Midsummer Night’s Dream

Ah, love triangles.  A love triangle makes for acute play, unless you do it right.  But they do get tedious if they carry on for multiple seasons just to bolster ratings.  That’s why we’ve resolved the love triangles in this play in two paragraphs or less, so that we can get to the fun stuff:  The Rude Mechanical’s Play!  So how do we fit another play within an already shortened Shakespeare play?  We’ve pared down what was already bare-bones plot and character development of the original to create a production that any community theater participant would recognize.   Ruefully.

Running time: approximately 12 minutes

Cast size: 4 Males, 3 Females, 4 M/F

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CHARACTERS

HERMIA (F) loves Lysander and is a smart, independent woman.

LYSANDER (M) loves Hermia and is a smart, independent man.

HELENA (F) loves Demetrius, but is a bit of a doormat.

DEMETRIUS (M) loves Hermia, but is a bit of a dirtbag.

TITANIA (F) fairy queen who finally takes matters into her own hands.

PUCK (M/F) fairy mischief maker who avoids hockey games.

QUINCE (M/F) director of the Rude Mechanicals, a community theater group.

BOTTOM (M) the star of the play, he plays Pyramus the tragic hero of the play.

FLUTE (M) a man who plays Thisbe, the tragic heroine of the play.

SNOUT (M/F) plays the Wall.  He’s got his blocking down.

SNUG (M/F) plays the Lion, a mane role.

 

SAMPLE PAGES:

(Lights up. Enter LYSANDER & DEMETRIUS from opposite sides of the stage.)

LYSANDER:  Hey, Demetrius.

DEMETRIUS:  Yo, Lysander.  You won’t believe the news.  I’m tying the noose.

LYSANDER:  Excuse me?

DEMETRIUS:  Jumping the broom?  (Blank look from LYSANDER.)  Buying the cow?  (Blank look from LYSANDER.)  Clamping on the old ball and chain?

LYSANDER:  I don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

DEMETRIUS:  I’m getting hitched.

LYSANDER:  Get out of town.  I’m getting married, too.

LYSANDER and DEMETRIUS:  I’m gonna marry Hermia.

LYSANDER:  Whoa, there.  Hermia?  I thought you had a thing for Helena.

DEMETRIUS:  No, it turns out that Helena is a little . . . (HELENA enters and clutches DEMETRIUS in a death grip.) clingy.

HELENA:  Oh, Demmy-Wemmy, I wuv you so much.  I still have a lock of your hair right next to my heart.  (She pulls out a wig strung from a necklace around her neck.)

LYSANDER:  So that’s where your mullet went.  You gave it to Helena.

DEMETRIUS:  “Gave” isn’t quite the right word.

HELENA:  And I’m glad to see that your scalp has quit bleeding.

LYSANDER:  Yep, she’s a little clingy.  You should break up.

DEMETRIUS:  I’ve made it clear to her that we’re splitsville.

LYSANDER:  (Looks at HELENA fawning over DEMETRIUS.)  Obviously.

DEMETRIUS:  And that I’m marrying Hermia.

HERMIA:  (Enters.)  Did someone say my name?

DEMETRIUS:  Hermia, you’ve got to clear this up right now.  Who are you going to marry?  Some flighty nobody (Points to LYSANDER) or somebody who only has you in his life?  (ALL look at HELENA, who is still fawning over DEMETRIUS.)  We’re in the process of breaking up.

HERMIA:  I choose . . . Lysander.  (They run and hug each other.)

DEMETRIUS:  Well, your father chose me.

HERMIA:  And I hope you are very happy together.

DEMETRIUS:  I mean that your father chose me to be your husband.

HERMIA:  Rats.  I forgot about the whole daughters-as-chattel thing.  Lysander, we’ll have to elope.  Let’s run off into that dark, fairy-infested wood.  (Runs in place.)

LYSANDER:  Wait for me!  (Runs in place.)

DEMETRIUS:  Wait for me!  (Runs in place.)

HELENA:  Wait for me!  (Runs in place.)

HERMIA:  (Stops.) I’m lost.

LYSANDER:  (Stops.) I’m tired.

DEMETRIUS:  (Stops.)  I’m sleepy.

HELENA: (Stops.)  I’m narcoleptic.  (They all drop to the ground and sleep loudly.)

(Enter the Rude Mechanicals.)

BOTTOM: (In narrator voice.) Suddenly, the Rude Mechanicals . . . enter!

QUINCE:  What was that?

BOTTOM:  I’m trying my hand at narrating.  (In narrator voice.) The Rude Mechanicals found themselves in the midst of an isolated, desolate forest!

QUINCE:  Stop that.

SNOUT:  Why are we in this isolated, desolate forest?

QUINCE:  We are here to rehearse.

FLUTE:  And we’re here so that no one can spy on our rehearsal?

QUINCE:  No.  We’re here because this was the only rehearsal space available.

SNUG:  I hate Community Theater.

SNOUT:  Hey, I see fairy dust.

SNUG:  I don’t see any fairy dust.

BOTTOM:  Act like you see it.  (Overacts seeing fairy dust.)

QUINCE:  We don’t have a special effects budget.

SNUG and FLUTE:  I hate Community Theater.

FLUTE:  I’m feeling sleepy.

BOTTOM:  Already?  But we’re supposed to have a whole bit here where we set up our play.

QUINCE:  It’s been cut.  The guy playing Oberon had a prior commitment.

SNOUT:  What?

QUINCE:  Zombie crawl.

SNOUT:  What about his understudy?

QUINCE:  Her water broke.  She’s doing Lamaze breathing just about now.

BOTTOM:  And the under, under study?

QUINCE:  Past his bedtime.

SNUG, FLUTE, BOTTOM:  I hate Community Theater. . . .