Short Shakespeare!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

SATURDAYS 11:00 A.M. & 2:00 P.M.

February 3

March 10, 2018

The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

adapted & directed by Jess McLeod
Touring Chicago schools through March 23

The Story

In just four days, Theseus, Duke of Athens, plans to marry Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons—the woman he has conquered on the battlefield. As the couple anticipates their wedding, Egeus approaches Duke Theseus with a family problem on his mind: his daughter Hermia, who loves Lysander, refuses to marry Demetrius—her father’s choice. And so Theseus offers three choices to Hermia: marry Demetrius, become a nun, or die. She chooses instead a fourth course of action: to flee from Athens with her love, Lysander. Demetrius—tipped off by his former girlfriend, Helena—follows the couple in hot pursuit. And where Demetrius goes, so goes Helena, Hermia’s lovesick best friend...

Into the woods all four head, right where the fairy king and queen are having relationship problems of their own: Enraged by Titania’s devotion to a young human boy, Oberon commands his fairy servant Puck to retrieve the magic flower that will cause Titania to fall madly in love with the first creature she next encounters—whatever that may be...

Observing Helena desperately pursue Demetrius through the woods, Oberon takes pity on her and commands Puck to also enchant the young Athenian man with the flower’s juice. But unfortunately, from Puck’s vantage point, one Athenian looks pretty much like another—and soon it is Lysander, not Demetrius, who falls head over heels for Helena. Hermia is not amused.

On that same night into the woods heads a troupe of amateur actors—Athenian workers rehearsing a play that they hope to present on Theseus’s wedding day. Puck happens upon them, and it takes no time to target Bottom as the perfect love match for his fairy queen, who will soon awake to dote upon this mortal—transformed by Puck into an ass. Love all around seems destined for disaster—until Oberon (and Theseus) step back in to set things aright... 

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