FOLGER SHAKESPEARE LIBRARY The World’s Leading Center for Shakespeare Studies
The Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, brings A Midsummer Night’s Dream to life with this new full-length, full-cast dramatic recording of its definitive Folger Edition.
In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare stages the workings of love in unexpected ways. In the woods outside Athens, two young men and two young women sort themselves into couples—but not before they form first one love triangle, and then another. The king and queen of fairyland, Oberon and Titania, battle over custody of an orphan boy. Oberon uses magic to make Titania fall in love with a weaver named Bottom, in an effort to distract Titania from the custody battle. While all of this is going on, Bottom and his companions ineptly stage the tragedy of “Pyramus and Thisbe.”
This new full-cast recording—based on the most respected edition of Shakespeare’s classic—expertly produced by the Folger Theatre, is perfect for students, teachers, and the everyday listener.
William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, on England’s Avon River. When he was eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children—an older daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died in childhood. The bulk of Shakespeare’s working life was spent in the theater world of London, where he established himself professionally by the early 1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in 1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London until close to his death.
The Folger Shakespeare Library is a world-renowned research center on Shakespeare and on the early modern age in the West. Its conservation lab is a leading innovator in the preservation of rare materials. Its well-known public programs include plays, concerts, literary readings, family activities, and exhibitions, as well as numerous programs for students and teachers. The Folger also publishes the illustrated, completely re-edited Folger Editions of Shakespeare's plays, award-winning exhibition catalogs, and the journal Shakespeare Quarterly. The Folger opened in 1932 as a gift to the American nation from Henry Clay Folger and his wife Emily Jordan Folger. It is administered by a Board of Governors under the auspices of Amherst College, Henry Folger’s alma mater.