It's Flock Theatre's recurring "Dream."
Yes, Flock is staging "A Midsummer Night's Dream" again at the Connecticut College Arboretum. It's the fourth time in the theater group's 19-year history of doing summer Shakespeare here.
It was probably inevitable that this play would be the one performed most often at this outdoor series at the arboretum - in a meadow overlooking a pond, as daylight fades to moonlight.
"It's an ideal place to stage it," says Derron Wood, Flock Theatre's executive artistic director who is directing "Midsummer's Dream."
"When someone thinks about summer Shakespeare in the arboretum ... I think a lot of people's minds go to 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,'" Wood says. "It's just a lot of fun. It's accessible and really works well."
The first show Flock performed at the Arboretum 19 years ago was "Comedy of Errors." During its second season, it was "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Twelfth Night."
This time, the decision to stage "Midsummer Night's Dream" came about in an unusual way. Flock was contacted last year by Sound Community Services, who asked the theater group to do "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as a fundraiser on midsummer's eve (June 21) at the Branford House on the UConn Avery Point campus in Groton. (The New London-based Sound Community Services is "dedicated to educating and assisting individuals with behavioral health needs to achieve independence and integrate into the larger community.")
Flock figured it would then bring the production at the arboretum and probably tour the show to some other towns as well
One thing Wood is doing a little differently with this production is focusing on the seriousness of the situation among the young lovers; if Hermia doesn't marry Demetrius, then her father's going to have her put to death. (The father cites an ancient Athenian law in doing so.)
"Yes, this is a comedy ... but that conflict has to be real. If that conflict is real, it justifies running away," Wood says.
In the past, Flock productions have played that situationally or comically.
Wood says he figured, "This time, let's push the reality of this and see where that starts to take up. ... Some beautiful, beautiful beats are coming out of it."
The Bard's text, of course, is rich enough to invite alternate approaches and interpretations.
"One of the most amazing things about Shakespeare is you always find something (new) - a different take on the exact same line," says Wood, whose assistant director on the production is Madeline Sayet.
Flock's summer season continues post-"Midsummer" with "Henry V," which will run July 12 to 22 at the arboretum and then July 26 to 29 on the Custom House Pier.
And then Flock takes on an Arthur Miller play for the first time. It will do "The Crucible" Aug. 16 to 26 at the Hempsted Houses and then Aug. 30 to Sept. 2 at the arboretum.
Wood and Flock Associate Artist Michael Langlois came up with the idea to stage "The Crucible" at the historic location after talking with Sally Ryan, the New London historian who works at the Hempsted Houses. It's a neat fit, with such tie-ins as a distant relative of the Hempsteds' being a judge in the witch trials.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream," Connecticut College Arboretum, Williams St., New London; Flock Theatre; opens Friday and runs through July 1; 7 p.m. Thursday and Sunday; $15 ($12 students and seniors); (860) 443-3119.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" as a fundraiser for Sound Community Services is tonight at Branford Manor on the UConn Avery Point Campus; hors d'oeuvres at 5:30 p.m., followed by show; $45; call Cindy at (860) 439-6420.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" marks the beginning of Flock Theatre's summer Shakespeare series, but it's just part of what the New London resident theater company is planning for the rest of 2012.
It also includes:
• "Henry V," July 12-22, Connecticut College Arboretum, July 26-29 at the Custom House Pier
• "The Crucible," Aug. 16-26 at the Hempsted House, Aug. 30-Sept. 2 at the Arboretum
• "Macbeth," Oct. 25-28, Second Congregational Church, New London
• Anton Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya," Nov. 8-18, Shaw Mansion
• Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women," dates TBA, Shaw Mansion
All performances are at 7 p.m., with special matinee performances of "Uncle Vanya" and Little Women" at the Shaw Mansion. These matinees are on Saturdays and Sundays and will begin at 2 p.m. For more information, call the Flock office at (860) 443-3119.