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THINGS TO THINK ABOUT What must happen for an audience to think of a puppet as a character? What makes a good puppeteer? How could you create a magical, theatrical world using everyday objects? Why does Oberon have a big hand? Why do you think three puppeteers and a collection of odd tools play Puck?

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564 — 1616) “The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.” — Theseus

William Shakespeare would probably be surprised to learn that his plays are performed today—more than 400 years after he wrote them. His works have withstood the test of time because he explores ideas that everyone understands—the joy and sorrow of love, struggles for power, the destructiveness of jealousy and hate, and the ways people make mistakes.

David M. Rubenstein Chairman Michael M. Kaiser President Alicia B. Adams Vice President, International Programming Darrell M. Ayers Vice President, Education Additional support for Performances for Young Audiences is provided by Adobe Foundation; The Clark Charitable Foundation; Mr. James V. Kimsey; The Macy’s Foundation; The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; Park Foundation, Inc.; Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; an endowment from the Ryna and Melvin Cohen Family Foundation; U.S. Department of Education; Washington Gas; and by generous contributors to the Abe Fortas Memorial Fund and by a major gift to the fund from the late Carolyn E. Agger, widow of Abe Fortas.

BRISTOL OLD VIC IN ASSOCIATION WITH

HANDSPRING PUPPET COMPANY A PERFORMANCE AND DISCUSSION

By William Shakespeare Directed by Tom Morris

Presenting Underwriter HRH Foundation Major support is provided by David and Alice Rubenstein. Additional support is provided by A. Huda and Samia Farouki, The Florence Gould Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Amalia Perea Mahoney and William Mahoney, The Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, and the State Plaza Hotel. International government support is provided by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States, the Embassy of Israel in the United States, the Canada Council for the Arts, The National Theatre of Iceland, and the Japan Foundation. Major support for education and related artistic programming is provided by David and Alice Rubenstein through the Rubenstein Arts Access Program, the National Committee for the Performing Arts, and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts. International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.

www.kennedy-center.org/artsedge Cuesheets are produced by ARTSEDGE, an education program of the Kennedy Center. The contents of this Cuesheet have been developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education. You should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. © 2014 The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” Welcome to an enchanted world of fairies, potions, mischief, and magic… where actors and puppets present Shakespeare’s classic comedy of fickle love.

PERFORMANCE GUIDE

During the performance, pay special attention to how: the sizes of the puppets vary—from the oversized Oberon and Titania to the smaller Lysander and Hermia. actors play scenes through their lookalike puppets. puppeteers use simple movements, sounds, and interactions to make the characters seem alive. planks of wood represent different things besides the forest’s trees.

Cuesheet

THINGS TO WATCH AND LISTEN FOR


Magical Story, Magical Puppetry WHAT HAPPENS IN THE PLAY

BEHIND THE MASKS

“The course of true love never did run smooth.” — Lysander

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind. And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” — Helena

In four days, Duke Theseus of Athens is to marry Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons. At the court, we also meet Hermia who wants to marry Lysander, but whose father has chosen Demetrius for her. Meanwhile, Demetrius has abandoned Helena—Hermia’s best friend—and wants to marry Hermia. Hermia and Lysander escape to the forest to elope, followed by Helena and Demetrius. In the forest, Oberon and Titania, the king and queen of the fairies, quarrel over the custody of a mischievous sprite named Puck. To win the argument, Oberon asks Puck to place the juice of a magic flower on Titania’s sleeping eyes so that she will fall in love with anyone or anything she first sees. Oberon also instructs Puck to cast the potion over a young man in “Athenian dress.” Also in the forest, a merry band of humble workmen, including a weaver named Bottom, prepares a play for the royal newlyweds.

Bristol Old Vic’s Artistic Director Tom Morris from England and South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company join forces in this telling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. During the performance and discussion, actors will perform excerpts from the play and address their non-traditional approach to presenting Shakespeare’s classic. But whether told by humans or puppets, Shakespeare’s message is clear: “…to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays.”

FOCUSING ON THE PUPPETS

MEET ROBIN GOODFELLOW

“Fie, fie! You counterfeit, you puppet, you!”— Helena

“I am that merry wanderer of the night.” — Puck

For director Tom Morris, the partnership between poetry and puppetry on stage is “a dreamlike experience.” Drawing on the audience’s imagination, the roles of the four young lovers are performed by live actors alongside wooden, jointed puppets or mini-doll versions of themselves that they manipulate. In addition, the actors playing Oberon and Titania hold over-sized, static head masks; Oberon also has a very large, mechanical hand. The fairies use a collection of mechanical devices or ordinary tools; the workmen carry wood blocks with carvings. Another innovative element is how ordinary planks of wood become puppets, transforming into a forest, tools, and musical instruments.

Robin Goodfellow, known as Puck in the play, is a shapeshifter—a magical fairy who can turn into other creatures. In this performance/discussion, three puppeteers come together to create the role of Puck along with a collection of tools, including an oilcan, basket, blowtorch, and hand saw.

As the story unfolds, there are multiple cases of mistaken identity as Shakespeare’s mix-and-match romantic comedy demonstrates the blindness of love.

A PUPPET PRIMER: MANY SIZES, MANY SHAPES Puppets have been used for thousands of years in storytelling and come in many shapes and sizes: Finger—the puppet body fits on one finger Hand/glove/sock—one hand moves the puppet from inside Rod—named for the rods and sticks used to move the puppet String or marionette—held up and moved by strings Body—life-sized or bigger, they’re often seen in parades or on stage Shadow—a light shines on a cut-out shape and creates a large shadow on a screen Keep an eye out for the different types of puppets you see during the performance/discussion.

A scene where both actors and puppets create the action.

One actress plays the dual roles of Hippolyta and Titania. Here, with mask held high, she plays Titania.

ALL PHOTOS BY SIMON ANNAND


Magical Story, Magical Puppetry WHAT HAPPENS IN THE PLAY

BEHIND THE MASKS

“The course of true love never did run smooth.” — Lysander

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind. And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” — Helena

In four days, Duke Theseus of Athens is to marry Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons. At the court, we also meet Hermia who wants to marry Lysander, but whose father has chosen Demetrius for her. Meanwhile, Demetrius has abandoned Helena—Hermia’s best friend—and wants to marry Hermia. Hermia and Lysander escape to the forest to elope, followed by Helena and Demetrius. In the forest, Oberon and Titania, the king and queen of the fairies, quarrel over the custody of a mischievous sprite named Puck. To win the argument, Oberon asks Puck to place the juice of a magic flower on Titania’s sleeping eyes so that she will fall in love with anyone or anything she first sees. Oberon also instructs Puck to cast the potion over a young man in “Athenian dress.” Also in the forest, a merry band of humble workmen, including a weaver named Bottom, prepares a play for the royal newlyweds.

Bristol Old Vic’s Artistic Director Tom Morris from England and South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company join forces in this telling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. During the performance and discussion, actors will perform excerpts from the play and address their non-traditional approach to presenting Shakespeare’s classic. But whether told by humans or puppets, Shakespeare’s message is clear: “…to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays.”

FOCUSING ON THE PUPPETS

MEET ROBIN GOODFELLOW

“Fie, fie! You counterfeit, you puppet, you!”— Helena

“I am that merry wanderer of the night.” — Puck

For director Tom Morris, the partnership between poetry and puppetry on stage is “a dreamlike experience.” Drawing on the audience’s imagination, the roles of the four young lovers are performed by live actors alongside wooden, jointed puppets or mini-doll versions of themselves that they manipulate. In addition, the actors playing Oberon and Titania hold over-sized, static head masks; Oberon also has a very large, mechanical hand. The fairies use a collection of mechanical devices or ordinary tools; the workmen carry wood blocks with carvings. Another innovative element is how ordinary planks of wood become puppets, transforming into a forest, tools, and musical instruments.

Robin Goodfellow, known as Puck in the play, is a shapeshifter—a magical fairy who can turn into other creatures. In this performance/discussion, three puppeteers come together to create the role of Puck along with a collection of tools, including an oilcan, basket, blowtorch, and hand saw.

As the story unfolds, there are multiple cases of mistaken identity as Shakespeare’s mix-and-match romantic comedy demonstrates the blindness of love.

A PUPPET PRIMER: MANY SIZES, MANY SHAPES Puppets have been used for thousands of years in storytelling and come in many shapes and sizes: Finger—the puppet body fits on one finger Hand/glove/sock—one hand moves the puppet from inside Rod—named for the rods and sticks used to move the puppet String or marionette—held up and moved by strings Body—life-sized or bigger, they’re often seen in parades or on stage Shadow—a light shines on a cut-out shape and creates a large shadow on a screen Keep an eye out for the different types of puppets you see during the performance/discussion.

A scene where both actors and puppets create the action.

One actress plays the dual roles of Hippolyta and Titania. Here, with mask held high, she plays Titania.

ALL PHOTOS BY SIMON ANNAND


THINGS TO THINK ABOUT What must happen for an audience to think of a puppet as a character? What makes a good puppeteer? How could you create a magical, theatrical world using everyday objects? Why does Oberon have a big hand? Why do you think three puppeteers and a collection of odd tools play Puck?

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (1564 — 1616) “The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.” — Theseus

William Shakespeare would probably be surprised to learn that his plays are performed today—more than 400 years after he wrote them. His works have withstood the test of time because he explores ideas that everyone understands—the joy and sorrow of love, struggles for power, the destructiveness of jealousy and hate, and the ways people make mistakes.

David M. Rubenstein Chairman Michael M. Kaiser President Alicia B. Adams Vice President, International Programming Darrell M. Ayers Vice President, Education Additional support for Performances for Young Audiences is provided by Adobe Foundation; The Clark Charitable Foundation; Mr. James V. Kimsey; The Macy’s Foundation; The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; Park Foundation, Inc.; Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; an endowment from the Ryna and Melvin Cohen Family Foundation; U.S. Department of Education; Washington Gas; and by generous contributors to the Abe Fortas Memorial Fund and by a major gift to the fund from the late Carolyn E. Agger, widow of Abe Fortas.

BRISTOL OLD VIC IN ASSOCIATION WITH

HANDSPRING PUPPET COMPANY A PERFORMANCE AND DISCUSSION

By William Shakespeare Directed by Tom Morris

Presenting Underwriter HRH Foundation Major support is provided by David and Alice Rubenstein. Additional support is provided by A. Huda and Samia Farouki, The Florence Gould Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Amalia Perea Mahoney and William Mahoney, The Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, and the State Plaza Hotel. International government support is provided by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States, the Embassy of Israel in the United States, the Canada Council for the Arts, The National Theatre of Iceland, and the Japan Foundation. Major support for education and related artistic programming is provided by David and Alice Rubenstein through the Rubenstein Arts Access Program, the National Committee for the Performing Arts, and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts. International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.

www.kennedy-center.org/artsedge Cuesheets are produced by ARTSEDGE, an education program of the Kennedy Center. The contents of this Cuesheet have been developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education. You should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. © 2014 The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” Welcome to an enchanted world of fairies, potions, mischief, and magic… where actors and puppets present Shakespeare’s classic comedy of fickle love.

PERFORMANCE GUIDE

During the performance, pay special attention to how: the sizes of the puppets vary—from the oversized Oberon and Titania to the smaller Lysander and Hermia. actors play scenes through their lookalike puppets. puppeteers use simple movements, sounds, and interactions to make the characters seem alive. planks of wood represent different things besides the forest’s trees.

Cuesheet

THINGS TO WATCH AND LISTEN FOR


A Midsummer Night’s Dream  

England’s Bristol Old Vic and South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company unite to re-envision Shakespeare’s romantic comedy of love triangles,...

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