Offensive Shadows (2008)
by Paul Dunn
September – October 2008
Tarragon Theatre Extra Space
Paul Dunn’s sexy and darkly comic contemporary sequel to A Midsummer Night’s Dream… Artfully blending the romantic heart of Shakespeare’s classic with a modern sensibility, Dunn (High-Gravel-Blind for the Stratford Festival and BOYS for Theatre Direct Canada) explores what happens when Demetrius, Helena, Hermia and Lysander finally wake up. Using an edgy mix of humour and pathos, Offensive Shadows reveals an uncertain future, where magic can’t always save the day.
Offensive Shadows premiered in 2007 at the Tarragon Extra Space as part of the SummerWorks Theatre Festival, where it won the NOW Magazine Audience Choice Award. In its 2007 SummerWorks wrap-up, NOW also listed Offensive Shadows among the Outstanding New Plays, Productions and Ensembles of the festival.
In 2008, again at the Tarragon, Studio 180 remounted the original work along with a new companion piece for Puck, set in a world that no longer believes in fairies. The National Post listed Offensive Shadows among the best new Canadian plays of 2008.
DIRECTED BY Michael Shamata
FEATURING Jessica Greenberg, Andrew Kushnir, Mark McGrinder, Jason Mitchell & Kimwun Perehinec
SET & COSTUME DESIGN John Ferguson
LIGHTING DESIGN Michael Walton
SOUND DESIGN Michael Laird
FIGHT DIRECTION Joel Harris
STAGE MANAGER Michael Haltrecht
APPRENTICE STAGE MANAGER Gillian Lewis
WARDROBE COORDINATOR Kathleen Johnston
EDUCATION/OUTREACH COORDINATOR Kesta Graham
PRODUCTION MANAGER Nathaniel Kennedy
Season Sponsor 2008/09
2008 end-of-year reviews
The National Post listed Offensive Shadows among the best new Canadian plays of 2008.
“Performance and direction are pitch-perfect.”
“The cast is terrific, turning from comedy to heartbreak in a convincing moment.”
“Highly recommended… a clever, imaginative romp that is augmented by a particularly likeable and capable cast.”
“The show’s a winner, both in its writing and its performance.”
NNNN NOW MAGAZINE
“Paul Dunn’s witty script is engaging and emotionally satisfying.”
“Paul Dunn’s bleak, wildly funny little comedy sports an articulate understanding of the original Shakespearean characters as he transplants them into a contemporary milieu ripe with camping gear, bonfires and bikinis… Beautifully played with comic finesse and great physical agility…. Michael Shamata’s direction is fast-paced and physically thrilling.”
“A delightful romp in two acts, under the direction of Michael Shamata, who quite wisely keeps things simple… focusing his and our attention on the expert performers at the heart of his tale.”