Monday, June 22, 2009

Georgia Shakespeare gives Dream a backstage pass

Posted By on Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 8:18 PM

click to enlarge MOP TOP: Chris Kayser as Bottom
  • MOP TOP: Chris Kayser as Bottom

Bottom is on the top of Georgia Shakespeare’s new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for both good and ill. Actor Chris Kayser, frequently the festival’s frontman, plays Nick Bottom, the rough-hewn weaver who’s also the self-styled star of some would-be thespians.

Dream gives Bottom and the other “rude mechanicals” a turn in the spotlight, which may have inspired director John Dillon’s staging. Where Georgia Shakespeare’s 2000 production took place on a stylized lunar landscape, the current one unfolds in a modern playhouse’s backstage area. Before the show gets started, we watch the cast chatting and stretching while the headset-wearing stage manager counts down before the curtain. This Dream takes its cue not from the refined Athens of Shakespeare’s aristocratic lovers, or the enchanted forest of the fairies, but the mundane surroundings of the stagehands in their janitorial jumpsuits.

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(Photo by Bill DeLoach)

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