On a Cold Winter’s Night…


Photo by: Tamara Romanchuk

Back on Feb 18 + 19 a magical reincarnation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream came to life as Bottom’s Dream, an Ahuri Theatre production. Members of PARC and the community were able to take part in the experience, which also had some touches of one of our lead artists Sonja Rainey as well as the Making Room Choir’s accompanist, Lisa Bozikovic. The purpose of Bottom’s Dream was to create a radically inclusive retelling of A Midsummer Nights Dream by artists who use augmented or alternative methods of communication. Verbal and non-verbal actors lead visitors through the story itself and had interactive elements to bring people closer to the action.

One of our Sand in Water members, Shelley La Hay wrote a response to the evening which we are honoured to share with you all.

On a typical
Midwinter night
I experienced
A magical respite from winter…

When I got to The Theatre Centre
There were
Lots of friendly faces
Lots of yummy snacks and
A nice hot cup of tea
To warm me up
Then Dan the showman
SHOWED us the plot
Of Shakespeare’s play
On the overhead projector
Clear and simple
Pictures and symbols
Who loved who
Who didn’t love who
Puck’s magic flower
The special time in the forest
When everyone happily paired off
When only Robin the ass remained…

He made a speech
The doors flew open
And they welcomed us
Into our own special
Night in the forest
Everything I am about to tell you is true…

Before I saw anything
I smelled the pines
So many of them
Standing so proudly past Christmas
Posing erect
Most of them
I did see at least one floating upside down
And some were
Grandiosely hiding
Among the painted green sheets of fabric
With holes cut in them
To look like leaves
I was really deep in the forest now…

The first people I encountered
Were the dream folk
One of them had a most fanciful hat
I think it even winked at me
When she handed me magic
Magic Markers
That would channel my dreams
All I had to do
Was walk right through a waterfall
Into a magical cave
Watch the waters part
And voila!
My dreams were performed for me
In front of my very eyes
I’m so glad I picked the yellow marker…

After exiting the dark
Cinematic cave
I came across
Magic mushrooms
Well, if they weren’t magic
The mushroom musicians
And their music
Certainly were
And I saw Mario
Ringing the bells
Banging the drum
Smiling while he sang
A sad happy song
And I sang too
A love song
The words and story
By strips of clouds
Mario handed me
From a silver platter…

As the guitar and sax magic floated angelically around me
I stuck my head into
A hole in a tree
Lo and behold
I managed to see
Myself in the face of the moon
I was being chased by the dream creature
And with her huge red lips
And cup of cocoa
She climbed toward the moon
The very one that
Held me and my dreams…

Then the flute and piano pulled me back to earth
Before any hot chocolate
Splattered on me
The moon
Or my dreams
Then the magic mushroom music
Marched me and Mario off to
An enchanted garden
Complete with giant flowers
That had pom poms for stamens
And there were pop bottle
Green cicadas
Whom I had met last winter
When we were all marching
For summer
On another cold midwinter night…

After we posed for pictures among the posies
I proceeded to the lab
To create
A magic potion
This one
They said knowingly
A potion for knowledge
We all had to choose an ingredient
And without studying the
Stacked everywhere
I declared to the crowd
Our potion needed a rock
For the earth knows us all
And I chose the smallest rock
With my eyes closed
But wide open inside…

As we capped our concoction
We all nodded in agreement
That spending a magical night
In a magical forest
With magical people
In a midsummer night ‘s dream
Is a magical respite
From winter…

A Midwinter Night’s Dream

150218_8717Photo by: Tamara Romanchuk


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