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BackstagePASS >Update

Ticket sales and
Tips for good seats:

After a brisk opening weekend, sales for A Midsummer Night's Dream remain very strong. Here are tips for the best nights to come for great seats, or talk to our our box office staff for their best, up-to-date, advice.

  • The final week of the run has better seating than this week.
  • If the performance you want to come to is already full, ask the box office about stand-by tickets. We can almost always get you in if seats become available right before show time.

Listen Up:
In Conversation with the
Director and Costume Designer

Missed the preshow lecture last Friday? Click below to listen online to faculty member and director Fran Gebhard in a lively conversation with fourth-year student and Costume Designer Dallas Ashby (and sometimes the audience members!) as they talk about recontextualizing Shakespeare's most popular play into New York City in the late 1970s.

In the press: "...the best play I've seen come out of the Phoenix in a decade."

Media coverage of A Midsummer Night's Dream has been fantastic, with both previews and reviews praising director our 1970s revamp of Shakespeare's much-loved romantic comedy fantasy.

Preview Interviews

Times Colonist Review

"Shakespeare in NY rocks!" exclaims this Times Colonist review, which goes on to describe the play as "an energetic, music-stuffed romp... smartly directed by Fran Gebhard.

"...in this show, music... is almost a character unto itself ...used cleverly to accentuate characters and themes rather than serving as aural wallpaper. ... when Nick Bottom (shown left) stumbles onstage singing the Turtles' Happy Together, the sheer goofiness of the tune reflects his loopy bravado perfectly."

"The punks-versus-hippies notion also makes sense...Boasting a crimson mohawk, big black boots and a leather vest embroidered with "Uck," Levi Schneider's Puck (shown below) is energetic and tough ... executing handstands or clambering up a corrugated building with bravura."

"Allan Stichbury's set representing a patch of Central Park is beautifully detailed, with tufts of grass poking up between cracked cement and even a manhole stamped with the letters "NYC."

The 1970s costumes by Dallas Ashby are clever and fun (Theseus and Hippolyta's well-cut country club outfits are especially a hoot)."

"For beginners who are interested in experiencing Shakespeare but intimated by the language, this production of A Midsummer Night's Dream is a good, entertaining introduction."

The Marble Theatre Review

The Marble's Kelly Clark declares Gebard's Dreamto be "the best play I've seen come out of the Phoenix in a decade ...the choice to set the play in 1978 New York City amidst the contrasting bands of Oberon's punks and Titania's hippies was a conceit so beautiful that I refused to believe it could work. Until it did, over and over, until the applause was done."

"... praise the physicality and timing of every single actor in the production and to say that I was blown away without fail by such a large cast... Laura-Jane Tresidder's hot and cold performance as Hermia... Jenson Kerr and Logan Mitev (shown right) play their roles as Lysander and Demetrius with such smug precision that you want to smack the cardigans right off of them. Or how Sean Dyer (shown above) is a Bottom and an ass for the ages."

"Levi Schneider's portrayal of one of Shakespeare's most played and beloved of characters was unlike anything I'd ever seen before... in the second act the character exploded with such a visceral menace and inhumanity that for a moment he was the immortal trickster."

Janis La Couvée

"Boisterous, rambunctious and full of heart ... A Midsummer Night's Dream is a treat."

"Costume designer Dallas Ashby... excels at creating distinctive styles for each group within this vast tale—of particular note are Hippolyta's exquisite gowns and hats (shown below), and the costumes of the mechanicals as characters in Piramus and Thisbe as well as Cobweb's dress.

Athletic and agile Levi Schneider as the mischievous Puck embodies the notion of putting a "girdle round about the earth in forty minutes."

Once again the University of Victoria theatre department spares no effort in bringing an extraordinary spectacle to the stage... If you are looking for an opportunity to introduce children and teens to the works of the Bard —you won't go wrong with this production.

Nexus Newspaper - Camosun College

Nexus reviewer claimed that "The Bard would be proud" and declaring Dream "a big win . . . [which] should appeal to Shakespeare novices and stalwarts alike. Strong performances, excellent costumes, and a few surprising and delightful musical numbers make for terrific theatre."

"The script is fast-paced, zany, and supercharged with sexuality and angst; an absurd story of young lovers whose love is unrequited and prohibited... The setting also allowed for a terrific wardrobe. From the tennis whites of the young lovers to the bellbottoms and plaid pants, every costume design was spot on."

The play benefited immensely from strong performances all round...

Usually dependable for a good laugh, the mechanicals (shown right) were also spot on... a great source of comedic tension. There was full commitment and energy to the overtop performances demanded by these roles. The closing play-within-a-play deservedly got the biggest laughs of the night, and was a satisfying end to the show.

CBC Victoria - On the Island

Monica Prendergast also offered an enthusiastic review, also noting that it would make a great introduction to Shakespeare for young audiences.

Phoenix eNews is a regular email magazine for those interested in the Phoenix Theatre, the not-for-profit productions at the University of Victoria's Department of Theatre, PO Box 1700, STN CSC, Victoria, BC, V8W2Y2 Canada. The University of Victoria is a Registered Charity. Charitable Registration No. 10816 2470 RR0001

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