A Midsummer Night's Dream

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9780942208672: A Midsummer Night's Dream

A reader's edition, modernized language ("you" for "thee," etc.) and glossary for unfamiliar words. This popular Shakespeare play pursues the theme of love in many ways, on three distinct, somewhat interacting ways: the court of Theseus about to be wed to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, the four young lovers in impossible love triangles, complicated by the shenanigans of Puck's magic potion changing who is chasing whom — and thirdly, by the Fairy King and Queen with their own relationship problems. Oh, and to top it all is the band of inept players who are rehearsing an inappropriate tragedy for Theseus' wedding, confounded by Puck (again) transforming Nick Bottom's head into an ass's head, with the Queen of the Fairies, having had the love potion, waking to see and fall in love with the Ass. Clear? Of course not, nor is the course of love. Shakespeare, I would assume, is poking fun at his own early days in local theater. The unwinding of the plot let's them all assume is was just a dream, a Midsummer dream. Much more sophisticated comedy than Shakespeare's usual comic relief. For the more ambitious reader, take a look at the Midsummer Night's Dream Director's Playbook edition, which uses the same text with greatly expanded sections for every part of every scene, plus sections for auditioning, the Stage Manager, coordinating the director's vision with the Set Designer and the Costumer, plus the responsibilities of the Producer for the budget, tips on creating a playbill program, fundraising, advertising, parents (if a high school or college production), and much more behind-the-scenes activities that must take place before actors set foot on stage. This Playbook is available at (www.createspace.com/3893774).

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About the Author:

William Shakespeare, the third of eight children, was born on April 23, 1564 in the English market town of Stratford-upon-Avon. His father became the mayor of Stratford in 1568 and worked as a glovemaker and a moneylender. Four years after leaving school at approxi-mately the age of fourteen, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in November of 1582; their first child Susan-nah was born in May of the following year. Two years later, Anne gave birth to twins, Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592, a period called “the lost years,” there is almost no evidence about Shakespeare’s life, nor is there any solid evidence about how or why he made his way to London to become a dramatist. By 1592, however, Shake-speare’s reputation as a playwright and poet had begun to grow. In 1594, he helped found a new theater company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, and be-came the company’s dramatist. Shakespeare’s success increased, and by 1598, the year he registered The Merchant of Venice, he had already purchased one of the biggest residences in Stratford. Some of Shakespeare’s richest dramatic work was written after the founding of the Globe Theater by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men in 1599, including Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth. After 1611, Shakespeare largely retired from the theater to spend more time in Stratford. He died in 1616 on his birthday, April 23, when he was fifty-two years old.

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