and white masks
Hippolyta enter (with Philostrate at the rear). Unlike
either of the other productions, the play begins without a
framing device. Notice that the stage here projects well
into the audience, who are seated on all four sides, apart
from the three entry ramps to the rear. The stage is
entirely empty of the scenery and furniture which does so
much to establish the contexts of the "school" and the "bar"
in the other versions.
Context here is
supplied by the actor's body, costume and mask. The latter
are commedia-style half masks, white for the white-collar,
Westernized Japanese, and black for the faeries. The
mechanicals wear no masks - except for Snug when playing
appear stylishly contemporary. The fact that Hippolyta's
black bodice is set off against white pants and masks may
suggest a 'masked' desire to cross-over from 'white' society
The open playing
space, with audiences aware of each other across the space
'behind' the actors, emphasizes the theatricality, the
constructedness of this world. The stage recalls an
Elizabethan thrust stage and suggests Peter Brook's idea of
the "empty space".
> School 1.
> Bar 1.