This summer I was fortunate to be a part of an extremely unusual production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM at Two Pence Theatre Company. Under the direction of Shannon Fillion, 7 actors stripped the worlds of the play down and interwove them from the ground up. No setting in another time period or stage sex, just a complete exploration of Shakespeare's text and characters that left us free to turn a few things on their traditional heads.
One of which was Puck, a thrill for me and one of the most difficult roles I have worked on. Puck was a definite she. And while I did my share of Puck cavorting, I was definitely more than perturbed about the goings on in the wood. I mean, it's not a play that is friendly to women by and large. "What fools these mortals be." Ha, ha but not. So Puck went on a journey of laughter, mischieviousness and downright anger. It was strange and delightful and exhausting. In a wonderful review, "The Reader" noted the fact that "canonical characters appear in unfamiliar attitudes", further describing Puck as "bitchy and insubordinate, an oddly bitter imp who irks us by refusing to take pleasure in mischief". Insubordinate? Yep. Bitter? Sometimes. Imp? Always. Bitchy? That's touchy when applied to powerful female figures, human or no. I know I had a hell of a time wielding magic at my whim, (with all due respect to Oberon). Bitchy imps rock.