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Sonho de uma noite de verão (Midsummer Night’s Dream) (Marchioro, 1991)

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Sonho de uma noite de verão (Midsummer Night’s Dream)

The stage productions Sonho de uma noite de verão (1991) and Hamlet (1992) were part of the cultural project Shakespeare no Parque, one of the most relevant events of the 1990s, a time of immense cultural ferment in Curitiba, the capital of Paraná. This initiative, coauthored by Marcelo Marchioro (theatre diretor and opera régisseur) and Valêncio Xavier (multimedia artist), was received with enthusiasm by Lúcia Camargo, Municipal Secretary of Culture in Curitiba at the time, whose efforts to provide public funds to finance the enterprise were essential for the implementation of the project, developed over a period of two years under the coordination of Marcelo Marchioro.

This cultural policy, whose main objective was to provide meaningful Shakespearean experiences to popular audiences, involved two stages, both consisting of workshops, lectures, film sessions and the presentation of eight videos on the British series Playing Shakespeare, produced for TV by Royal Shakespeare Company, scripted and directed by John Barton. At first, in addition to activities open to the general public, there were extra activities for workshop participants, aiming at an in-depth textual and contextual study of one Shakespearean comedy and one tragedy, as well as intensive vocal training and body expression for those who aspired to join the cast.

In a second moment, the result of this long preparation process were the stage productions Sonho de uma noite de verão in 1991, and Hamlet in 1992. Both productions were directed by Marchioro and performed in the auditorium of the Centro de Criatividade de Curitiba (Center of Creativity in Curitiba), a cultural space located in Parque São Lourenço (São Lourenço Park), which was completely remodeled for the event, with the creation of a solid three level structure inspired in circus stands to accommodate the audience, becoming, from then on, a permanent alternative transformable scenic space. The event not only consolidated a new theatrical venue (later named Teatro Cleon Jacques in honor of an actor and director from Paraná, who died in 1997), but also revealed new talents in the field of the performing arts.

The production Sonho de um Noite de Verão was a critical and public success, performed twice at the Centro de Criatividade de Curitiba, Parque São Lourenço. The first season premiered on September 12, 1991, and the second on January 18, 1992, totalizing 113 performances, and in March 1992, a version adapted for children and teenagers gained enormous popularity. The show won the Gralha Azul Trophy / State Governor Award in 1992, in the categories of best direction (Marcelo Marchioro) and best lighting (Beto Bruel).

The stage-production Sonho de uma noite de verão (1991), directed by Marcelo Marchioro, paid homage to the Brazilian circus-theatre, highlighting aspects closely related to the circus universe, among them humor, magic, and love. Furthermore, Marchioro rejected exoticism, exuberance of scenery, and exhausted romantic clichés current in 19th century performances, privileging the complexity and verbal subtlety of Shakespeare’s text.

To translate Shakespeare’s magical universe into contemporary language, the production displayed a series of circus routines. At the opening of the show, the traditional circus parade was enacted with the participation of the whole cast (except for the actor who played Puck): the three groups of characters – aristocrats, fairies, and mechanicals – integrated and mixed in festive atmosphere. The joyful parade of the actor-characters, animated by lively circus music, culminated in a prefiguration, a prologue created by the director in pantomime format. This scene without words, focused on the episode of exchanging partners, a device that anticipated the development of the plot in Brechtian style.

Although Marchioro avoided taking liberties with Shakespeare’s text, such as simplifications, drastic cuts and verbal insertions, the inversion of the first two scenes of Act I can be seen as a significant strategy of his performance aesthetics. The choice to open Act I with the scene of the artisans constituted a relevant option for the performance, determining the cheerful and relaxed ambience of the show. The farcical and the burlesque predominated not only in the scenes of the artisans, but also in the plot of the lovers, exploring the natural humor of some actors/ actresses of the cast.

The sound design of the show, inspired in Nino Rota’s musical compositions, was supplemented by the liveliness of circus music interacting with Shakespeare’s dramaturgy, and marking the entrances and exits of characters. A memorable moment was the presentation of a trumpet solo, partially performed by Puck at the beginning of the third scene of the first act, inspired by the theme of Gilsomina, the unforgettable apprentice of the traveling circus company in Fellini’s film La Strada, a strategy that released the defense mechanisms of the audience for the dream experience.

To cope with the demands of Shakespeare’s test, the frequent light changes articulated the performance narrative and created adequate ambience for each scene. While the lighting, projected in geometric shapes – squares and rectangles – provided spatial changes, chromatic variations – warm colors (amber, orange, yellow) and cold colors (blue and green) – indicated the alternation of night and day.

While Shakespeare laid bare the origins of Elizabethan theater, by inserting an amateur theater company in his Dream, Marchioro displayed elements of the circus universe to refer to the emergence of Brazilian theatre in circus tents. Circus music as well as burlesque and melodramatic staging techniques evoked the memory and history of Brazilian circus-theatre in the early 20th century. In Marchioro’s Dream, the combination of high and popular culture, resulted in a creative synthesis that revitalized and renewed Shakespeare’s dramaturgy.



Conception and Direction:  Marcelo Marchioro

Text Translation: Barbara Heliodora

Assistant Directors: Elyana Garrido Joerke, Marcio Mattana

Dramaturgy: Celina Alvetti

Dramaturgy Assistants: Mara Rejane Ruschel, Marcio Mattana

Production: Andiara Zuccherelli

Vocal training and body movement: Sandra Zugman

Costumes: Leda Senise

Scenography: Waldir Günther

Sound Design: Marcelo Marchioro, inspired by Nino Rota musical compositions

Make-up and Hairstyles: Vanusa Ferlin, Tony Silveira

Lighting: Beto Bruel

Props: Leda Senise, Elvo Benito Damo, Fabiano Della Bona, PK 2

Composition and Musical Direction of the Fairy Song: Flavio Stein

Special Effects: Sergio Richter

Acrobatics: Marco Matta

Reflecting Pools: José Roberto Antunes


Cast (by entrance order)

Peter Quince: José Carlos Cenovicz

Snug: Luciano Gonzaga

Nick Bottom: Marcio Mattana

Francis Flute: Ranieri Gonzalez

Tom Snout: Luiz Henrique de Nadai

Robert Starveling: Fernando Sacchelli Bachstein

Theseus: Tony Silveira

Hippolyta: Karin Russell

Philostrate: Marcelo Joseh

Egeus: Sansores França

Hermia: Erica Migon

Lysander:  Alvaro Bittencourt

Demetrius: Silvio Kaviski

Helena; Vanusa Fermin

Puck: Marcio Branco

Cobweb: Guta Stresser

Oberon: Maurício Souza Lima

Titania: Regina Bastos

Fairies attending Titania: Roberta Castro, Angelica Maria Quinelo

Mustardseed: Fernanda Farah

Peaseblossom: Elyana Garrido Joerke

Moth: Lismara de Oliveira



CAMATI, A. S. Re-reading Shakespeare’s Ophelia: Marcelo Marchioro’s Performance Aesthetics. In KAWACHI, Yoshiko; COURTNEY, Krystyna Kujawinska (Orgs). Multicultural Shakespeare: Translation, Appropriation and Performance. Lódz, Lódz University Press, v. 3, p. 69-80, 2006.

CAMATI, A. S. Sonho de uma noite de verão:  o erudito e o circense em cena. In: CAMATI, A. S.; MIRANDA, Célia Arns (Orgs). Shakespeare sob múltiplos olhares. 2ª ed. Curitiba: Editora da UFPR, 2016, p. 239-259.


Production notes provided by Anna Stegh Camati



Sonho de uma noite de verão (Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Sonho de uma noite de verão (Midsummer Night’s Dream) : Full Video

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