Danny Scheie and Pegge Johnson in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," a coproduction by California Shakespeare Theatre and Two River Theater. This was just one of five times Bottom and Titania have met on the cover of American Theatre.

Let Us Show You Our Bottoms (and Titanias)

The flowery bed where a donkey-man and a fairy queen meet cute is an iconic Shakespearean image, so it’s no surprise it’s graced our cover so often.

Next to the image of a guy contemplating a skull at arm’s length, just about no scene makes as easy a shorthand for “Shakespeare” as a romantic clinch between a woman and a donkey-man. This memorable enchanted-prank coupling from A Midsummer Night’s Dream between Titania and a half-assed Bottom, that rude mechanical turned slightly ruder at the whim of the mischievous Puck, graces the cover of the current issue of American Theatre. But they’re not the only version of the fairy-donkey duo that has adorned our covers in our three decades of publication. Take a tour of these past flowery beds, gentle joys.

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