As you can see from previous blog posts, we were reading A Midsummer Night's Dream. And we stopped posting about reading it at about Act III. Oh, well. We did finish it and we planned a celebration that happened to coincide with our anniversary. We have been together seven years and Patricia got the idea to have a reading of MND from Shawn and Sara over at Pike Schemes.
We made three kinds of soup (Matt's default lentil stew, which was a bit chewy, but good enough for Christi to request the recipe, and Patricia made garbanzo bean soup and tomato soup). From 7:30-8 we served soup and people had to figure out what parts in the play they wanted. Patricia purposely designed no system to hand out parts, although she went to http://www.opensourceshakespeare.org/, which listed the number of lines for each character. Those that wanted small parts picked the fairies and the players, and those that wanted larger parts picked the lovers, the royalty, etc. People selected the name tag with their character's name.
Everyone went around and introduced him or herself and how they knew Matt and Patricia. Kevin introduced himself and said that he knew us from the Syphilis Survivor Support Group and the Ex-Pedophiles for Jesus. Michael was already drunk (he's got low tolerance) and he said he's married to Hafidha and by the transitive property, he knows everyone. Hafidha introduced herself and her husband ("He's not an alcoholic, just the opposite"). JoJo introduced himself and said he knew Matt from when they got naked for massage school. (Kevin said, "That old one.") Leo introduced himself as our neighbor and "They use my dirt."
Introductions done, we switched seats depending on who was in the scene.
It started off kind of rough, as you can see from this first photo.
But once I started in with the first lines as Theseus, people started laughing. Y'know, Theseus wooed his wife by beating her in battle, then he tells Hermia to accept her father's choice of suitor, become a nun, or die. It's not the most politically correct play, is it?
As Egeus, Michael affected a light Southern accent. It was cute.
When Theseus confessed that he meant to take care of a problem, "But, being full of self-affairs, My mind did lose it." Deborah commented, "Oops. Forgot."
Then came Helena, who was played by Julie. Julie happens to be from England and she did an amazing reading as Helena. It was a delight to hear.
Then came the players.
Deborah was the perfect Nick Bottom. When she accidentally read one of JoJo's lines, she said, "It's in character. Bottom wants to play all the parts."
Dana as Francis Flute, got to say, "...let me not play a woman. I have a beard coming." Oh, irony.
Then came the fairies. See below.
Leo has an amazing voice for acting. He played Oberon with a deep, mysterious voice, which several people commented was very fitting.
Kevin was Puck. 'Nuff said.
Kelly did a great job as Titania, although she said "Whew" after one of her long speeches.
After Helena pursued Demetrius (JoJo), who wanted nothing to do with her, Kelly gave some sisterly advice, "He's just not that into you."
Then all the fairies had to sing a song, making up the tune as we went. Thank goodness we didn't record that.
After Puck drugs the first Athenian, Kevin commented, "Footnote: hilarity ensues."
At this point, Matt's commentary tapers off. There were many lovely moments reading this play--it is a great read aloud, even for people not familiar with the plot. Several people over the next week cornered me and expressed with great enthusiasm what fun the party was and when would our next one be.
After the reading we had the traditional ice cream and hot fudge dessert and everyone bid goodnight.