Interview with Hannah Dawe, Director of Met by Moonlight

Hannah Dawe Hannah Dawe

Q: Where are you from?

Deerfield, IL

Q: What drew you to TMTC?

I have seen several shows at TMTC and loved the idea of bringing high quality, professional theater into the suburbs.

Q: Why did you choose to adapt Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream into a musical?

Shakespeare is, itself, music. It seemed like a natural choice to develop his stories into musicals because of the inherent musical nature of his words. Patrick [Sulken, composer and lyricist of Met by Moonlight] and I chose Midsummer in particular because of how much room there was to explore that world. It’s young, it’s fun, it’s fast. The characters are so colorful and the appeal of magic was just too exciting to resisit.

Q: What was your process when you were adapting the play? Were there any challenges along the way?

I started by reading the original Midsummer a lot. I got familiar with the script, and then began making choices about what elements I wanted to keep, what elements I thought we wouldn’t need for our story, and what elements would remain but in a very changed version. One of the main challenges was deciding how much of the final script would look like Shakespeare’s, and how much would look brand new.

Q: What is your process for directing your own original work? Do you find that being both the author and director of the piece to be challenging?

That’s a great question, that I’ll probably be able to answer a lot more clearly in 5 weeks! I have not yet directed a new work, and I have not yet directed my own work. As we are just beginning, my thought is that, when working on the production from both perspectives, knowing when to wear my director hat, and when to wear my writer hat. There will be moments when I have to look at the play completely objectively and remove myself as the writer….and, then of course, other times when being the writer will be incredibly helpful.

Q: What would you like Young Artists’ Program participants to take away from this experience?

I hope all the actors enjoy being part of a new works process. It is very different from being a part of a show that has existed for many years. The script is changing, even if you’ve already blocked a scene or memorized your lines. But, along with that challenge, there are the immense joys of being a part of its creation. I hope that the process is enjoyably challenging.

Q: What do you hope audiences can take away from this production?

I hope it makes them laugh and makes them think! I hope they see it in relationship to the original Midsummer but also as a piece on its own.

Q: What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Scrambled eggs with salsa. Delish.

Q: What is your favorite summer activity?

Anything outdoors, especially at night. There is nothing lovelier than a beautiful summer night.