As well as looking at how we’ve staged A Midsummer Night's Dream, which you can do in the Productions section, it’s important to think about what you would do if you were staging the play. And, if you can, to perform parts of it yourself.

We encourage you to look at the play, or scenes in the play, and think through the decisions a director makes with their actors:

  • Where is the play set?
  • How are the characters connected?
  • What do the characters want?

Here you can find some key things to think about before staging the play yourself. Even if you’re working towards an exam or preparing for an assignment, it’s important to think about different ways of reading lines or words and taking a look at the key decisions a director needs to make could really help your essay responses.

  • Key Decisions to make

    There are certain things that every director and creative team have to consider when staging A Midsummer Night's Dream. The way you answer the questions can create incredibly different interpretations of the play.

    Athens and the woods

    • Is there a place in which these two settings can exist side by side and what are the key differences between the court of Athens and the woods? How does their leadership make them different?
    • How can you show the differences between the woods and the court? Are the characters that naturally live there different? How does an audience move between them?
    • Do the woods grow and change as the play moves on?

    The worlds

    • There are four main 'worlds' in A Midsummer Night's Dream, made of different groupings of characters: the court, the lovers, the fairies and the mechanicals. What happens when they come into each other's worlds?
    • How can you show the difference between these groups and their worlds? What are the key moments in the play where they meet? How can you find the comedy in these moments? Do they understand each other?


    • The fairies have command over magic. How much is this used and how can you create a sense of the magical on stage?
    • Fairies in Shakespeare's time were viewed in a very different way to the way they are viewed now. Often seen as mischievous and cunning, how will you present your fairy kingdom and the world of magic? Do fairies use magic for the good of everyone or is there a darker side to their behaviour?
    • How will you stage the key magical moments, such as Titania's enchanting and Bottom's transformation? Will the audience see these things happening? How will you make sure these are magical moments?
    • How might you use magic to show the use of magic and enchantment?

    Within each of these choices, there are lots of key moments and scenes to explore.

    Going back through the Investigate section and looking at the different performances we’ve had at the RSC, think about these two areas:

    • How is the wood and the world of the fairies different from the court of Athens? Why do you think they have made those choices?
    • How is magic used?

    Take a look at our past production pages on A Midsummer Night's Dream to explore the play's staging history at the RSC and look in more detail at some of our past productions.

Teacher Notes

This page looks at some of the key decisions a director makes.

Challenge your students to think about how they would want to tell the story of A Midsummer Night's Dream. How would they respond to the questions here?