Sunday, August 29, 2010

Poem for Sunday, Blackberries, Olney Shakespeare

Epilogue from A Midsummer Night's Dream
By William Shakespeare

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call:
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.


It's late, so I'll make this quick. While avoiding DC and Glenn Beck, Daniel went for most of the day to work on his summer research project, and the rest of us went berry picking at Butler's Orchard, which is in the last weeks of blackberry and raspberry harvesting before it's time for apples and then pumpkins. There were still plenty of ripe berries and plenty more that weren't quite ripe yet, plus lots of butterflies and bees -- the raspberry patch in particular sounded entirely abuzz, and one had to look for bees as well as thorns on the plants. We picked lots of berries and ate some of them with dinner, while the rest are going to be used for assorted salads and baked goods, yay!

In the evening, we went to Olney Theatre Center for the 21st annual Summer Shakespeare Festival, which is free and held outdoors under the stars and the huge oak trees. This year they did A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which the young lovers are prep school students, the fairies can only be seen in blacklight, and characters talk on cell phones and dance to electronic music. Having seen many productions of this play, I've come to the conclusion that it really needs an excellent Bottom and an excellent Helena to succeed -- they have the hardest roles, with Bottom having to convey a sense of wonder while at the same time being a total idiot in the wedding play and Helena having to be believably emotional without seeming too much like Demetrius's spaniel. This production had both, so it was a lot of fun -- plus it had flying insects making cameos and a real moon rising over the stage, which was awesome.

Lysander pleads for Hermia's hand in A Midsummer Night's Dream at Olney Theatre Center.

The players are a mail clerk, a temp, and other underpaid staff who work in the Duke's offices.

I couldn't get a decent photo of the fairy scenes because they're in blacklight with Oberon and Titania in glowing costumes, wigs, and wonderful face makeup. Here is Puck going to find love-in-idleness.

And here is the cast at the conclusion of the play. Oberon and Titania are played by the same actors as Theseus and Hippolyta, the lovers also play the players, Egeus and Bottom are played by the same actor, and everyone takes turns with the other roles.

Earlier in the day, we went looking for berries at Butler's Orchard.

We shared both the blackberry and raspberry patches with many flying friends.

Outside the farm store, the staff were grilling free samples of yellow squash, zucchini, and potatoes for people to try with Butler's Orchard barbecue sauces. Yum!

And inside the store, we bought many of the things we had to throw out when our refrigerator had to be emptied after the days-long blackout -- syrups, sauces, etc.

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