This Mug is from Stratford, Ontario. Stratford was a favorite vacation spot many times after that first trip with Mom just before I turned 16. Dream, as the play is abbreviated in the play schedules and nicknamed was one of the plays I saw the first time I was there. That time it was at the Third Stage Theater, where the younger, less experienced but no less talented actors played. I saw it again at the main Stratford Theater a few years later. I’ve also seen it played outdoors at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival. I’ve also watched several television and movie productions in color and black & white and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read it. It’s easily my very favorite Shakespeare play.
It’s a comedy with fan6astic subplots that all join together in the end for the finale. I love the fact that William Shakespeare’s work is timeless. I’ve seen the play set in classic Elizabethan style and interpreted in several different eras and countries. I think part of what makes Shakespeare’s work so timeless is that so much of the modern day entertainment world built from that core of theater and comed7y. When I think of the comedians I like so much, they have in common the ability to carry a joke all the way through the act, whether it’s a good comedy movie that still has a solid plot or a really good stand-up routine, that very Shakespearean ability to bring everything together for a grand finish is key to leaving a lasting impression on me.
Think about it. A Midsummer Night’s Dream combines the world of fairies with regular people, sort of like witches and wizards with muggles. The comedy of an enchantment that gives a mortal an appearance that frightens his friends, yet he doesn’t know why they are frightened. I’ve seen that in Bewitched, Sabrina, even an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And of course, all of this mischief surrounds the fact that the Queen of the fairies had taken a shining to a mortal and the King of the fairies was jealous. Now that’s a theme that’s pretty much everywhere in entertainment… and many of the actors, even real life.
So, thus mug in particular, doesn’t give me a specific memory, but a culmination of them. It’s my favorite Shakespeare Play, done in my favorite colors, but it’s to me, a simple reminder of how all parts of history repeat themselves with a modern twist, but the really bad and the really good always come back in a new form. I’m happy because my Bard will live forever!
I’m leaving you with a bonus video in the Mug Shot this week. The timeline only goes one way, but oh, if time travel was possible and we could bring today’s culture back….