.
Shakespeare in the Arb: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | In some scenes there is hardly a barrier between the actors and the audience. The story features a play within a play — here, the character Bottom (Sam Dodge) constantly interrupts director Peter Quince (Jane Glass) as he attempts to cast the play.
In some scenes there is hardly a barrier between the actors and the audience. The story features a play within a play — here, the character Bottom (Sam Dodge) constantly interrupts director Peter Quince (Jane Glass) as he attempts to cast the play.
Shakespeare in the Arb: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | One of my favorite scenes: the fairies frolicking among the pines.
One of my favorite scenes: the fairies frolicking among the pines.
Shakespeare in the Arb: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | As the audience traveled to a new location, these two fairies would race ahead — leaving period music in their wake.
As the audience traveled to a new location, these two fairies would race ahead — leaving period music in their wake.
Shakespeare in the Arb: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | The King and Queen of the Fairies, Oberon and Titania (Graham Atkin and Eva Rosenwald).
The King and Queen of the Fairies, Oberon and Titania (Graham Atkin and Eva Rosenwald).
Shakespeare in the Arb: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Children and young friends of the cast made cameo appearances as fairies.
Children and young friends of the cast made cameo appearances as fairies.
Shakespeare in the Arb: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Oberon (Graham Atkin) observes the action from his lushly wooded perch. Atkin also played Oberon in the 2001 production.
Oberon (Graham Atkin) observes the action from his lushly wooded perch. Atkin also played Oberon in the 2001 production.
Shakespeare in the Arb: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Sleepy time for Titania (Eva Rosenwald). Titania’s attendants included Peaseblossom (Sian Dowis), Cobweb (Megan Mertaugh), Mustardseed (Elise Randall) and Moth (Alison Clinton).
Sleepy time for Titania (Eva Rosenwald). Titania’s attendants included Peaseblossom (Sian Dowis), Cobweb (Megan Mertaugh), Mustardseed (Elise Randall) and Moth (Alison Clinton).
Shakespeare in the Arb: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Exeunt. (Rico tells me that that’s the Shakespearean stage direction for “they exit.” Don’t ask me to pronounce it.)
Exeunt. (Rico tells me that that’s the Shakespearean stage direction for “they exit.” Don’t ask me to pronounce it.)
Shakespeare in the Arb: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Three Pucks for the price of one. I loved how this mischievous threesome moved and danced as one. (Mandy Bannatz, Jaclyn Dudek, and Greg Kovas)
Three Pucks for the price of one. I loved how this mischievous threesome moved and danced as one. (Mandy Bannatz, Jaclyn Dudek, and Greg Kovas)
Shakespeare in the Arb: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | The four lovers in a confused — is there any other kind? — love quadrangle caused by magic potions (Chris Anderson, Ellie McIvor, Sean FitzGerald, and Allison Stock).
The four lovers in a confused — is there any other kind? — love quadrangle caused by magic potions (Chris Anderson, Ellie McIvor, Sean FitzGerald, and Allison Stock).
Shakespeare in the Arb: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | This is moments before the downpour that ended the performance five minutes shy of the end. Fortunately, at this point we were back at the Peony Garden and relatively close to our cars!
This is moments before the downpour that ended the performance five minutes shy of the end. Fortunately, at this point we were back at the Peony Garden and relatively close to our cars!
Shakespeare in the Arb: A Midsummer Night’s Dream | All’s well that ends well. (Why does that sound so familiar?)
All’s well that ends well. (Why does that sound so familiar?)
 

Comments

Myra- this is lovely- I will forward it to the cast! I like your narrative very much, it brings the experience alive—

#1 Kate Mendeloff

the stuff that dreams are made of

#2 Lorie Heiberger

These are beautiful pictures! You’ve really captured the essence of the show! Thanks for coming to see us! :)

Wow Myra – you really captured this show beautifully.

#4 Roger LeLievre

capturing an oboe play en-pointe is masterful. outstanding capture.

#5 hans

I played Hermia in this production, and think you did an excellent job capturing both the show and the atmosphere of an Arb show, traveling from place to place, the fairies, etc. LOVE these pics.

#6 Allison

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Photo of Myra Klarman
About Myra Klarman

I’m a professional photographer specializing in studio and lifestyle portraits of children, families, high school seniors, and performing artists. I live in Ann Arbor with my husband, Rich, and our 14-year-old son, Max. Learn more about my portrait and headshot services at Myra Klarman Photography.

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