Midsummer Night's Dreaming casting

11 June 2013

Friday 21 – Monday 24 June 2013

Project directed by RSC's Geraldine Collinge and Google's Tom Uglow
Play within the play directed by RSC's Artistic Director Gregory Doran

The Royal Shakespeare Company's one-off digital theatre project Midsummer Night's Dreaming, will take place live in Stratford-upon-Avon and online, in collaboration with Google over the Midsummer weekend, 21 – 24 June 2013. People across the world can follow the story unfolding in the real-time of the play online at dream40.org.

The entirety of A Midsummer Night's Dream will be performed unaltered over three days by a group of returning RSC actors directed by RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, who will rehearse for one week leading up to the weekend.

RSC Associate Artist Joe Dixon returns in the role of Bottom, which he played in Doran's 2008 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Also reprising their roles from this production are Peter de Jersey as Oberon, Ricky Champ as Snout, Jim Hooper as Starveling and Mark Hadfield as Puck. Reprising his role from Doran's 2005 A Midsummer Night's Dream is Paul Chahidi as Quince. From Nancy Meckler's 2011 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream are Lucy Briggs-Owen as Helena and Felix Hayes as Snug. Joining them are Alexandra Gilbreath as Titania, Anneika Rose as Hermia, Mark Quartley as Lysander, Chris Lew Kum Hoi as Flute and Simon Manyonda as Demetrius.

During the rehearsal week starting on Monday 17 June audiences will be provided with opportunities to follow the project online and gain an insight into its development through a series of Google Hangouts. Audiences will be able to talk to the actors whilst they are in rehearsals with the 'Actors Diary Room' and at 7pm every day there will be a discussion with members of the project creative team. Full details of the programmed discussions are below; all 'Hangouts' can be viewed at www.google.com/+royalshakespearecompany.

From Friday 21 June the actors will perform the scenes in the real-time of the play:

Friday 21 June 8pm: Act 1 Scenes 1 and 2
Sunday 23 June 2.30am: Act 2 Scene 1 – Act 4 Scene 1
Sunday 23 June 4pm: Act 4 Scene 2
Sunday 23 June 11.30pm: Act 5

The story will be reported as it happens through Google+ and other social media platforms by 35 new characters such as the Mechanicals who didn't get cast in Pyramus and Thisbe, created by a group of commissioned artists. Audiences can watch the story unfold on the online stage from 8pm on Friday 21 June when the story begins on dream40.org. They can also interact and contribute to the story through using the hash tag across all social media #Dream40.

On the afternoon of Sunday 23 June, everyone is invited to celebrate Midsummer in Stratford-upon-Avon for a wide range of free outdoor activities for the whole family taking place in the theatre's gardens and open-air stage – The Dell. Full details are available here: www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/midsummer-nights-dreaming/live-events.aspx

After the event, the RSC will release an online audio recording of A Midsummer Night's Dream performed by the acting company, which will be annotated with the content and side-stories created by the commissioned artists and audiences over the weekend and posted on Google+. This will be available from Monday 24 June on dream40.org

For further information, please contact Amy Belson on 01789 412622 or amy.belson@rsc.org.uk or Philippa Harland on 020 7845 0512 or philippa.harland@rsc.org.uk 
For regional requests, please contact Dean Asker on 01789 412660 or dean.asker@rsc.org.uk 
Date of issue: 11 June 2013

Notes to Editors

  • Google+ is a product that lets you share the right things with the right people and discover more of the stuff you love across the internet.
  •  Hashtag: #Dream40
  • Website: dream40.org

Midsummer Night's Dreaming Google Hangouts
All hangouts can be watched on www.google.com/+royalshakespearecompany  
Audiences can post questions on all social media platforms using the hash tag #dream40

Monday 17 June 7pm: Dreaming up the Dream
Find out how the RSC and Google came together and how the Midsummer Night's Dreaming project began. Discussion includes Tom Uglow Director of Google's Creative Lab, Sarah Ellis RSC Digital Producer and Geraldine Collinge RSC Director of Events & Exhibitions.

Tuesday 18 June 7pm: Amplifying the Dream
Meet some of the online creative team that that have built the online world and invented the characters that will share the play online. Find out how they got involved, where they took inspiration from and what to expect when the play begins.

Wednesday 19 June 7pm: Director Talk
Halfway through the rehearsal week join RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran, director of the live performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, to find out what's happening in the rehearsal room.

Thursday 20 June 7pm: Radical Dreaming
A Midsummer Night's Dream is arguably Shakespeare's most adaptable play and has seen some of the most radical retellings of Shakespeare's work. Join a discussion about ground breaking and innovative performances of the play and whether Shakespeare should be reinvented for a new audience.

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Everyone at the Royal Shakespeare Company, from actors to technicians, milliners to musicians, plays a part in creating the world you see on stage. The work, which begins its life at our Stratford workshops and theatres, is shared with audiences through our touring, residencies and online activity throughout the world. So, wherever you experience the RSC, you will experience work that is made in Shakespeare's home town.

Shakespeare has been performed and celebrated in Stratford for centuries and the RSC has trained generations of the very best theatre makers since the Company was founded in 1961. We pioneer contemporary approaches to Shakespeare's plays, as well as staging the work of those who inspired him, and today's writers.

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