Shakespeare plays around with size quite a bit in this play. During an argument, Hermia betrays her shame about her short stature. Other characters pick up on her discomfort and tease her. At one point Lysander calls her a dwarf, an acorn, and a bead for being so tiny.
In most productions, directors can be counted upon to cast shorter actresses as Hermia and taller ones as Helena, the other (mortal) female love interest. In this production--full of homeschooled children--the director (a homeschooled highschooler) cast as Hermia a young woman who is about six inches taller than my son. She played the part brilliantly--and when Lysander labeled her a dwarf, the audience burst out laughing, realizing that she was only hurt by the comment because of her own feelings of inadequacy.
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In this same production, Oberon (King of the fairy world) was played by an intense and small boy who acted the overbearingly royal qualities brilliantly. Titania, his love and the queen of the fairies, towered over him by nearly a foot. And when she fell in love with Bottom (after his transformation into a donkey), she found a love several inches shorter than Oberon.
Compared to the two of them, Titania looked not like a delicate fairy but like an Amazon. The idea that the character is weak and basically loses in the play always irks me. So I was thrilled with the transformation.
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Now I am considering casting on that beautiful knitted cotton sweater Titania, named for the Queen of the Fairies.
Here's the pic from the knitting designer's website:
The above model is not a little wispy thing of no substance--but she is a combination of slender and curvy that shows off this sweater wonderfully.
You could say I am curvy. In all the right places.
And, well, in most of the wrong places, too. You could never say I am slender.
Am I going to look like an Amazon Fairy in this thing or am I going to look more like Bottom the Weaver in his Ass costume?
"wide enough to wrap a fairy in"