A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the 2022 Woodstock Shakespeare Festival’s featured summer presentation. Bird-On-A-Cliff Theatre Company, directed by David Aston-Reese and co-directed by Henry Neimark, will perform this romantic comedy on the outdoor Elizabethan Stage, located on the grounds of the Comeau Property in Woodstock.
“It’s a sweet thing. The whole play is about dreams…” says director Aston-Reese. “We have a lot of new actors that we’re excited about. And some who have worked with us for years.” He says that the company particularly loves A Midsummer Night’s Dream, partly because “it’s all in rhyming couplets, and nobody could write them like Shakespeare. After a while, you don’t even realize it and it lifts the play up to a higher level.”
He talks about the difficulty of maintaining elaborate Elizabethan costumes. “We felt it was more accessible to do it in modern dress…”
This year marks its the Woodstock Shakespeare Festival’s 27th season. “The last time we did A Midsummer Night’s Dream was in 2010,” says Aston-Reese. “Every ten years or so, we’ll bring back the really strong comedies…”
Bird-On-A-Cliff Theatre Company, under its founders and artistic co-directors Aston-Reese and Elli Michaels, has run the Woodstock Shakespeare Festival for all its 27 years’ existence.
While there is no formal charge for admission, a donation of $10 is suggested. The show runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from July 29 through September 4. Bring a blanket, bring a chair, bring a picnic. Show time is 5:30p.m.
“We’re delighted,” says Aston-Reese. “It’s our first full production since 2019. We’re well equipped and ready to go.”
The outdoor Woodstock Shakespeare Festival Stage is located at 45 Comeau Drive in Woodstock. Designed by Broadway set-designer Salvatore Tagliarino, the stage was built in 1996, with approval by the Woodstock Town Board, and was rebuilt in 2005 aided by a matching grant from the Catskill Watershed Corporation.
For more information on the Woodstock Shakespeare Festival, Bird-On-A-Cliff Theatre Company, and the stage, visit the birdonacliff.org website.