Shakespeare’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM has its very own fairy dust-covered jar in the time capsule of my iconic teenage theatre experiences. I strongly suspect that a similar jar is being dusted and stored in the memory of each middle-schooler with whom I had the privilege to attend Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production on Tuesday morning.
In this challenging and dividing cultural moment, there can perhaps be no greater longing than the one to make order out of chaos. And that is precisely why the characters in A DISAPPEARING NUMBER are so drawn to mathematics: that universe follows a separate and orderly reality—a reality far more comforting than the one in which these individuals (and the audience members) find themselves. It is a startling and lovely resonance, reinforced by Timeline’s equally lovely production.