Tag Archives: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Shakespeare at Six

Eagerly awaiting the start of his first Shakespeare play

 

It never would have occurred to me to take Owen to see a Shakespeare play had the Shakespeare Theatre Company not hosted Family Week as A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs at Sidney Harman Hall.  After all, I didn’t get my first dose of The Bard until I was in high school nor did I fully appreciate his work until I studied it as an English major in college.

But the Family Week promotion caught my attention. There were performances geared toward little ones during the week, along with special family ticket packages for the full-scale production that implied the play was appropriate for kids ages five and up. So, when I was offered a couple of complimentary tickets to see the show, I decided my theatre date would be six-year-old, Owen, instead of my husband.

That turned out to be an excellent decision.  Not only did Owen enjoy the play, it was a fantastic way for him to experience Shakespeare for the first time.  A lot of it had to do with the production itself — A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a light, fanciful tale filled with whimsy and humor.  Fairies, magic, and romantic mix-ups are factored well into the story, and plenty of comedy, both cheeky and physical, rounds out the fun. And this version has some touches that I think makes it a little more relatable for kids. The characters’ costumes look contemporary — Hermia and  Demetrius wear prep school uniforms — and Lysander seems familiar with his “dude”- like delivery and  jeans, flannel shirt, and guitar on his back.

It also helped that STC provided programs for kids that included a synopsis of the play as well as word games and other fun tidbits about Shakespeare and the show (they also had some craft projects for kids in the mezzanine lobby, though we skipped them).  I’d given Owen some background beforehand, but we also read the synopsis together, which definitely helped him follow the plot. And seeing other kids in the theatre — quite a few families took advantage of Family Week — likely made the whole experience less intimidating. In fact, the way Owen cackled at some of Bottom’s funniest moments, I’d say he was pretty darn comfortable being there.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be at Harman Hall in Penn Quarter through January 6. And even though Family Week is over, I still recommend giving it a go with the kids.  Give them some background beforehand, and it wouldn’t hurt to ask the theatre if they have any more of the kids’ guides.  Like me, you might be pleasantly surprised to find you have little Shakespeare fan in the family.

Tickets for A Midsummer Night’s Dream start at $43.  Performances take place most evenings with some afternoon shows on the weekends as well.

 

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Shakespeare for the Family

Want to introduce your kids to Shakespeare?  These Family Week performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream sound like the perfect opportunity to do so.  You’ve got a few options, just scroll down to view them all. I, for one, cannot wait!

 

– Get a special Family Four-Pack of tickets to any performance of the play from December 11-16 for $120 using the code TARGET. Seats will be in the Mezzanine section of the Sydney Harmon Theatre, and children will have the chance to explore the play creatively through hands-on activities and crafts in the lobby before performances courtesy of Presenting Education Sponsor, Target. *Note that your party must include a minimum of one patron between ages 5 and 17 per purchase for the Target Family Four-Pack special.

– Catch a Mini-Summer Night’s Dream, a free abridged performance of four scenes from the play that will feature STC Teaching Artists and include an interactive discussion geared toward younger audiences. These will take place Tuesday, December 11 at 11am; Wednesday, December 12 at 12pm; and Saturday & Sunday, December 15-16 at 11am. Join these sessions in The Forum in Sidney Harman Hall. *Even though this is free, you must reserve tickets to attend.

– Enjoy a Mid-Afternoon’s Dream, a Family Festival at the Shakepeare Theatre Company, on Saturday, December 15 at 2pm. This will include a performance of the play and party with family-friendly activities, along with the chance to meet the stars of the show.  It’s a special event — tickets are $125.

 

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Filed under DC, Live Entertainment, Theatre, Weekdays, Weekend, Winter