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Main Street Players Receives Mission Store Mini-Grant

The Main Street Players is thrilled to receive a mini-grant of $600 from The Mission Store, Inc. of Alliance, NE. The grant will be used to purchase costumes for fairies and woodland animals, played by local children, for our summer production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

Planned for June 2015, the production will be a hybrid of dance and theater and will be produced in conjunction with Seventh Street Dance Studio. The play, Shakespeare’s only original script (i.e. not taken or based on something else) consists of three distinct story lines:

  • The Lovers: Helena love Demetrius who loves Hermia who loves Lysander who loves Hermia, whose father wants her to marry Demetrius…it’s a classic love quadrangle! Lysander and Hermia plot to meet in the forest to run away, but Helena tells Demetrius of their plan so he follows them…and she follows him.
  • The Mechanicals: six laborers who are attempting to put on a play for the wedding of the Duke of Athens. They come to the forest to rehearse but are unwittingly caught up in a fairy feud.
  • The Fairies: Two groups of fairies, led by King Oberon and Queen Titania, meet in the forest. The king and queen are feuding over a changeling child and their feud is upsetting the balance of nature. Trying to distract Titania from the child, Oberon orders Puck to find a special flower, then uses juice from the flower to bewitch Titania. into falling in love with the first creature she sees. He instructs Puck to make sure something hideous is near when Titania awakes.

It is the fairies who bind the three story lines together. Oberon overhears Demetrius being mean to Helena and her laments at how he mistreats her. Thinking to help, Oberon instructs Puck to use the magic flower on “the Athenian youth” so that she will win her love. Puck, however, doesn’t realize there are two Athenian youths in the forest and accidentally uses it on Lysander instead of Demetrius.

He then discovers the Mechanicals rehearsing their play (very badly) and gives the loudest of them, a man called Bottom, the head of a donkey. This, of course, is who Titania first sees upon waking up – and she immediately falls in love with him. The rest of the Mechanicals are frightened off by Bottom’s hideous appearance and leave him in the forest, completely unaware of what has happened.

Meanwhile, Lysander awakens and falls in love with Helena, who thinks that he is making fun of her. Hermia is devastated when Lysander rejects her in favor of her friend but Helena thinks Hermia has put Lysander up to his joke. When Oberon realized what has happened, he orders Puck to fix it. Puck’s response is to use the flower on Demetrius, who also falls in love with Helena. Now, instead of both men chasing Hermia, they are chasing Helena. Helena thinks they are all ganging up on her while Hermia blames her friend for the loss of Lysander’s love. The four lovers chase each other around the forest, fighting, until falling into an exhausted sleep. (this is the play that gives us the line “What fools these mortals be”)Puck then removes the love spell from Lysander, returning his affection to Hermia. When the four awake, all is right and the two couples are given permission to wed along with the Duke.

The play ends with the mechanicals presenting their play, the comical tragedy of Pyramis and Thisbee, at the wedding. Bottom has been transformed back to himself and thinks the entire night was but a dream. The play ends with the fairies blessing the marriages of the mortals, and Puck’s immortal speech: “

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
If you pardon, we will mend.
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearnéd luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call:
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.

 

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