The Bard goes Bollywood at Cleveland State
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of William Shakespeare’s most popular and enduring plays. But chances are you’ve never experienced it quite like Cleveland State University will present it.
The Bard goes Bollywood in this wildly creative production, directed by Dr. Michael Mauldin, chair of CSU’s Theatre and Dance Department.
“Our take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream is set in India in 1905, during the British occupation of India, otherwise known as the Raj,” said Dr. Mauldin.
“It really seems to fit the concurrent story lines of the play, which is very much about caste — aristocracy and commoners — and age and youth.
“I don’t remember exactly what got me started on the Bollywood angle. Maybe it was the mention of the Indian changeling boy that Titania is rearing. I started doing research into Bollywood films, and it seemed to me that they’re first and foremost about spectacle. They usually involve a lot of over-the-top dancing, a sappy love story and a lot of comedy. Many of them also involve fantasy.
“I thought, ‘That’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream!’ It has all of that, too. It was a perfect fit.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream marks the department’s debut on the main stage of PlayhouseSquare’s Allen Theatre, on the new CSU Arts Campus. It runs from Thursday, November 8, through Sunday, November 18. The production features choreography by Newton Cole and original music by John Krol.
So what exactly does a classic Shakespeare comedy reimagined in colonial India look like? Check out these sketches from the production by costume designer Tesia Benson.
Click here for a performance schedule and ticket information.