Monday, May 4, 2009

A Midspring Blog's Dream

I was having a hard time coming up with something to cast. I haven't been reading much since I spend just about every free reading moment with my current script. I was thinking I was going to have to pass on this Monday Mission. Then, this morning, in the car... inspiration. What else should Painted Maypole cast but A Midsummer Night's Dream??? Perfect. I think we'll go for an all female version (I saw an all female production of 12th Night once, and it was awesome! Besides, it used to be all men back in Shakespeare's day, so why not turn it on its head a bit? Yippee!) I haven't had as much time to mull this over as I'd like, but these are my initial thoughts:

Character descriptions stolen from sparknotes.com. My casting choices follow the descriptions.

Puck - Also known as Robin Goodfellow, Puck is Oberon’s jester, a mischievous fairy who delights in playing pranks on mortals. Though A Midsummer Night’s Dream divides its action between several groups of characters, Puck is the closest thing the play has to a protagonist. His enchanting, mischievous spirit pervades the atmosphere, and his antics are responsible for many of the complications that propel the other main plots: he mistakes the young Athenians, applying the love potion to Lysander instead of Demetrius, thereby causing chaos within the group of young lovers; he also transforms Bottom’s head into that of an ass. Alejna from Collecting Tokens. Her playful nature and love of language should make this a perfect fit. Plus, surely we can find some business for her involving pants.

Oberon - The king of the fairies, Oberon is initially at odds with his wife, Titania, because she refuses to relinquish control of a young Indian prince whom he wants for a knight. Oberon’s desire for revenge on Titania leads him to send Puck to obtain the love-potion flower that creates so much of the play’s confusion and farce. Jen from One Plus Two.

Titania - The beautiful queen of the fairies, Titania resists the attempts of her husband, Oberon, to make a knight of the young Indian prince that she has been given. Titania’s brief, potion-induced love for Nick Bottom, whose head Puck has transformed into that of an ass, yields the play’s foremost example of the contrast motif. Mad, from Under the Mad Hat. Years ago Mad and Jen married via the internet and the Just Posts were born. I think having the two of them united, and sparring, on stage would be worth the price of admission.

Lysander - A young man of Athens, in love with Hermia. Lysander’s relationship with Hermia invokes the theme of love’s difficulty: he cannot marry her openly because Egeus, her father, wishes her to wed Demetrius; when Lysander and Hermia run away into the forest, Lysander becomes the victim of misapplied magic and wakes up in love with Helena. No Mother Earth. She wouldn't be afraid to be fawning.

Demetrius - A young man of Athens, initially in love with Hermia and ultimately in love with Helena. Demetrius’s obstinate pursuit of Hermia throws love out of balance among the quartet of Athenian youths and precludes a symmetrical two-couple arrangement. Emily R from Wheels on the Bus. Because she recently offered to come and kiss me.

Hermia - Egeus’s daughter, a young woman of Athens. Hermia is in love with Lysander and is a childhood friend of Helena. As a result of the fairies’ mischief with Oberon’s love potion, both Lysander and Demetrius suddenly fall in love with Helena. Self-conscious about her short stature, Hermia suspects that Helena has wooed the men with her height. By morning, however, Puck has sorted matters out with the love potion, and Lysander’s love for Hermia is restored. Niobe from Dead Baby Jokes. Because she once confessed to me that, being small and fair, she has always identified more with Hermia.

Helena - A young woman of Athens, in love with Demetrius. Demetrius and Helena were once betrothed, but when Demetrius met Helena’s friend Hermia, he fell in love with her and abandoned Helena. Lacking confidence in her looks, Helena thinks that Demetrius and Lysander are mocking her when the fairies’ mischief causes them to fall in love with her. Um... ME, of course.

Egeus - Hermia’s father, who brings a complaint against his daughter to Theseus: Egeus has given Demetrius permission to marry Hermia, but Hermia, in love with Lysander, refuses to marry Demetrius. Egeus’s severe insistence that Hermia either respect his wishes or be held accountable to Athenian law places him squarely outside the whimsical dream realm of the forest. Erin from Woman in a Window. To make her play against type.

Theseus - The heroic duke of Athens, engaged to Hippolyta. Theseus represents power and order throughout the play. He appears only at the beginning and end of the story, removed from the dreamlike events of the forest. Sarah from Slouching Past 40. I think she'd look great on Flutter's arm, and seems quite powerful to me.

Hippolyta - The legendary queen of the Amazons, engaged to Theseus. Like Theseus, she symbolizes order. Flutter. Doesn't Flutter strike you as an Amazon Queen? I would love to see her strutting around all powerful.

Nick Bottom - The overconfident weaver chosen to play Pyramus in the craftsmen’s play for Theseus’s marriage celebration. Bottom is full of advice and self-confidence but frequently makes silly mistakes and misuses language. His simultaneous nonchalance about the beautiful Titania’s sudden love for him and unawareness of the fact that Puck has transformed his head into that of an ass mark the pinnacle of his foolish arrogance. RimaRama. I have no doubt she would be willing to be just a silly as the part requires.

Peter Quince - A carpenter and the nominal leader of the craftsmen’s attempt to put on a play for Theseus’s marriage celebration. Quince is often shoved aside by the abundantly confident Bottom. During the craftsmen’s play, Quince plays the Prologue. Bon from Crib Chronicles. Bon is such a beautiful writer that frankly I want to hear her stumble and bumble her way through the prologue. He he. Bloggers revenge.

Francis Flute - The bellows-mender chosen to play Thisbe in the craftsmen’s play for Theseus’s marriage celebration. Forced to play a young girl in love, the bearded craftsman determines to speak his lines in a high, squeaky voice. Mary G from Them's My Sentiments. Since we can't do the bearded man thing, I think it would be great comedy to see the lovely older Mary G play at the young girl.

Robin Starveling - The tailor chosen to play Thisbe’s mother in the craftsmen’s play for Theseus’s marriage celebration. He ends up playing the part of Moonshine. Kaye from The Road Goes Ever On. Did you see the wedding dress she sewed? Tailor, indeed!

Tom Snout - The tinker chosen to play Pyramus’s father in the craftsmen’s play for Theseus’s marriage celebration. He ends up playing the part of Wall, dividing the two lovers. J from In the Gutterr. Gutter... wall... um.... there's a connection there, I'm sure.

Snug - The joiner chosen to play the lion in the craftsmen’s play for Theseus’s marriage celebration. Snug worries that his roaring will frighten the ladies in the audience. Heather from I Can Fly, Just Not Up. Let's get her away from making costumes and onto the stage.

Philostrate - Theseus’s Master of the Revels, responsible for organizing the entertainment for the duke’s marriage celebration. Beck from Frog and Toad are Friends. Because we all know Beck is a great organizer of entertainment!

Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Mote, and Mustardseed - The fairies ordered by Titania to attend to Bottom after she falls in love with him. (in no particular order...) JCK from Motherscribe would be a lovely fairy in fishnets (and have you checked out her series on Feminism? Very interesting.). Kat from Seeking Sanity. Because I am totally tickled by the idea of a pregnant fairy. I think we would make Amelia from Crumbs a singing fairly (maybe she'll bring her daughter along, too. They can sing duets!) Magpie from Magpie Musing. Because we need a fairy with blue hair.

Whew!

Participate in Monday Missions by casting your own project (play, movie, poem, short story, children's book, whatever!) with your own choices (bloggers, your family, famous actors...) and post a link in the widget below. This fun idea comes to you courtesy of No Mother Earth, who cast bloggers in a book she was reading.



Join us for our Future Monday Missions!
5/11- song titles. See how many song titles you can jam into one blog post. In high school my best friend and I used to write stories this way all the time. It passed the time in our boring classes. I had the idea when I was on a streak of titling all my blog posts with song lyrics. I have to say, I am rubbing my hands in glee over this one.

5/18- a discussion between characters/bloggers/historical figures. Mad did this brilliantly, and I thought it would be fun to imagine a conversation between characters from different sources.

5/25- a "What I did on my summer vacation" essay. Yes, before summer vacation.

24 comments:

niobe said...

What a fantastic cast! I would love to see them put on the play. Though since you so sweetly cast me as Hermia, (thank you!) I suppose I'd have to watch from the wings.

slouching mom said...

Oh! This is great. I wouldn't mind being at Flutter's side. No, I wouldn't mind that at all.

No Mother Earth said...

You forgot to point out that I'm flat-chested, so extremely well-suited to play a man. :-)

You're right, though, I'm not afraid to fawn.

Kat said...

Haha! I love it! A brilliant cast, indeed. You are so clever. But tell me, how long did that take you? Seriously. That was a lot of work, wasn't it? Well done!

Hehe. A pregnant fairy. I love it. :)

wheelsonthebus said...

And I always thought of myself as Bottom

Magpie said...

Awesome. I need to touch up my hair.

And, do we have theater?

painted maypole said...

It took me the better part of two hours, what with the casting and all the linking and the notifying the cast members...

I'm thinking Shakespeare in the Park. I know some good places in California. ;)

imbeingheldhostage said...

OMgoodness, that took some time to create! What a cast-- looks like a who's who of blogdom.

Um, the connection... sometimes I can be like talking to a wall maybe? really, I can be.

Mad said...

Did you know that Mad Dad is doing Midsummer as his Shake in the park this summer? I can't wait to tell him I'm Titania.

Alejna as Puck is purrrrrfect.

Oh, PM, I so wanted to do this challenge but I kept stalling out. Instead of choosing a whole work, I kept seeing certain bloggers in certain roles: you were Rosalind without a doubt, No-Mo was Viola, Subspace Beacon was my Beatrice, Bea was my Elizabeth Bennett, Mouse my Harriet the Spy and I saw myself as Ma Tuck.

All Rileyed Up said...

I'm feeling pretty lame about my post compared to yours now. This is totally awesome! Thanks for all the great blog leads :)

Bon said...

this is fabulous!

i was a little bummed i couldn't be Bottom, alas, but Peter Quince is rather apt. you should see me try to talk verbally about myself - i bluster and quail and flounder. hence the reason i may try to do all future job interviews in writing. ;)

jen said...

Ah, PM. tis an honor. i love being married to mad. and alejna's role? priceless.

i so love this post.

Beck said...

Hee hee hee. You're so clever!

Mary G said...

But I would love to havw a long white beard, really.
Thanks, Maypole. This is hilarious.

alejna said...

Wow! This was great! And I'm so very flattered to have landed the role of Puck!

Not to mention terribly impressed that you put this together in a couple of hours. It's fabulous!

(Hey, Mad-I'd love to see the rest of your list of characters/bloggers. It sounds like fun.)

kaye said...

Jaques:
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.


As You Like It Act 2, scene 7, 139–143

I'm in my box seat, with my program, and my snacks--I'm ready for the show :) Thanks for including me, you are always so kind!

Melissa said...

What fun! Too bad I couldn't come up with anything. But next week? I'm so there.

Oh, and it looks like I'll be at youth gathering after all. :)

JCK said...

Always ready to pull out the fishnets! :) What a wonderful, dynamic cast!! I love it! And Flutter as the Amazon Queen. Yes, I can see that in a minute. Rima Rama as Bottom. Perfect!

When do rehearsals start?

Rima said...

This is so clever! I love it!

And how did you know about my a$$ mask???

Cold Spaghetti said...

I love this! I especially love that Alejna is Puck. :-)

Mad said...

Just wanted to say that I am not only planning to do the next Monday Mission, I am planning to win The Most Song Titles in a Blog Post Ever prize. Be forewarned.

Amelia said...

What an HONOR to be cast in your play. And with my lovely, far more talented than I, daughter. You are a dear, and I am sorry it took me so long to make it here.

flutter said...

you made me an Amazon!! I FREAKING LOVE IT!

are you sure you're not a casting agent? ;p

this is brilliant, you are brilliant.

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