Last night I took my young daughters down to the Evergreen Cultural Centre for the Monster Theatre presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The production was geared towards children and it was cool to see how readily kids broke through the fourth wall that traditionally separates the players on the stage from the audience.
As a “seasoned” theatre goer, I tend to see the fourth wall as an impenetrable wall. So that even when the players on the stage look into the audience and ask a question, I realize I am not to reply. Nor is anyone in the theatre to reply. Unless you are a kid at a Monster Theatre presentation.
Last night, the players on the stage called into the audience and the kids replied. It was a somewhat risky move that worked well.
The kids replied when expected and became quiet observers for the other parts of the show.
As for the play, it is worth noting that it was not actually a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream but a play about the play of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Confusing? It wasn’t. It was actually really neat. Although not a “tight” performance, it was a very entertaining performance.
The performance had two women and one man on the stage. These three people were able to change from one character to another in a blink of the eye. One second she was Demetruis and then Hermia and then Lysander and then Helena.
The characters changed personas with a simple twist of the wrist to change the mask but more importantly, it was not just the mask that changed. The voice, the demeanour, and the body movements were also changed instantaneously. It was really amusing to see the characters changing so quickly. The best part was how the quick role changes kept the kids in the audience transfixed. As was I!!
I will definitely be taking my kids to check out more of the Monster Theatre productions. Especially if they come back to my local theatre, the Evergreen Cultural Centre.