By Alessia Anderson, Ella D and Charlotte C
The Bell Shakespeare program was an exciting and interesting experience that allowed us to immerse ourselves in the fascinating world of Shakespeare. The program enabled us to delve into the characters present within the script and better understand the context of the play. During the week, we learnt vital skills about how to interpret Shakespearean literature, maintain focus on stage, remain constant with your character's objective, and utilise the full space.
The Story Begins…
A Midsummer Night’s Dream opens with Theseus and Hippolyta planning their wedding. Egeus enters with his daughter, Hermia, and her two suitors, Lysander and Demetrius. Hermia is in love with Lysander, but her father wants her to marry Demetrius and he declares that if she won’t marry Demetrius, she will die. Lysander and Hermia decide to escape to Athens, yet Helena overhears and in a desperate effort to gain Demetrius' love, she tells him of the plot.
Peter Quince is directing a group of amateur actors to perform “Pyramus and Thisbe” for Theseus’ wedding. Nick Bottom, a terrible actor, is given the lead role.
Fairy Queen Titania and Fairy King Oberon begin arguing because Titania refuses to give Oberon custody of the Indian boy she is raising. Oberon sends Puck, his trouble-making jester, out to find a plant called love-in-idleness, the juice of which makes any person dote on the next creature he or she sees.
Taking pity on Helena for the terrible way Demetrius is treating her, Oberon instructs Puck to put some love juice in Demetrius’ eyes at a moment when Helena will be the first person he sees upon waking. Mistaking Lysander for the Demetrius, Puck puts love juice in Lysander’s eyes. Still in pursuit of Demetrius, Helena wanders past and awakens the sleeping Lysander; he immediately falls in love with her. When Titania falls asleep, Oberon squeezes the love juice in her eyes.
Puck, appalled by the awful acting of Bottom, gives him a donkey-head. Bottom is unaware of the transformation and walks through the woods, waking Titania who immediately falls in love with him.
Titania willingly releases the Indian boy to Oberon because she only has eyes for Bottom. Oberon’s plan is now complete, so he releases her from the spell and has Puck remove the donkey-head from Bottom.
Both Lysander and Demetrius are in love with Helena. A serious fight breaks out between Demetrius and Lysander.
Afterwards, Oberon has Puck create a fog that will keep the lovers from finding one another. While they are sleeping, Puck reverses the spell on Lysander. He also casts a spell so none of the lovers will remember what has happened in the woods. “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” In the final scene, the joyous lovers enter, and Theseus decides it is time to plan the festivities for the evening and chooses to see “Pyramus and Thisbe” performed. The players finally present their hilarious play.