'Midsummer Night's Dream' at Lied Nov. 5

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New York's Aquila Theatre Co. present a modern interpretation of Shakespeare's comedy, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5 the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

Aquila Theatre Co. and its imaginative productions are a Lincoln favorite. The company has played to sold-out Lied Center houses in previous visits, performing "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," "Catch-22" and Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar."

Set against a classical Athenian backdrop, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" deals with the universal theme of love, and its attendant complications: passion, lust, frustration, depression, confusion and, of course, marriage. The plot focuses on the trials and experiences of two sets of lovers, the Fairy King and Queen and their servants, and a group of rude mechanicals attempting to stage a production of "Pyramus and Thisbe" for the wedding of the Duke of Athens. At the heart of the story is the Fairy King's servant, the impish Puck, whose magic creates an endless supply of mirth, mistaken identity and inappropriate, if not absolutely ludicrous passions.

Founded in London in 1991 by Peter Meineck, Aquila is based in New York City and is one of the foremost producers of touring theater. Aquila presents a regular season of plays in New York, at international festivals, and tours to approximately 70 American towns and cities a year. Aquila also provides access to theater for people in under-served rural and inner city communities.

Carole Levin, Willa Cather Professor of History and director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies program, will give a pre-performance talk at 7 p.m. in the Lied's Steinhart Room. Seating is limited. Levin specializes in early modern English women's and cultural history. Her recent books include "Shakespeare's Foreign Worlds: National and Transnational Identities in the Elizabethan Age," (co-authored with John Watkins) and "Dreaming the English Renaissance: Politics and Desire in Court and Culture." In 2009 she curated the exhibit "To Sleep Perchance to Dream" at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

Tickets are $35 for adults and $17.50 for students. For more information, go to http://www.liedcenter.org or call 472-4747.

- Shannon McClure, Lied Center

More details at: http://www.liedcenter.org