How to Make a Costume for "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

by Katrina Arthurs

Composed during the late 1500s, A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of William Shakespeare's earliest comedies. It has been interpreted in many ways and can be adapted to fit modern times. There are a few guidelines to keep in mind when creating costumes for A Midsummer Night's Dream, but the overall costume design should fit with the interpretation and time period for which the play is being set.

Items you will need

  • Fairy Wings
  • Neutral chiffon fabric
  • Gold-colored rope
  • Street clothes
  • Twigs and branches
  • Gold spray paint
  • Black pin stripe suit
  • Grey, tan, black or white chiffon
  • Gold leaf crowns
  • Costume horns, big ears and hooves
  • Faux fur
  • Work boots
  • Tool belt
  • White t-shirt
  • Faded blue jeans
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Step 1

Dress fairies in soft, flowing fabrics and fairy wings. Keep in mind that A Midsummer Night's Dream is set in the woodland fairy realm. If the play is being set in ancient times, use chiffons in neutral colors. For more modern adaptations, use woodsy-colored fabrics cut in styles accurate to the time period, or have the actors dress in street clothes.

Step 2

Add twigs, branches and other woodland items to fairy costumes.

Step 3

Dress the King and Queen of Fairies in more elaborate versions of the fairy costumes. Make crowns out of twigs and spray them gold.

Step 4

Dress Athenian cast members in a single shade of gray, tan, white or black chiffon. Avoid stripes, prints and multicolored fabrics. Add a gold leaf crown and tie a gold-colored rope around the waist.

Step 5

Dress Puck in hooves, horns and big ears. Give him furry legs for an ancient adaptation or have him wear frayed cut-off jeans for a more modern adaptation.

Step 6

Dress the human cast members in clothes fitting the time period the play is being adapted to. Keep in the mind the individual character's status or profession. For example, Theseus, the Duke of Athens, can wear a pin-stripped suit in a modern adaptation. Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons, can wear a flowing Grecian style gown in soft colors with a gold leaf crown in an ancient adaptation. Quince, the carpenter, can wear faded blue jeans, work boots, a white t-shirt and tool belt in a modern adaptation.

Photo Credits

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