Skip to main content

Circus-twist on ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ lifts off July 21 – 30

Lookingglass co-founder’s production premieres during SummerStage Season at Wirtz

Noah Lapook and director David Catlin rehearse a scene from 'A Midsummer Night's Daydream'
Noah Lapook and director David Catlin rehearse a scene from 'A Midsummer Night's Daydream'
  • 90-minute romp is recommended for audience members ages 10 and up
  • Director and cast offer a backstage workshop for youth ages five to eight on July 23
  • Imagine U and Arts Circle host a free Midsummer-themed Block Party July 29

EVANSTON -- Eight performers will create more than two dozen characters in a wild reimagining of “A Midsummer Night’s Daydream,” Shakespeare’s tale of love, madness and mischief.

The 90-minute romp was adapted and directed by Northwestern University alumnus and faculty member David Catlin, a co-founder of Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre.

The world premiere of “A Midsummer Night’s Daydream” will have a limited two-week run July 21 to 30 at the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, on the Evanston campus.  

Through circus, silliness and song, the production unites the creative team that gave Northwestern, Chicago and the national theater community “The Little Prince” and “Moby Dick.”

Set in the neighboring worlds of a very civilized Athens and a deep and darkened garden-woods, the farce includes a mandolin, a violin, puppets, song, blank verse, circus acts, Greek royals, gardening clowns, gravity-defying feral faeries, unrequited lovers, a jealous and petulant goddess, a ferociously sweet lion, cocoons full of giant insects, a lonely firefly and a singing mermaid.

Much of Shakespeare’s glorious words from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” have been preserved, but the language has been trimmed -- and even borrowed from other Shakespeare plays -- to make room for more song and hilarious storytelling.

For tickets and program and event details, visit the Wirtz Center website.

“A Midsummer Night’s Daydream is recommended for ages 10 and older.

Performance times are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with an additional matinee performance on Saturday, July 29 at 2:30 p.m.

Single tickets are $10 - 25. Advance tickets for Northwestern students are $6.

Related Events

Imagine U Backstage Workshop  
Sunday, July 23 at 12:30 p.m.  
Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive

Following spring’s sold-out workshops for “Go, Dog. Go!,” Imagine U will offer a 45-minute creative drama workshop with Northwestern teaching artists led by David Catlin, director of “A Midsummer Night’s Daydream.” Come get lost deep in the garden-wood. Transform into impossible human flowers, create ridiculous garden insects, and morph into terrifying woodland beasts with members of the creative team. Experience Imagine U’s fun-filled workshop exploring Lookingglass Theatre Company’s brand of physical theater and collaborative creation. The workshop is open to all children who attend, but will be most engaging for students between the ages of five and eight.

The workshop will be held before the 2 p.m. performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Daydream.” Tickets are $5.

Imagine U Block Party
Saturday, July 29, 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.  
Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive

Following last year’s successful inaugural Block Party, Imagine U returns to the Arts Circle with a fun-filled day of outdoor family activities, music and games. The event will take place Saturday, July 29, from noon to 5 p.m. during the two-show day of “A Mid-Summer Night’s Daydream” just outside the theater at 30 Arts Circle Drive. The Imagine U Block Party is free and recommended for all ages. Fairy costumes are encouraged for the fairy parade that will conclude the Block Party at 4 p.m.

Tickets to “A Midsummer Night’s Daydream” and all SummerStage events are available through the Wirtz Center website, by phone at 847-491-7282 or in person at the Ethel M. Barber Theater lobby box office.  Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

The Wirtz Center is a member of the Northwestern Arts Circle, which brings together film, humanities, literary arts, music, theater, dance and visual arts.



Back to top