MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
90 minute Abridgement
Type: Full Length
Genres: Comedy, Classics
Themes: Classic Abridgements, Shakespeare, Love & Romance
Duration: 90 minutes
Speaking Cast: 18-22 either (18-22 total cast)
Flexibility: 0-25 extras, doubling possible, gender flexible
SYNOPSIS: Four frustrated lovers – Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius, and Helena – facing an angry father’s (Egeus) arranged marriage plans enforced by the duke (Theseus), flee their home in the Athenian court for the nearby forest. At the same time, a group of village tradesmen gather in that forest to rehearse a play to present to the Athenian royal court. There they all encounter a band of mischievous fairies who, while also feuding among themselves, proceed to confound and bewitch both groups. The fairy king, Oberon, tricks his queen, Titania, into falling in love with one of the tradesmen, Bottom, who has been turned into an ass by the fairy king’s henchman, Puck. Oberon, wishing to help the pining lovers couple according to their desires, orders Puck to drop a love potion in the lovers’ eyes, but Puck’s mistake causes the wrong lovers to fall in love. Chaos and confusion ensues until Puck fixes his mess. Oberon and Titania reconcile and the workmen get the call to perform their play at court, much to the amusement of the duke, the duchess, and the happily paired lovers. The fairies return to bless the palace, the three upcoming marriages, and their future children. Finally, Puck ends the play by asking the audience’s indulgence and applause. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most endearing and enduring comedies, full of magic, love, and revelry. Don’t miss this hilarious and heartwarming version in 90 minutes.
University of Tampa
St. Paul College
St. Paul, MN
Pleasant Grove High School
Pleasant Grove, UT
Glimpse Entertainment Company
Eudora High School
Lake Wildernedd Arboretum
Maple Valley, WA
A Midsummer Night’s Dream might be William Shakespeare’s most popular play, and is certainly his most popular comedy. It contains love, foolishness, trickery, feuding, rivalry, fantasy, magic, and elegance. However, it is difficult to sustain a light comedy for three full hours, the play’s usual length if unabridged. I aimed to create a condensed version of this lyrical comedy that actors could more easily memorize and perform, one that moved quickly enough to hold an audience’s attention throughout. I wanted to do this by remaining fiercely true to the original, editing as seamlessly as possible to keep the plot clearly in focus, keeping only Shakespeare’s words without adding any extra narration or interpolated dialogue. This play has been performed successfully all over the world in colleges, high schools, and middle schools over the past six years.
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