May 9, 1903
After dark, on Sunset Hill, The Philaletheis Society presented an ambitious production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A large audience of students and friends of the players gathered as colored lights illuminated the scenes and the surrounding pines, fairies danced and lovers were confounded. Dances were arranged by athletic director Harriet Ballintine and Violet Kauffman ’03, who played Titania, and a hidden orchestra accompanied the Three Shakespeare Songs of American composer Amy Cheney Beach.
Jeanette Hooker ’03 played Bottom, and Jane Sousa ’03 was Puck. Helen Whitmore ’03 was, according to The New York Times, a “stately Helena,” and Margaret Conger ’04 portrayed Hermia “with feeling.” “The production,” The Times concluded, “was one of the most elaborate the Philalethian Society has ever undertaken, and it has proved the most successful from an artistic point of view.”