From the detail and extravagance of the costumes to the intricate staging of multiple sets, the company is presenting its rotating repertory of “Into the Woods” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” around one central design element — the woods.
“The woods participate in both plays in similar ways, although they’re being used to pursue different themes,” said Joseph Haj, producing artistic director for PlayMakers.
“There’s loss of innocence, there’s a maturity, there’s a sexual awakening, and all this gets explored in the concept of the woods.”
Haj is directing “Into the Woods” and co-directed the 2013 rotating repertory around the theme of water.
He had the idea to pair this year’s shows together and said it was about putting the plays in conversation.
“Into the Woods,” which opens Sunday and runs through Dec. 6, is a contemporary musical involving characters from the Grimm fairy tales, while “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which opens Saturday and runs through Dec. 7, is a Shakespearean comedy.
Though the shows are stylistically different, scenic designer Marion Williams said both of the shows have elements that tie them together.
“Both shows are in literal woods, but in some cases it feels more symbolic,” she said. “We actually have trees on stage for both, but the way those trees are dealt with, treated and perceived, changes.”