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The Folger Spotlight

A Midsummer Night's Dream Set Design

Set Designer Paige Hathaway previously designed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the Folger, and returns this season with A Midsummer Night’s DreamLearn more about her design for Shakespeare’s sylvan romance below.

From Paige –

My design process for the set of Midsummer started all the way back in May; I had a two minute conversation with our director Aaron Posner at the closing night party of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and, if I recall correctly, Aaron said something to this effect: “I like flowers. I like the color blue. And, I like pillows.” I am amazed to think that we haven’t deviated much from those ideas in the eight months that followed!


Initial Scenic Rendering for “Midsummer”.

In our further conversations, Aaron was adamant that the shape of the play needed to be determined largely by the actors, their instincts, and their distinct personalities – not by a literal concept. This freed me to explore more abstract ideas for the set. I didn’t feel bound to create an actual forest with actual trees or to create a set that reflects a specific place or time. I was inspired by paintings, sculpture, and installation artwork.

Initial Scenic Research for “Midsummer”.

The design feels minimal, whimsical, and charming. And, just as Aaron’s direction strives to surprise and amaze, the set also offers some surprises of its own!

Mechanicals and fairies perform on the set of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Photo by Teresa Wood.

Mechanicals and fairies perform on the set of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Photo by Teresa Wood.

See Paige’s work onstage – A Midsummer Night’s Dream now extended through March 13!