An Exploration of Comedy and Consent
While A Midsummer Night’s Dream is generally understood to be one of Shakespeare’s funniest comedies, it starts as a high-stakes drama about consent in a patriarchal culture. Hermia, a young woman, is not allowed to marry the partner of her choosing, while Queen Hippolyta comes to Athens as the conquered bride of war hero Theseus. Against this backdrop, fairies use magic to make mortals fall in and out of love - mostly for their own amusement.
Our takes on multiple scenes from the play will invite students to consider the role of consent throughout the play. When are the characters able to make their own choices, and when are they coerced by magic or law? What do they think Shakespeare was trying to say about the nature of human relationships and love?
Between takes, our multi-gender, multi-racial team of artists will share the reasons behind their directing, acting, and design choices, offer personal stories about their connection to the play, and share their favorite lines from the scenes.
The curriculum content will provide topics for discussion and written reflection such as: