The Actors' Gang's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM Heads to China Today
The Actors' Gang, the critically acclaimed Los Angeles based ensemble Theatre Company, will be heading overseas bringing William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Academy Award winner Tim Robbins, to international audiences. The production will put on six performances in Beijing, China, today, June 10th - 15th at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, four performances in Shanghai, China, June 19th - 21st at the Daguan Theatre, Zendai Himalayas Art Center and four to six performances in Italy, June 28th - July 6th at the prestigious Spoleto Festival.
The Actors' Gang is only the second American theatre company to perform at China's National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) and is the only American company to participate in the NCPA's 2014 Shakespeare Festival. The NCPA is China's largest and most prestigious performing arts center in the country. The China tour is produced by Ping Pong Productions, a Beijing-based cultural exchange production company. The Actors' Gang production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, joins the Berliner Ensemble production of Peter Pan directed by Robert Wilson as the featured productions at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. The Italy tour is produced by the Change Performing Arts Company, a Milan-based independent production company.
For over 33 years, Robbins has served as the Artistic Director of The Actors' Gang. In addition to over a hundred and fifty productions produced at The Actors' Gang Los Angeles base of operations, the award winning company has toured extensively throughout the United States and to five continents throughout the world with productions such as Embedded, George Orwells' 1984, The Exonerated, The Guys, Tartuffe, Carnage, and The Trial of Catonsville Nine. The Actors' Gang has toured in London, Madrid, Barcelona, Athens, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong and Melbourne as well as throughout the United States and Mexico.
The Actors' Gang is one of the only true theatrical ensembles in the United States that tours internationally. Ensemble members train together regularly and develop pieces through a rigorous workshop process. The actors in the company, in addition to their training and performance schedule also are educators in the LAUSD school system and dedicated participants in The Actors' Gang Prison Project. With few U.S. companies touring internationally, the company considers it an honor to bring Shakespeare to China and to perform at the distinguished Spoleto Festival in Italy.
"On behalf of The Actors' Gang, we're extremely proud to bring our production of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream to audiences around the world," said Director, Tim Robbins. "For decades I have had the privilege of working with so many talented artists as part of this theatre company, and whenever we go on tour it is a rare and great pleasure to share our passion for theater with artists and audiences throughout the world. We always learn something new, are inspired by other theater artists we meet at festivals and come back to LA richer for the experience. I expect Beijing and Spoleto will be as inspirational, if not more so, than our previous tours."
William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is a surreal world of fairies, spells, incantations, lovers bewitched by magic, the Fairy Queen making love to an ass, the world in disorder made right by the mischief of the night. Fourteen actors from The Actors' Gang working with director Tim Robbins and the company's Co-Artistic Director, Cynthia Ettinger illuminate Shakespeare's forest with original music, kinesthetic movement and a fervent approach to the surreality and magic of the language of the play. A Midsummer Night's Dream will be presented with minimal costumes, props and scenery, relying mainly on Shakespeare's extraordinary text and the creative imagination of its players to realize this magical world.
In its extended run at The Actors' Gang in Los Angeles, The Huffington Post said, "The trust that the actors displayed for Tim Robbins' intense vision, the commitment that they made to their roles, and the love and respect that they showed for each other, the language, the play, Shakespeare, the theater in general and their theater in particular, were magical, riveting, and inspiring."