The Dreams and Madness Repertory

March 25 - May 10, 2020

In the spring of 2020 Quintessence will present its first three-show repertory. Each play explores the danger of love, the difference between dreams and madness, and the destructive power of authority and government.

William Shakespeare’s

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The city of Athens prepares for the marriage of Duke Theseus to the Amazonian Queen Hippolyta, but four young Athenians are in trouble with the law for loving without their parents’ consent. Escaping the authorities, they run away into the woods, where they stumble upon the fairy kingdom in turmoil over a marriage spat between the fairy king and queen. A group of Athenian laborers, secretly rehearsing their play for the duke’s wedding celebration, also wander unwittingly into the middle of the fairy battle. Shakespeare’s most beloved comedy is full of romance, fantasy, and soaring poetry, and all is reconciled through midsummer-night revelries and the power of love and magic.

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Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s

LIfe is a Dream

An omen predicts that Prince Segismundo will grow up to become a tyrant and overthrow the kingdom. The fearful king locks his child in a mountain cave to thwart the prophecy, but decades later becomes convinced that he has made a mistake and places his grown son on the throne.

Unprepared, Segismundo wreaks bloody vengeance on the kingdom. The prophecy fulfilled, Segismundo is returned to captivity, persuaded that his experience of the real world has only been a horrible dream. Calderón de la Barca's Spanish Golden Age existential political thriller explores the nature versus nurture paradigm and the connection between reality and our hopes and dreams.

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Albert Camus’


Emperor Caligula comes to see the world as absurd and meaningless after the death of his sister and mistress, Drusilla. Desirous to share this new understanding with his people, he uses his absolute power to undermine all systems of government and social order. Caligula mandates a desire to own the moon, to experience pure happiness, and to guarantee eternal life. To achieve these impossible tasks he establishes a regime of hedonism and violence that drives Rome to the brink of collapse. Part of his Cycle of the Absurd, Caligula is French-Algerian playwright Albert Camus’ humorous and philosophically explosive exposé of political science and the dangers of absolute power.

Weekday student matinee performances are available for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Life is a Dream. Student group ticket requests for these performances can be made via email to

Single tickets for the Dreams and Madness Repertory will be available starting January 12th, 2020. Season X subscriptions are available now and include tickets to all three productions.