Yesterday my parents and I went to Cupids, one of Newfoundland’s small communities "out around the bay" so to speak, that now predominantly serves as a unique cultural stronghold. Trinity has its annual historical pageant,taking you from the grief of fishermen’s widows within a lovely church to humourous judicial proceedings relating to petty crime, right by the sea. Now Cupids, in honour of its 400th birthday, has the New World Theatre Project. The Project has constructed an outdoor theatre called the Indeavour, created to emulate the Globe Theatre, which it intends to tour with nationally and internationally eventually (the stage being portable apparently.)  My reason for going, was that the company’s choice of Shakespearean productions for its debut are among my favourites: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is my favourite Shakespearean comedy, Ceasar, my favourite tragedy, although I only saw the former. (Ceasar is over and done with, and I doubt my parents would have indulged two separate trips anyway.)    What perfect luck for me, as each year I eagerly await the titles of Shakespeare by the Sea’s summer productions, always hoping for one of my preferences to be among them. And now one of my life goals is accomplished: to see a live performance of Midsummer Night, which has always amused me between its magical, farcical and surreal elements as well as its rich dialogues and emotionally tense speeches.  As much as I appreciate the talent of the casts and crews of Shakespeare by the Sea, New World Theatre presents a more professional and thoroughly enjoyable show.  The Indeavour stage ensures that outdoor theatre need not be weather dependent as there are canopies above the audience to protect from any rain; the enclosed area, as well as the peacefulness of the community, prevents there being any hustle and bustle to interfere with and distract from the performance.  Harbourside Park in downtown St. John’s, though lovely,fails in that regard, it’s not a sensible setting for a production, and it’s preferable to feel that actors aren’t screaming at you over the wind in order to be heard (with occasional success.)  The actors also, lo and behold, bother with costumes, and avoid embarassing attempts to be cool with silly modernizations.  There is no Hummer transporting the two pairs of lovers in their trek through the woods.
Ok, so I am a snob, and a Shakespeare purist apparently, but what of it?  The setting was magical, the costuming effective, and the actors fantastic, making it all "great fun" as I overheard a fellow patron say.  I hope to attend another New World Performance next summer.