The Huntington Theatre Company continues its 1998-99 season with MacArthur "Genius" Grant winner, Mary Zimmerman's production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Dec. 31, 1998-Jan. 31, 1999. The project seems unusual for Zimmerman whose projects are usually built from a source text (Leonardo da Vinci's Notebooks, a novel by Marcel Proust) and created by Zimmerman with a company of actors.
The MacArthur grant is one of the most prestigious awards given to theatre artists, carrying a $240,000 prize with no stipulations on how to spend the money. Previous winners of the MacArthur "genius" grants include Julie Taymor, Richard Foreman, Elizabeth LeCompte, Lee Breuer, John Jesurun and Bill Irwin.
Zimmerman's most recent project, Eleven Rooms of Proust, was presented Apr. 29-May 10, 1998 by Chicago's About Face Theatre. Performances of Eleven Rooms took place at the city-owned Berger Park Mansion. Audiences were guided through different rooms, where scenes and images from Proust's monumental, 3,000-page Remembrances of Things Past were communicated through dance, music, performance art, visual art, and architecture. Furthermore, there were, in the manner of a restaurant or amusement park ride, several seatings per evening.
Other Zimmerman works, include The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, S/M, Arabian Nights and Mirrors of the Invisible World. Her take on these classic works is characterized by stylized movement and athletic choreography.
Mary Zimmerman's production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream plays at Boston's Huntington Theatre Company, Dec. 31-Jan. 31, 1999. For reservations or more information, call (617) 266-0800.
-- By Sean McGrath