Shakespeare In Action Presents A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

As Shakespeare in Action prepares to open their inaugural outdoor production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in the Weston community, news of recent carding by the Canadian Border Service Agency in the area has spurred the company to spotlight this issue.

The production, running from Jul 16 - 28th at Little Avenue Memorial Park has from its conception seeked to explore the idea of the "Canadian Dream," especially in the Weston community which is home for many new Canadians. When one of the actors forwarded a CityNews report about plain-clothes officers on Monday July 8th stopping people without a warrant and asking for identification to the team, director David di Giovanni suggested aligning the production's themes with this very recent story. Di Giovanni says:

"This is our first production as a resident company in Weston, an area that has not had much professional theatre. We want this first production to bring together and reflect the residents of northwest Toronto across age, culture, and income-level. It was also very important that the story of Bottom, a would-be actor who is preparing to present a play before the Duke, is reframed as a new Canadian, so as to explore the remarkable optimism of many immigrants in the face of so many social and economic barriers.

Since learning of the recent carding in the neighbourhood, we have made a few adjustments to the play so as to make a more conscious statement concerning the vulnerability and fear of many refugees, as well as first- and second-generation Canadians. The play is ultimately a family-friendly comedy, though we hope that by drawing attention to these issues, we can facilitate and encourage more community discussion."

A cast of 7 actors will take on 13 roles. Directed by David di Giovanni, the cast includes Michael Chiem, Amanda Cordner, Tamara Freeman, Gugun Deep Singh, Suzanne Roberts Smith, Rose Tuong, and Suchiththa Wickremesooriya.

A Midsummer Night's Dream runs July 16-28, Tuesdays through Sundays at 7pm in Little Avenue Memorial Park on Weston Road near Lawrence Ave. Admission is free.

From May through October 2019, the Cultural Hotspot shines a spotlight on arts, culture and the community in north Etobicoke and the former city of York, inspiring new ideas about where culture thrives in Toronto. The City of Toronto has partnered with us to create our SPARK project entitled A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Other projects include visual arts, music, dance, youth mentorship and employment, local festivals and more. Projects like ours, and the legacy Cultural Loops Guide, will enable the local community and visitors to discover Hotspot neighbourhoods like north Etobicoke and York to experience arts, culture, fantastic food, heritage and parkland.


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