Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

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I was fortunate to get acquainted with Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream first-hand last summer when I was cast as Hermia in Washington High School Theatre Department’s summer stock program.

Published in the 1600’s, Midsummer Night’s Dream is a romantic comedy based on a love triangle with a bit of fairy tale magic thrown in. Hermia is a beautiful, young woman who is in love with Lysander. Of course, parents always have to get in the way of young love, and this story is no exception. Hermia’s father, Egeus, wants to wed his daughter to Demetrius, who agrees with Egeus. Hermia tells her father, “So will I grow, so live, so die my lord, ere I will yield up my virginity unto his lordship”. Hermia is pretty much saying that she would rather die than give her love to someone she is not in love with. Throw in Helena, who makes no secret of her love for Demetrius, and a misguided fairy who casts spells on the wrong couple, and the plot thickens.

Playing the role of Hermia was quite an experience, since I fell in love with Lysander for real. It is common knowledge that lead roles end up developing romantic relationships as they work together on their characters. True to Hermia’s father, my own dad kept me from Lysander—but for a different reason; I was too young. When Hermia and Lysander were on stage, it was easy to act out the parts of unattainable love.

When we first started reading over the lines of Shakespeare’s script, I was not sure if I would enjoy the play because his words were so complicated and confusing. It was difficult to understand their meanings. However, we have a fabulous theater director, Mr. Johnson, who spelled it out so easily that we all understood exactly what Shakespeare was trying to convey.

I would recommend reading Midsummer Night’s Dream, but the pleasure would be heightened by performing a role in the production. It was an experience I will never forget.





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