Adaptor 1 Francis, Azra [Director]
Date of First Production
1983, July 12
Title A Caribbean Midsummer Night's Dream
Azra Francis
Place of First Production
Joseph Workman Auditorium, Toronto
Production Company
Black Theatre Canada
Technical Design/Direction
Producer: Vera Cudjoe
Co-Producer: Robin Breon
Director: Azra Francis
Tehnical Director, Set and Lighting Design: Neil Seale
Costumes: Alona Mendez, Vera Cudjoe and Amah Harris
Special Accessories: Tim Whiten
Seamstress: Lynn Parris
Stage Managers: Amah Harris, Janel Spiegel and Francis Solomon
Caribbean Consultants: Slade Hopkinson and Francis Solomon
Poster and Program Design: Jean Bury
Publicist: Davida Hoyos
Puck: Paul Anthony
Oberon: Errol Ramsay
Titania: Malika Mendez
Lysander: Bruce Tubbe
Demetrius: Marvin Ishmael
Hermia: Emerita Emerencia
Helena: Shelly Lynne
Theseus: Michael Malcolm
Hippolyta: Carol Thames
Nick Bottom: Shadrock Porter
Peter Quince: William Finlay
Francis Flute: Luther Hansraj
Robin Starveling: Devon Haughton
Tom Snout: Ishwar Mooljee
Snug: Ivor Picou
Peaseblossom: Dawn Roach
Mustardseed: Rosalie Breaithwaite
Year Play Written 1983
1983, Dora Mavor Moor Awards (for Innovation and Artistic Excellence)
Publishing and Multimedia
*A Caribbean Midsummer Night's Dream. Advertisement. Black Theatre Canada. 12-30 July 1983.
*A Caribbean Midsummer Night's Dream. Program. Black Theatre Canada. 1983.
*Photocopied Photographs of the Production. 1983.
*A Caribbean Midsummer Night's Dream. Advertisement. Black Theatre Canada. 12-30 July 1983.
*A Caribbean Midsummer Night's Dream. Program. Black Theatre Canada. 1983.
*Photocopied Photographs of the Production. 1983.
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Secondary Materials
*"Black Theatre Canada: A Decade of Struggle." Polyhony 27 Sept. 2002.
*"Black Theatre Canada to Host Forum on Intercultural Classical Theatre." Contrast 21 Oct. 1983.
*Breon, Robin. "Blacks Deeply Rooted in Theatre." Globe and Mail 22 Oct. 1983.
*"BTC Presents a Midsummer Night's Dream." Share 19 Mar. 1983.
*"Caribbean Midsummer Night's Dream." Toronto Star 27 June 1983: D4.
*"Caribbean Version of Shakespeare." Contrast 15 July 1983.
*Crew, Robert. "Midsummer Night's Dream Repeated." The Toronto Star 18 July 1983: C4.
*Doyle-Marshall, William. "Black Shakespeare Features in Toronto Theatre Anniversary." Trinidad Guardian 15 June 1983: 24.
*Doyle-Marshall, William. "Black Theatre Concludes Auditions for Play by Shakespeare." Share 17 May 1983: 9.
*Doyle-Marshall, William. "BTC Announces Cast for Shakespearean Play." Share 7 June 1983: 9.
*Francis, Azra. "A Midsummer Night's Dream: No More Nightmares." Np. Oct. 2002.
*Francis, Azra. E-mail Interview with Diana Mafe. 10 Oct. 2002.
*Fraser, Matthew. "Bard Adaptation Doesn't Go Far Enough." Globe and Mail 14 July 1983.
*Kaplan, Jon. "Island Dream's Rhythm Falters." Now 21-27 July 1983.
*Lescours, Rita. "A Caribbean Midsummer Night's Dream." L'Express 26 July 1983.
*Pennington, Bob. "Black theatre Beats (Steel) Drum for the Bard." Toronto Star 15 July 1983.
*Ryan, Oscar. "The Dream with New Beat." Canadian Tribune 18 July 1983.
*Suchard, Derek. "Caribbean 'Dream' is Lively Fun." Contrast. 22 July 1983.
*Szekeres, Emoke. "BTC Does 'Bill' Proud." Share 16 July 1983.
*Wharton, Marcia. "Toronto: The Community, the Press, and Black Theatre Canada." Canadian Theatre Review 44 (1985): 128-133.
Adaptor 1 Biography
"The director, Dr. Azra Francis from the University of Windsor, has a long history of professional theatre beginning in his native South Africa. His graduate work while at university dealt with the cross-cultural influence of Shakespeare. In a 2011 email exchange with CASP Director Daniel Fischlin Dr. Francis stated: "I did not produce any Zulu version of Macbeth. However, I was the first-ever director of a workshop of parts of the play at the University of Natal, Durban South Africa, Speech and Drama Department in the early 60s. This workshopping in Zulu with ordinary Zulus, not enrolled at the University, stretched over years. Cast of thousands––certainly seemed like it––never the same group twice. Our approach was Heuristic. At that time, the whole genre of Heuristic acting was taking shape at the University, and we were workshopping Shakespeare's plays to evolve the genre. We invented the genre at the University of Natal. After I emigrated from South Africa in 1967, a full production of Macbeth was undertaken in South Africa by Professor Elizabeth Sneddon, Head of the Drama Department, with the help of a Lecturer in the department, Pieter Scholtz. They took their production to England. I was not involved in that production. This was a 'straight' production, not a Heuristic one. The Heuristic genre developed into a complete genre that I used for about thirty years in my acting classes at universities in Canada. Conference papers were presented and some websites under my name give some details about the Heuristic approach." ("Caribbean Version of Shakespeare." Contrast).
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Adaptor 1 Bibliography
*"Caribbean Version of Shakespeare." Contrast. 15 July 1983.
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"Black Theatre Canada, celebrating its tenth anniversary, has adapted the original [A Midsummer Night's Dream] somewhat, shortened it a bit and, while retaining most of the script, has added a distinct new flavor, a new dimension enriched by the sounds and sights of the Caribbean--its music, dances, costumes, speech rhythms, drumbeats, plus a mixed company of both black and white actors who speak Shakespeare's poetic prose with charm and intelligence" (Ryan "The Dream with New Beat").
Adaptation of
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Entry Last Updated 11Dec03 10:37AM


Copyright © 2004 Fischlin, Daniel. Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project. University of Guelph. All Rights Reserved