Who’s Who in A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Meet Helena, Hermia, Hippolyta,
and the Enchanting Creatures of Midsummer
George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is part of SF Ballet’s 2021 Digital Season. It will be performed in Program 01, streaming January 21–February 10.
Titania: Queen of the Fairies
Titania is obsessed with her recently acquired changeling, a human child stolen away to live among the fairies. Gracious, but stubborn, she’s uninterested in reconciling with her estranged husband.
Oberon: King of the Fairies
Oberon is a bit of a troublemaker: when Titania won’t hand over her changeling, he decides a bit of fun is in order.
Puck: Oberon’s Right-Hand Man
Puck loves mischief and is always down for a practical joke. Occasionally, however, those tricks go awry and then it’s up to Puck to find a way to put things right again.
The Lovers: Hermia, Helena, Lysander, and Demetrius
Four young people from Athens, the Lovers are in the midst of a complicated love square. Hermia loves Lysander and Lysander loves Hermia (good for them!). But Helena loves Demetrius, and Demetrius loves Hermia (oops). Once Puck and Oberon get involved, it only gets more complicated from there.
Bottom: Actor / Civilian / Donkey
Poor Bottom. A struggling actor wandering through the forest, he gets caught up in forces beyond his control. No one asks to be turned into a donkey, but Bottom makes the most of a bad situation before being restored to his proper form.
The Butterfly: Puck’s Favorite Companion
The Butterfly is Puck’s bestie: she flits through the forest with her fellow instincts and helps him on his quests.
Theseus, Duke of Athens
Theseus runs Athens—at least the unmagical part inside the city walls. When he’s not dealing with the Lovers’ varied quarrels, he’s pursuing his own romantic interest: Hippolyta.
Hippolyta: Queen of the Amazons
Hippolyta would never let her ex trick her into falling in love with a donkey. She’s too much of a warrior woman for that. In fact, she’s literally the queen of a band of warrior women—the Amazons—and she’s engaged to Theseus. She’s definitely an example of having it all.
Header Image: Cavan Conley in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream // Choreography by George Balanchine © The Balanchine Trust; Photo © Erik Tomasson