Colorado Ballet

A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon
Composer: Felix Mendelssohn
Years performed: 1997
Artists of Colorado Ballet by Mike Watson
Artists of Colorado Ballet by Mike Watson

World Premiere Colorado Ballet: February 8, 1997
Auditorium Theatre, Denver, CO

Total run time: 1 hour and 40 minutes (includes one - 20 minute intermission)


Act I, Prologue: The Court of Duke Theseus
Egeus, Hermia’s father, demands that she marry Demetrius against her wishes; she wants to marry her sweetheart Lysander.  The Duke of Athens, Theseus, agrees with Egeus.  Demetrius wants to marry Hermia, but is persuaded by Helena.  To escape, Lysander and Hermia flee into the woods, but Helena informs Demetrius of their flight.  Demetrius follows in hot pursuit, with Helena close behind him.

Act I, Scene 1: The Woods
The lovers wander deep into the woods, watched by Puck, servant to Oberon, King of the Fairies, as sprites and fairies make their way to the court of their King and his Queen, Titania.

Act I, Scene 2: A Forest Clearing
Titania and Oberon arrive at their court, but all is not well.  Oberon admires Titania’s new attendant, an Indian changeling child.  Oberon insists she give the child to him, but she refuses, taking the child with her.  Enraged, Oberon plans his revenge.  He sends Puck to find a flower which causes the victim to become infatuated with whomever he first lays eyes upon.  Hearing mortals approaching, Oberon conceals himself.

Oberon witnesses Demetrius searching for Hermia, pursued by Helena.  Feeling that perhaps he can help, Oberon follows them.  Meanwhile, Puck finds a magical flower and presents it to Oberon.  Thrilled, he plots his revenge on Titania.  Demetrius and Helena appear again, and Oberon sends Puck after them with a petal from the flower.  Sensing the approach of Titania, he hides and watches.

Titania is weary from her encounter with Oberon; her fairies sing her to sleep with a lullaby.  They keep the changeling close-by, still suspicious of Oberon’s intentions.  The fairies leave their sleeping Queen, Oberon drops some of the pollen from the magical flower into Titania’s eyes and quickly vanishes.

Meanwhile, Hermia and Lysander are lost and need a place to rest.  Hermia, although deeply in love with Lysander, reminds him they are not yet married and sends him to sleep at a respectable distance.

In flies Pluck, still searching for Helena and Demetrius.  Mistaking the sleeping Lysander for Demetrius, Puck drops some pollen in his eyes and leaves, satisfied that his work has been accomplished.  Demetrius, still pursued by Helena, appears.  He pushes her away and runs deeper into the woods, leaving her deserted and alone.  Despondent, she spots Lysander sleeping nearby and rushes over to wake him.  Upon seeing her, Lysander declares his love for her.  Hermia then awakens; frightened at seeing Lysander is no longer there, she runs off in search of him.

Four village rustics appear, passing through the forest.  They soon find themselves completely lost.  Oberon and Puck watch from above, ready to set their plan in motion.  Puck picks one of the villager, Bottom the Weaver, as his victim, and turns him into an ass, frightening off his friends.  Puck then leads Bottom to Titania’s bedside and watches in anticipation with Oberon.  Titania awakens to the donkey’s braying and falls passionately in love with him.

Act II, Scene 1: A Forest Clearing
Still searching for Lysander, Hermia encounters Demetrius and demands to know Lysander’s whereabouts.  Getting no answer from him, she storms away.  Exhausted, Demetrius lies down to sleep.  Trying to rectify Puck’s mistake, Oberon drops the pollen into Demetrius’ eyes.  In rushes Helena, pursued by an infatuated Lysander.  Demetrius awakens and instantly falls in love with Helena.  The woman he once despised, he now adores; she finds herself with two ardent suitors.  Angry and upset, she tries to fight off the two men, when in hobbles a tired Hermia.  Oberon, realizing the situation, becomes furious with Puck.  Using his magical powers to hypnotize the lovers, he puts them to sleep with their correct partners.  Oberon, now tired of these games, decides it’s time to awaken his queen and teach her a lesson.  Titania, seeing the beast she has slept with and feeling extremely foolish, agrees to give the changeling child to Oberon.

As dawn breaks, they disappear into the depths of the magical woods.  Before following them, Puck removes the spell he has placed on Bottom.

As it is Hermia’s wedding day, bridesmaids and grooms are out searching for the lovers.  Theseus and his wife Hippolyta follow and, discovering the lovers asleep, send the grooms to wake them.  Theseus is happy to have found his lost subjects.  Seeing Demetrius now content to marry Helena, he dismisses Egeus’ objections to Lysander and leads the four lovers back to the court to be married.

Act III: The Court of Theseus that Evening
The bridesmaids and court children prepare Hermia and Helena for their weddings.  The lovers are married by Duke Theseus, and the court dances in celebration.  That night, deep in the magical wood, Titania reconciles with Oberon.  She presents him with the changeling child and bathed in moonlight they dance, at peace with each other once more.


our email list

Receive Pointes of Interest, Colorado Ballet's e-newsletter.

Click here to sign up

Our Sponsors

  • SCFD
  • Colorado Ballet Auxiliary
  • Bonfils Stanton Foundation
  • Wells Fargo
  • Shapiro Chiro
  • KeyBank