A raucous and raunchy adaptation of Shakespeare's original exploring the right to marry in the twenty-first century.
“From the moment the lights go down, it is evident
that this is not your 10th grade English class's Shakespeare…a unique
-Broadway World, Caryn Robbins
Theatre for the New City in association with the cell present The Hive’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. Part night club, part burlesque, part good old fashioned love story, this production turns the traditional on its head. In this modern re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic, ideas of gender, sexual-orientation and power are explored and exploded. By casting Shakespeare’s lovers as gay and lesbian couples, we are able to refocus the play’s central conflict of choice in marriage onto today’s relevant issue at hand: marriage equality.
“The timing of this gender-bending version of
Shakespeare's ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’ couldn't be more appropriate given
New York State's recent legislation for same-sex marriage.”
-Back Stage, Karl Levett
Last July, the cell and The Hive co-produced an earlier version of MIDSUMMER, which played to great audience and critical acclaim. Now, the award-winning Theatre for the New City and the cell want to co-produce a new run of the show with us in April through May of this year. We want to take this show to the next level. We’re tightening up the script, bringing in fresh talent, incorporating new design elements and transforming the theatre space into a dream-like immersive audience experience. It’s going to be hot!
“…it is easily the most persuasive and compelling Midsummer
of the dozen I have seen.”
-Show Business Weekly, Bryan Clark
Why MIDSUMMER? Why Now?
We know—it’s an old play and it’s been done a bajillion times. Everyone’s read it, everyone’s seen it, everyone thinks they know it—a dude dressed up as a donkey and a bunch of magical fairies, right?
So, if we were going to tackle the Bard, and bring his gorgeous words before a modern audience, we felt it was essential to shed new light on the play. When Shakespeare originally wrote the play, he had a unique opportunity. In his own times, arranged marriage was the norm, heterosexuality was compulsory and women were considered little more than property. However, the reigning monarch of England at the time was an unmarried woman who catapulted her country onto the world stage. With the example set by his Queen, Shakespeare was able to write a play which questioned traditional norms of marriage. In the original text of MIDSUMMER, Shakespeare presented the controversial argument that women deserved to choose their own husbands.
The contemporary parallel became immediately obvious to us.
If this is a play about choice in marriage, about fighting tyrannical forces in the name of love, then in our own times, it is most relevant in the issue of marriage equality. This discovery was the impetus for our approach to the play, but by no means did it encompass our entire vision. We quickly expanded into a larger exploration of gender and power. We started asking questions like: What is gender? What is the nature of bias? In a relativistic world, what is taboo? What’s at the heart of homophobia? When it comes to love, do gender and sexual orientation ultimately even matter?
It’s important to us as a company that this not merely be a “message” piece. We’re out to tell a beautiful human story. In the end, we want audiences not to see a gay couple, a straight couple, a lesbian or transgendered couple, but simply a bunch of people in love.
“…ground-breaking interpretation of this play…A MUST
-nytheatre, Nicholas Linnehan
Why Do We Need Your Help?
Producing theatre in NYC comes at an extremely high cost. We are a non-profit theatre company operating in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Theatre tickets in NYC are typically exorbitantly expensive such that those who need to see theatre most cannot afford to do so (certainly not in this economy). It is vitally important to The Hive that we continue to keep our ticket costs affordable for our audiences. In theory we could charge more per ticket to cover our costs, but we are committed to keeping ticket prices at or below the cost of a movie ticket. Accessibility to the arts is a central tenet of our values.
We need your help to raise the capital to make the next run of the show possible and affordable. This show is not merely a repeat of a past run, but a leaner, meaner version that deserves to be seen by more audiences. The money you contribute will go directly to costs like:
- Materials for shadow puppets
- Renting lighting equipment
- Transforming the theatre space into an immersive environment
- Building costumes and props
- Video projectors and screens
- Paying our artists and collaborators
- Marketing and promotions
- Music and sound design
Our partners at Theatre for the New City and the cell are generously doing their part by partially funding our project. But we need YOU in order to get all the way there, and make this a truly unforgettable A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM.
To learn more about The Hive and our last version of MIDSUMMER, please visit our website.
Who is Involved?
The amazing cast of MIDSUMMER includes Hive members who have appeared on Broadway, in venues across the country and even London's West End. The cast includes Chris Critelli, Samuel T. Gaines, Fernando Gambaroni, Shira Gregory, Meghan Grace O'Leary, Marissa Parness, Glenn Quentin, Guy Rader, Michael Raver and Alan Winner. To see headshots and learn more about these Hive members and the cast of MIDSUMMER visit our Members page: http://www.thehivetheatre.com/members
We are also blessed to have a stellar artistic team assembled for this next incarnation of The Hive's MIDSUMMER. Matthew A.J. Gregory, also Artistic Director of The Hive, returns to direct this production and bring his vision of MIDSUMMER on stage.
enjoyable…with wit and wicked imagination, artistic director Matthew A.J.
Gregory challenges marriage inequality”
-The Advocate, Brandon Voss
The rest of our tremendous team includes returning Hive members:
Scenic Designer – Justin Couchara (Recent: Asst. Scenic Designer for PETER AND THE STARCATCHER , Lead Props Sculptor for BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, and Executive Director for The Hive)
Lighting Designer - Nick Gonsman (Recent: Field Project Coordinator for ETC and Managing Director for The Hive)
Production Manager – Scott Andrews
Stage Manager – Lauren Williams
We are also honored to be welcoming a group of new artists on this next venture into our MIDSUMMER:
Sound Designer - Phil Rudy (Recent: Sound design Off Broadway for THE DEEP THROAT SEX SCANDAL and FACEBOOK ME. Also recently became a member of The Hive)
Choreographer - Jen Littlefield
Puppet designer - Joe Therrien
Costume Designer – Marte Joh Ekhougen (Recent: puppet design for HAND TO GOD at Ensemble Studio Theatre)
Assistant Scenic Designers - Ellie Bye and Josh Hackett
CHECK OUT OUR AMAZING INCENTIVES!
We have many exciting incentives, from t-shirts to the chance to have your name tattooed on the actor playing PUCK! You can have your caricature done by Hive artists or even have your own personalized comic book created by The Hive! You even get to pick your own super-power!
Check out some of the caricatures and comic book art by Hive member Chris Critelli:
Caricature by Chris Critelli
Caricature of the MIDSUMMER cast by Chris Critelli
Comic book art by Chris Critelli
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $20,000 goal
seconds to go
Feb 2, 2012 - Mar 3, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $1 or more
A warm, fuzzy feeling that you helped and your name will be listed on a ‘Special Thanks’ page of The Hive’s website.Estimated delivery: Mar 2012
Pledge $5 or more
Your name will appear in the program as a “Freakin’ Awesome Supporter” (Plus EVERYTHING above)Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
Pledge $10 or more
4 backers Limited (21 of 25 left)
SPECIAL INCENTIVE: The Hive will call to sing you (or a friend) Happy Birthday on that special day the next time is rolls around! We've got some kick-ass singers in the company so this won't be your usual off-key jumble but instead a rousing rendition sure to make you feel appreciated!Estimated delivery: Mar 2013
Pledge $10 or more
A personalized and cute thank you note from The Hive (Plus EVERYTHING above)Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
Pledge $15 or more
An 11x17 copy of the MIDSUMMER poster designed by Shira Gregory (Plus EVERYTHING above)Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
Pledge $20 or more
8 backers All gone!
Limited Time Offer! The next 8 people who pledge $20 or more will win a STAR TREK themed "might wallet" made of the mighty strong, mighty thin, mighty green material, Tyvek. These are AWESOME looking.Estimated delivery: Mar 2012
Pledge $25 or more
We will shout your name from the center of Times Square and send you a video clip to share with your friends and family (Plus EVERYTHING above)Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $50 or more
7 backers Limited (8 of 15 left)
Special Incentive with only a handful of days left! Hive artists will create your very own comic strip! You will get a hand-drawn, cute, funny and irreverent 3 to 5 panel comic strip about an event in your life. Check out some of the comic art in our project description for a flavor of what your personalized comic strip might look like! Be sure to select this incentive as it is a limited special offer!Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $50 or more
A fetching MIDSUMMER t-shirt (Plus EVERYTHING above)Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $75 or more
Two free tickets to a MIDSUMMER performance of your choice and copy of the MIDSUMMER poster signed by the entire cast and creative team (Plus EVERYTHING above)Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $100 or more
24 backers Limited (1 of 25 left)
We want your face! A picture of you (your choice) will be artfully hidden somewhere on the set of MIDSUMMER. (Plus EVERYTHING above)Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
Pledge $150 or more
Hive artists will capture your likeness with a personalized caricature and you will receive the original artwork. (Plus every non-limited award above)Estimated delivery: May 2012
Pledge $200 or more
3 backers Limited (17 of 20 left)
The actor playing Puck will apply a temporary tattoo of your name on his body for the opening night of the show. You choose the limb. Who knows how long that will stay on his skin! (Plus every non-limited award above)Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
Pledge $250 or more
2 backers Limited (3 of 5 left)
One of the shadow puppets created for our production of MIDSUMMER will be yours to keep! (Plus every non-limited award above)Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $300 or more
Hive members will literally write, record and email you a personal theme song! (Plus every non-limited award above)Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $500 or more
1 backer Limited (5 of 6 left)
You get a date in NYC with a Hive member of your choice! Dinner and a movie on us. No hanky-panky :-) (Plus every non-limited award above)Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $750 or more
Because you are a super-hero for supporting us, we want the world to know. Hive member artists will make a comic book based on your life. You pick your super-power, give us some details on your life, and we provide you with a gorgeous, action-packed comic!Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
1 backer Limited (3 of 4 left)
We cook you dinner and entertain you! Members of the Hive, consummate cooks and expert conversationalists, will prepare a delicious meal at your home for up to you and 5 guests and entertain you with a home concert or a private reading of your favorite play. NYC metro-area only, but if you are out of town this reward is available as a gift! (Plus every non-limited award above)Estimated delivery: Jan 2013