See peer-reviewed, academic publications by Wright State faculty and students writing about the performances at Stratford Theatre Festival.
“Thou Art Translated”: Peter Sellars’s Midsummer Chamber Play
For over sixty seasons, the Stratford Theatre Festival in Canada has annually showcased notable performances in dramatic arts and musical theater. Peter Sellars’s chamber-play appropriation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed for Stratford’s 2014 season, broadens the experience of Shakespeare to invite divergent, and often troubling, interpretive strategies. Appropriating the sprawling comedy to convey instead unsettled intimacies and disconcerting eroticism, the chamber play suspends the mirth a seasoned Shakespeare audience member expects from watching one of the bard’s most frequently performed comedies. Closely considering festival audience expectations in the context of the largest classical theater repertory in North America, I furthermore illustrate the ways the performance challenges the principles of privileged access and inviolable universality underwriting the festival experience. By creating internal fissures in the Shakespeare experience, the chamber play underscores the possibilities for reassessing what we mean by the Shakespeare experience.