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Crushed MDMA seen through a trinocular microscope

Shakespeare’s classic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, explores the themes of love and how it often torments us when the balance of societal norms is thrown into chaos, leaving jealously and mishap in its wake. The use of fantastical elements in the story elevates the environment to a surreal world where magical mischief wrecks havoc on our protagonists, until at last the very thing exacerbating their chaos restores their balance.


This version of Midsummer sets the action of the play in present day, requiring our characters to fall into distinct modern groupings-- each with their own aesthetic and palette. The royal court, dressed in whites, greys, and navy, are fashionable members of rival corporations seeking to strike a merger through marriage. The young quartet of lovers are their affluent trendy teenagers donned in whites, blues, and yellows. The mechanicals are hip, urban blue-collar workers clothed in a range of earth tones, oranges, greens,

and blues. The fairies are EDM festivals ravers wearing a rainbow array of neon, whites, and silvers. They are

all under the influence of various hallucinogenic drugs which accounts for the fantastical occurrences 

throughout the play and their palette is influenced by an image of crushed MDMA photographed through a

trinocular microscope. Lastly, we see a sub-group of mechanicals in the Pyramus and Thisbe play, whose looks

are influenced by urban street art. The various graffiti designs represent the characters they needed to embody.


In order to create the “surrealness” of the fairy world, I chose features, colors, and fabrics that would work well

with the lighting design as major components of my costume design. Titania and Oberon had blue LED headpieces that reflected their fantastical powers. A steel framed, EL-wired donkey headpiece showcased the “unnaturalness” of Bottom’s magical transformation. All these were featured in dark club like lighting with strobes and blacklights. Overall, this design supported the goal of creating a fresh modern interpretation of this classic to appeal to a contemporary audience.








































Produced by UNCSA in Fall 2019, and Performed at Hanesbrands Theatre in Winston Salem, NC.

Director: Cameron Knight

Costume Designer: Melissa Thurn

Scenic Designer: Melissa Smith

Lighting Designer: Clara Ashe-Boone

Wig and Makeup Designer: Gnoli Raynor

Sound Designer: Nik Parnell

Costume Design Assistant/Wardrobe Head: Lily Mateus

Photography: Peter Mueller and Melissa Thurn

Shop Manager: Matthew Campbell
Drapers: Olivia Dilworth, Jocelyn DuBose, Rebecca T. Eckes, Karen Milla, Taylor Newell, Maya Marie Patrick, Miranda Poskin, Hunter Stansell, Jenna Travis
First Hands: Marie Lupia, Jennifer Smith
Crafts Head: Trey Grey
Crafts Assistant: Willow Kearns Stanley
Stitchers: Hannah Andrews, Emily Davis, Whitney Fabre, Hannah Ferkol, Bee Gable, Zoe Gilreath, Jemima Fireston Greville, Diana Haberstick, Emily Harris, Erin Justice, Damarius Kennedy, Molly Klemm, Johnna Presby, Cassie Sisson, Chloe Walters, Clark Yang, Natalie Carreiro, Tess Crabtree, Praveer Gangwani, Audrey Harms, Emma Smith, Jade Soto, Eli Thomas, David Wheeler, Cam Banks, Bella Fiosi, Quinn Mishra, Joseph Mohler, Brennan Reilly

Midsummer Show Bible

"Costume design by Melissa Thurn is spectacular, from Puck’s furry leggings to the spiral-striped tights of a fairy to a brilliant white and silver Sgt. Pepper jacket for Oberon, the fairy king."  Lynn Felder, The Winston Salem Journal

Court Member
Court Member
Wailing Woman
Peter Quince
Robin Starveling
Francis Flute
Tom Snout
Earth (Fairy Ensemble)
Fire (Fairy Ensemble)
Water (Fairy Ensemble)
Quince as the Prologue
Bottom as Pyramus
Snout as the Wall
Starveling as Moonshine
Snug as the Lion
Wedding - Hippolyta
Wedding - Hermia, Lysander, & Helena
Wedding - Demetrius & Theseus
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