“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, a play set in Athens and written by the famous playwright William Shakespeare, is one of his more well-known comedies. The play starts out with Theseus, the Duke of Athens, settling a quarrel between a father and his daughter Hermia. He wants her to marry Demetrius, but she loves another man, Lysander. Theseus, as the duke, feels obligated to uphold Athenian law, and tells Hermia that she has until the day of his own wedding to choose either to live forever as a nun in seclusion or marry Demetrius.
Lysander and Hermia choose to elope, and Helena, who is in love with Demetrius, finds out about their plans. In an attempt to divert Demetrius’ attention away from Hermia and towards her, she exposes Hermia’s plan to flee with Lysander to Demetrius.
Meanwhile, a group of tradesmen are arranging a play for Theseus to commemorate his wedding. The audience is introduced to Nick Bottom, a self-appointed “assistant director” who is determined to style the play his own way.
In another instance, the fairy queen and king are in the midst of an intense fight over the possession of an Indian boy. The king, Oberon, demands to have the boy, but Titania, the queen, tells him that the boy is under her protection. Oberon, enraged, tells his loyal servant Puck to bring him a flower, love-in-idleness, that makes people fall in love with the first thing they see. He decides that he will make Titania fall in love with a beast in order to exact his revenge.
Oberon sees Demetrius and Helena in the woods on their search for the lovers, and, after seeing Demetrius not returning Helena’s love for him, tells Puck to use the love-in-idleness on Demetrius also. Lysander and Hermia decide to take a rest in the same woods, and as they lie asleep, Puck mistakes Lysander for Demetrius, and puts droplets of the flower juice on Lysander’s eyelids. Demetrius leaves Helena behind, and while Helena is searching for him, she stumbles upon Lysander and Hermia. Lysander wakes to Helena’s face and falls in love with her. Puck happens upon the play rehearsal in the woods, and decides to play a trick on Bottom by giving him the head of an ass. Titania sees Bottom and falls in love with him.
Oberon is delighted that Titania has fallen in love with an ass, but when he realizes that Puck placed the wrong Athenian under the flower’s spell, he tells Puck to right his wrongs. Puck gives Lysander and TItania the antidote, changes Bottom’s head back to its original form, but also makes Demetrius fall in love with Helena. Theseus finds the four lovers and, finding that they are happy and had no qualms with one another, is overjoyed. The play ends happily – the three couples, Theseus and his fiancee Hippolyta; Demetrius and Helena; and Lysander and Hermia marry the same day.
I really liked how Amanda Cullen portrayed the love-struck Hernia. Her acting is pretty awesome – listening to Hermia’s emotional lines gave me chills down my spine. Especially in the scene right after Hermia’s father forbid her to marry Lysander, the way she spoke her lines as the visibly distraught daughter made me want to go on stage and comfort her. This play definitely displayed her acting prowess. Gavin Bains was also superb as the garrulous Nick Bottom. I loved how energetic he was, how accurately he portrayed Bottom. Although he was annoying sometimes, he was funny more often than not. If Shakespeare saw how Gavin played Bottom, I think he would be satisfied. The other actors also deserve recognition for making this play a success – I just thought that these two acted above and beyond in the showing of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” that I attended. Overall, the play was fantastic. This was my first time experiencing live MHS theater, and I definitely look forward to my next time!
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