Friday, May 3, 2013

A Midsummer Night's Dream

I went to an open rehearsal for William Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center on April 26th. The only performance would be the next day and it was completely sold out. I was surprised at how crowded it was getting into the theater. It turned out $10 tickets were sold to see the rehearsal. I usually sit right up front but the front rows were blocked with yellow caution tape.

I did this sketch with a fountain pen Larry Lauria had lent me. It wasn't until I started adding watercolor washes, that I realized that the ink wasn't waterproof. Every wash that touched a line would explode black as the ink spread. I wanted to abandon the sketch and start another, but there wasn't enough time. I pushed forward hoping the whole page wouldn't turn black by the end of the show.

The orchestra performed music by Felix Mendelsohn which perfectly complimented the play. There were love potions that caused mortals to fall helplessly in love with the wrong person. All the lovers were bewildered and lost. The wost case was when Titania fell in love with an actor who had been transformed into an ass. My favorite moment was the play staged within the play. Brandon Roberts as a carpenter announced the play while standing on a column. The actors staged a farcical tragedy of Pyramus and Thisby. The female Thisby  was played by a man and there must have been basketballs on his chest swinging under the Greek toga. Philip Nolan as Pyramus had a hilarious death scene in which he kept poking his sword at his impenetrable chest plate. He apologized to the assembled audience on stage and said "Well, this is actually more of a dress rehearsal." He finally shoved the sword inside the armor and had a long winded agonizing death scene that he milked at least three times. Even members of the orchestra couldn't stop laughing.

It was a delightful evening and I hope the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center continue to collaborate.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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