A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Directed by Tim Robbins
September 12 & 13
Friday & Saturday at 8pm
Founded in 1981 by Tim Robbins and led by him and co-Artistic Director Cynthia Ettinger, The Actors’ Gang has garnered international acclaim for its productions of unconventional and uncompromising plays and its dynamic reinterpretations of the classics.
Robbins’ adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream puts forth a surreal world of fairies, spells, incantations, lovers bewitched by magic and the Fairy Queen making love to an ass. The company illuminates Shakespeare’s forest with original music, kinetic physicality and a fervent approach to the humor and magic of the text. Fourteen actors play the over twenty-four characters in the play. The Huffington Post has called the production “the Midsummer Shakespeare dreamed…original, madcap and completely engaging.”
In addition to performing works that restore the ancient sense of the stage as a shared sacred space, The Actors’ Gang not only introduces theater to children, helping them find their own creative voices but also brings the freedom of self-expression to the incarcerated. The company recently received their first state funding for the work they have been doing in state prisons, since 2006, through their community outreach program, The Prison Project. In collaboration with other advocates, and led by Director Sabra Williams, their commedia dell’arte style of theatre training inspired the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to commit $2.5 million to art programs in the prisons throughout California over the next two years.
The Actors’ Gang ensemble has included accomplished actors such as Jack Black, John Cusack, John C. Reilly, Helen Hunt, Kate Walsh, Fisher Stevens, Jeremy Piven, Ebbe Roe Smith, Jon Favreau, Brent Hinkley, Kate Mulligan, Lee Arenberg, Kyle Gass and Tim Robbins. Recent touring productions include George Orwell’s 1984, Tartuffe, Embedded, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, The Guys and The Exonerated. Over the last twelve years these productions have toured the U.S. in forty states and across the world from London to Athens, Madrid, Barcelona, Bogota, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Buenos Aires.