Explore A Midsummer Night’s Dream!

Thank you for joining us virtually for our annual Hartwood Acres performance! This original PBT ballet is based on William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Story

Synopsis (suitable for children and families)

Character Guide

The Music

Our performance is set to Felix Mendelssohn’s Overture (Op. 21) for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which he composed in 1826 when he was just 17 years old. Listen to the music here!

A couple things to notice:

  • :00 to :20 – The sounds of the opening chords are said to have been inspired by a summer breeze in Mendelssohn’s garden.
  • :20 to 1:03 – The music combines speed and delicacy, evoking the skittering steps of the fairies.
  • 8:20 – The “heehaw” sounds of string instruments sound like the braying of the Bottom/Donkey character.

Years later Mendelssohn composed a longer work (Incidental Music, Op. 61), which is not used in our production.

Read more about the music at the LA Philharmonic’s website.

The Costumes

The costumes and accessories for PBT’s new production of  A Midsummer Night’s Dream are a dreamy blend of old and new! PBT Costumier Janet Marie Groom and her team built a few costumes from scratch and repurposed the rest from PBT’s existing storehouse of costumes.  Click here to learn about the magic- and resourcefulness- that went into the production’s costumes!

Kids’ Activities

DIY Flower Crown Craft for boys and girls

Sleeping Fairy Coloring Page by Micheline Ryckman

PBT & Hartwood Acres

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has held summer performances at the Hartwood Acres Ampitheater for more than 40 years. A Midsummer Night’s Dream continues a long tradition of free ballet performances and family activities at one of Pittsburgh’s most beautiful outdoor settings.

Enjoy these memories of Hartwood performances past!

Learn more about Hartwood’s spectacular grounds, gardens and mansion at the Allegheny County Parks website.