Buy Tickets From the 2020-2021 Season: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Final Weekend!) Playing August 05, 2021 to September 12, 2021

Performance on Sunday September 5 is at 2:30pm only
Lunch menu available at 1:15pm
Front doors open at 12:45pm


Jasmine Renee Ellis as Bottom (Photo by Daniel Parvis)

Two pairs of lovers (one requited, other…it’s complicated...) and a rag-tag group of thespians find themselves lost in the woods right as the fairy kingdom is turned on its head by its quarreling leaders. Nature will never be the same! Lord what fools these mortals be!
All female cast and crew!

ALL PATRONS ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR A MASK IN OUR BUILDING BY THE CITY OF ATLANTA. If you feel you will be unable to wear a mask, please wait to attend.

Content Advisory A Midsummer Night's Dream is appropriate for audience members of all ages. This production does include some instances of nuanced innuendo that will most likely go sailing right "over your child's head." All of the characters in this production are portrayed by female-identifying performers, but only the tamest physical touch and intimate moments are explored in their love stories.


First thing to note is we open happily and with the awareness that things can change. We will continue to adapt and update our protocols and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic to keep everyone safe. We’re looking at you, Delta Variant.  Please check here often for the latest information.

Update: SHOCKER! City of Atlanta has issued a mask mandate for all indoor facilities (as of July 29, 2021). Until this is lifted, unless you are eating or drinking inside The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse, masks must be worn at all times.

While in Georgia, the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse may not have to legally require that all audiences be vaccinated....but we think it’s a good idea if they are. In fact we would love it if you were. If you are not vaccinated, stay home and stay safe! These plays are 450 years old and you will most assuredly have another chance to see them at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse!

Our staff, actors, crew and volunteers will be fully vaccinated.

We will not require patrons to wear masks unless a mask mandate is put back into place (SEE ABOVE). If you’re wearing a Tavern mask, maybe we will clap or do something special. If you are unable to wear a mask for the duration of your time in our building, please hold off on attending until the mandate is lifted.

Seating in each section will be limited to 40 seats each performance.

Our bar and kitchen will be open with the same offerings as pre-pandemic. QR codes will be available for our menus.

We prefer credit cards for all payments. Please avoid using cash if possible. Don’t even think about bitcoin. Save it for your trip to space.

Hand sanitizer will be available at various stations in the building.

We have installed a REME HALO ultra-violet air filtering system. mmm...breathe in that clean clean particle-free air y’all! Btw...if you’re sick, stay home and get well!

Since our performers have to be vaccinated to be on our stage, they won’t be wearing masks!

The front row will now be 10ft from the front of the stage. If you intend to go Elizabethan and throw tomatoes at the stage, you’ll have to up your game, bro.

* Any person entering the premises waives all civil liability against this premises owner and operator for any injuries caused by the inherent risk associated with contracting COVID-19 (including any variants) at public gatherings, except for gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm, by the individual or entity of the premises.

PS. We love you and missed you.

please don’t throw tomatoes at the actors.

Read the Plot Synopsis

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Synopsis
-from The Pocket Companion to Shakespeare’s Plays by J.C. Trewin

While Theseus, Duke of Athens, and the Amazon Queen Hippolyta, who he has defeated in battle, are contemplating their marriage, Theseus has to judge a matrimonial dispute. Egeus wishes his daughter Hermia to wed Demetrius when her heart is set upon Lysander. Though warned of the consequences if she disobeys, Hermia resolves to elope and on the next night to meet Lysander in a wood close to Athens. They tell Helena who is herself in love with Demetrius and who promptly reveals the plan to him.

In the wood the goblin Puck and one of the Fairy Queen’s train talk of the quarrel between Oberon and Titania over the changeling boy she has adopted and he desires for a henchman. She refuses to yield, whereupon Oberon orders Puck to fetch a flower whose juice, squeezed on Titania’s sleeping eyelids, will cause her on awakening to love the first live creature that she sees. Helena has followed Demetrius to the wood; Oberon, invisible and sympathetic, orders Puck to squeeze the flower on the lids of the “Athenian youth”, while he himself anoints Titania. But Puck, mistaking, chooses Lysander, who when he wakes immediately pursues Helena.

Puck mischievously gives an ass’s head to Bottom, the weaver, one of the group of “mechanicals” rehearsing a play for the wedding of Theseus. Titania, waking falls in love with Bottom. Presently confusion is worse than ever because Demetrius (who has now been anointed) and Lysander fight over Helena, to Hermia’s distress. The only thing to do is to get the lovers to sleep and to restore Lysander’s sight before he wakes.

Oberon releases Titania; Puck removes the ass’s head, and one quarrel is settled as Fairy King and Queen leave before dawn. Theseus and Hippolyta, hunting early, rouse the lovers who, back as they were, are assured by Theseus that they shall be wedded that day. Bottom, baffled by his apparent dream, goes off to find his fellows.

They perform, in all sincerity, their interlude of Pyramus and Thisby before the amused court audience. Midnight sounds. When all have retired the fairies return to give their blessing to house and lovers, and Puck says the final word.

Director's Notes

Directed by Laura Cole

Director of Development Rivka Levin talks to Laura Cole about the production

After a long and arduous hiatus -- and we hope your quarantine was tolerable, at least -- the Shakespeare Tavern is again OPEN FOR BUSINESS! (Insert ticker-tape parade, chorus of trumpets, and can can dancers here.)

And with what a BANG it opened! I got to see our all-female Midsummer Night’s Dream last weekend, and there were some delightful performances. Earlier this year, this production was offered to a small, masked, and socially-distanced audience in the outdoor space at Atlanta Contemporary. I opine that at that time, one could see the bones and flesh of the show, and its heart was definitely visible. Seeing it now, in our home space, with the lights, the resonance of the room, and the communal enjoyment
made possible by our unique space, it is a robust body adorned in a glittering Gloriana gown.

I asked director Laura Cole to tell us more about how this show was crafted: was there anything that was more difficult about this show’s process? Laura answered that she did not experience any difficulty, and emphasized that by saying, “there is a broad and deep range of experience in the non-male talent pool we can draw from”. Meaning, assembling a cast, production team, light designer, fight choreographer, music coordinator, and stage managers from a female-only talent pool was no hardship. In fact, she adds that in contrast to the many women who contributed to this production, “for the outdoor production we had two set builders [who] were men. No offence to the guys, but that... imbalance made me joyous!”

Moreover, it became apparent that there were many benefits of doing an all-female production. Laura also expressed joy that the movements, costuming, and stage combat did not cater to the “male gaze”. She especially enjoyed “refiguring some moments
between characters that traditionally feature the male character’s perspective” and observes that they “now play with what just women might think [in] the same words or situations. Instead of the boy characters ogling the girls at certain points during what we
call the “lovers fight”, we played with the actress’ understanding of what it means when it is all women up on stage.” For example, it is interesting to see how the fight choreography changes when the “male” characters are not significantly physically
stronger than the “female” characters. In many iterations of Midsummer, the fight between Helena and Hermia is choreographed to include the male characters physically lifting or restraining the female characters. In this version, this was not simply
inadvisable, it was undesired.

Similar exploration was undertaken for the text itself. Laura says, “What would the term ‘two bosoms and one troth’ mean when it is a woman saying it to another woman [even if one of them is playing a man]? Single gender casting is as Shakespearean as it gets, and it is fun to play around with and skew the audience’s ideas of what Shakespeare might have been saying. That stretch in interpretation is a distinct benefit to me as a director, actor and artist.”

Lastly, I noted that there are a lot of new-to-us faces in this production, and asked Laura how she found them, or how they found us. Laura explains that, “our casting team is very deliberate in approaching other casting folks for recommendations, and we accept
headshot/resume submissions all year.” The ability to audition via Zoom or by filmed submission, helped. “This past year we were able to see many artists [who] were not in Atlanta during the shutdown... and the result is new and engaging artists playing on the
Tavern stage!”

I hope this opportunity continues past the pandemic season -- some of the loveliest performances were by artists who have done only one or two shows with us, or who are new to us entirely. And the all-female casting made it possible to see some women
already in our family do some marvelous things with roles they would not have otherwise been allowed to play. Certainly there are some superb and deserving male artists in our family, and the company would be poorer for their absence. But it is a distinct benefit to be able to see these unexpected performances from women who have fewer opportunities to really sink their teeth into meaty Shakespeare roles.

So, if you haven’t yet seen it (and you’re vaccinated and healthy), we’d love to see you there! Our public spaces now boast a REMA HELO UV air filtration system (to kill any virus particles as the air is recycled through the system) and we have moved to a QR
code system for programs and menus. These efforts, combined with extra cleaning procedures, distanced seating, fewer seats being sold, and a mask mandate offer greater safety for our guests.

Thank you for sharing in our excitement! See you soon at the Tavern.

Show Information


Act One: 50 minutes
Act Two: 55 minutes.
Show will end around 9:45pm (8:45pm Sundays)

Show Roles

Performances August 6-September 12, 2021

Puck/ Philostrate- Shante de Loach
Oberon/ Hippolyta- Rachel Frawley
Titania/ Theseus- Gabi Anderson
Demetrius/ Moth- Mary Ruth Ralston
Helena/ Peaseblossom- Cameryn Richardson
Lysander/ Cobweb- Sarah Beth Hester
Hermia/ Mustardseed- Kirsten Chervenak
Bottom/ Hippolyta Courtier- Jasmine Renee Ellis
Flute/ Hippolyta Courtier- Kelly Criss
Peter Quince/ Egeus- Jaclyn Hofmann Faircloth
Snout/ Pomegranate/ Theseus Courtier- Destiny Freeman
Snug/ Brian/Theseus Courtier- T’Shauna Henry
Starveling/ Fairy- Loren Bray

Show Times
In general, shows at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse begin at 7:30pm, except on Sundays, when they begin at 6:30pm.

Bardometer Rating

How difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
What does rating this mean?

You may already know the story and what happens at the end. But even if you don’t, the play is light and the plot is easy to follow. Limited violence, limited bawdiness (see below). There are very few things – historical, religious, or political – that you need to know ahead of time. Just enjoy!

A note about bawdiness in Shakespeare: It exists. Despite what your English teacher taught you, Shakespeare wrote some pretty saucy lines and they pop up from time to time. While there is never any nudity on stage, our actors are trained to make the text clear. If we feel a show contains a plethora of Graphic Elizabethan Poetry (or is very bloody/violent/triggering) we will put that disclaimer in the blurb about the show. It won’t happen often. If this Bardometer lists a play as a 1 or 2, you can rest assured that it is an appropriate show for kids under ten.

Additional Information