A Midsummer Night's Dream
From the Playbill :
Aloha! A rare, one word oxymoron, like “shalom”, which means one thing and its opposite, and a whole lot more. Hello and Goodbye. And more than that too...the word carries with it the whole spirit of Hawaii. Hawaii is indeed a land full of spirit, a place where nature is powerful with personality, a land of natural beauty and magic, alive with ancient myths.
This is perhaps the world’s millionth production of the amazing, wonderful, fantastical A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s best title for his most popular play. Yet this is the first production I’ve ever done or seen set in the magical, romantic and fantastical locale of Hawaii.
Just as Shakespeare was inspired by the Greek myths he read in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, I’ve been inspired by Hawaii’s ancient myths. The story of Pele tells of the goddess of volcanoes and fire, born of the marriage of earth and sky. She is both Creator and Destroyer (Aloha!), not unlike the Hindu god Shiva. Her eruptions of molten lava both build the islands and wreak havoc over everything in their path. She makes her home deep in Kilauea, the most active volcano on earth, on Hawaii’s Big Island. Like Titania, whose moods throw all of nature out of kilter, Pele affects all who live within her realm.
Oberon (minus the b-e-n) reminds us of Oro, the main Polynesian god of war, who in times of peace became the god of fine arts; he fights when necessary and dances when the fighting is done. His puckish trickster demi-god Maui, spiritual relative of the Navajo Coyote, fooled his brothers, while fishing, telling them he had hooked a huge fish and urged them to paddle with all their might – this is how the Hawaiian Islands were pulled from the ocean floor into the air.
Our play is set in a somewhat fantastical version of contemporary Hawaii. The spirits, of course, are immortal. No matter where you set this play, it reminds us what fools we mortals be, especially when it comes to love and romance.
-- Robert Currier, Director