Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery
1 Spring Street, Chester, CT 06412



Tuesday, June 21, 2022
7 pm until the fairies let us go.
Summer Solstice Tuesday Night Special:

Shakespeare in the Garden:
Arrowhead's Midsummer Night's Dream

Click for high resolution image

The Inaugural Summer 2022 Production of Willaim Shakespeare's
A Midsummer Nights's Dream Directed by A. E. Abbott.

"I have had a most rare vision, I had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was." Act 4, scene 1

Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 7 pm until the fairies let us go.

We don’t always get it right do we? As humans, we are far more imperfect than we are perfect. To expect otherwise is naivete. In my favorite book, Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery explores navigating imperfection through the wisdom of the Fox: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” In sum, we learn best by feeling. But then, that is what theatre, music, and film, is for isn’t it? Great storytelling always has a way to help us understand matters of the heart and our shared experiences with them thus.

After years of much suffering of the heart in complex ways for all of us during the pandemic, it seems especially important to put healing at the forefront. Likewise, to take a moment to pause, reflect on our shared humanity, the mystery of love in all forms, and even, –experience a little magic.

The Theatre, dubbed by the Ancient Greeks as “The seeing place” aptly frames an artform central to our innate desire to question, reflect, and understand human nature, or life itself: to heal.

We hope to provide one such opportunity for healing as part of the Concerts in the Garden sessions, in Leif’s garden theatre, Summer Solstice 2022, with an immersive staging of Shakespeare’s whimsical tale of love and fairie mischief.

Our production is unbinding, non-traditional, contemporary, and based on my research and love of oral storytelling. Please join us for a story the way it was meant to be told, under the night sky! And of course to: “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!”

“Lysander: Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth; [...}” A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare

Huzzah, A.E. Abbott

For a more in-depth dive into the theory behind some of my work, a recent write-up on the show, the CT Writing Project at UCONN explores the design process and theory at the root of community theatre:

“As is appropriate given the exceedingly Greek nature of the play, Amanda Abbott and Leif Nilsson have given music back to the playwright, echoing ancient Greek choral refrains. Leif and his band, Arrowhead, take on the roles of the mechanicals, infusing their folk music into the play itself. Folk music, a great beacon of musical storytelling, is a communal art that pulls stories from their pedestals. This genre is often bawdy, tragic, or uniquely both, and there could be little doubt that it is perfectly thematic for Shakespeare’s play. By giving the audience music from the mouths of mechanicals, Leif and his band will draw them further into the story and further from their seats. Such a force, evenly applied to the audience and actors alike, becomes one of unification, as music is in any context. By filling the mechanicals’ roles with music, Abbott and Leif ground the story in the elevation of the common man, even in the face of gods, and utilize the full power of performance to defend Shakespeare from the immobility that modernity maligns him with.


$20 donation - BYOB and picnic -
Outdoor Bistro Style Seating in the Amphitheatre
Rain or shine!

GATES OPEN Half Hour before the show. First come first seated.

Choose your favorite bottle at the Chester Package Store across the street, get your picnic from any of Chester's fine restaurants and grab a growler from the Little House Brewing Company next door.

Follow us on Facebook

Sorry, no pets allowed.

One Spring Street
Chester, Connecticut 06412

Open by appointment, chance and weekends