A Midsummer Camp’s Dream is a very modern adaptation of the Shakespeare classic for kids of all ages, written in free verse with almost 100% new dialogue. Deep in the Catskill mountains, Camps Bluster and Hill-a-Wee are set into chaos as Theseus arrives to announce that he’s bought the land and must close one of the camps to make way for his new wife’s mansion and horse farm. His son Demetrius and fellow camper Lysander must now lead the boys in a winner take all talent show against the girls, led by Hermia and Helena, to determine which camp must be demolished at sunrise by Bottom and his comic crew of workers. All the while, King Oberon is vexed by his queen and sets his trusty aid, Puck, to scatter magic, confusion, and a good dose of laughs across the forest. A fantastic play to introduce teens to Shakespeare!
Terence Patrick Hughes writes plays for all ages. His children’s plays include adaptations for middle and high school of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest, while his shorter plays for grades K-4 offer a variety of adaptations from world mythology. His grown-up plays include LINES, Fake Plastic Love, A Harmony of Both, and Recess at Our Lady of the Bleeding Heart, Mind, and Spirit – Once Reformed. Other plays include Tea & Misery, Benched, Finding the Rooster, and Farewell Evenbrook. The New York Times noted that his work “…explores heavy subject matter with humorous dialogue and strong characters”. His plays have been developed and produced with the Lark, Horse Trade, Seven Collective, 13th St. Rep, Eden Prairie, Ovenbird, Playwrights Roundtable, and Boomerang theatres. Born in Lawrence, Mass., Hughes, his wife, and two children live in Woodstock, NY.
Excerpt from the play:
CAST OF CHARACTERS
THESEUS – rich man, father to Demetrius
HIPPOLYTA – Theseus’ fiancé
PHILOSTRATE – Theseus’ butler
EGEUS – Boy’s Camp’s Counselor
PATRICIA – Girl’s Camp Counselor
LYSANDER – Boy’s camper
DEMETRIUS – Boy’s camper, son of Theseus
HERMIA – Girl’s camper, Egeus’ daughter
HELENA – Girl’s camper
BOTTOM – Head of the Tradesmen
QUINCE – Tradesman
SNOUT – Tradesman
SNUG – Tradesman
STARVELING – Tradesman
OBERON – King of the fairies
TITANIA – Queen of the fairies
PUCK – Oberon’s assistant
PEASEBLOSSOM – Fairy
TIME: An enchanting summer’s day and night, the present
SETTING: The main stage and surrounding areas are filled with trees, mosses, vines, and nature enveloping the action at all times. At stage right is Camp Bluster, a boy’s summer camp. A few tents or bunkhouses in the background or just a flag pole that the actors gather around, but the feel of a worn yet adored place tucked away in the deep forest. At stage left is Camp Hill-a-Wee, the girl’s camp, with similar background tents or simply a stone camp-fire circle, where the girls similarly gather. The girl’s camp is tidy, maybe too tidy.
After opening music of Olivia Newton John’s ‘Magic’, lights up on Camp Bluster as THESEUS and HIPPOLYTA enter, followed by PHILOSTRATE carrying baggage, which he sets down and rests upon.
You’ll soon find out the reason I brought us here, first just stop and breathe this fresh mountain air.
Oh, Theseus, I’d rather be in the city planning our wedding party. I mean every time I blink another gnat lands in my eye.
Not to worry, dear Hippolyta, our wedding will happen soon enough; but first, we must buy land and build a house for all of your stuff.
Remember, I need a mansion with stunning mountain views and a six-car garage and a swimming pool, and lots of rooms we’ll never use.
Don’t these woods have the space you desire? Acres upon acres of untouched land?
But where do you get sushi or shop for fur? It’s not exactly the Hamptons.
Can’t you be a happy snob, just for my sake? Where’s our butler? Philostrate!
Here I am, sir. Wide awake!
Go and fetch the boy’s counselor just as we did at the girl’s camp. We’ll break the news to them here together to give them more time to rant. And try to find my son he must be somewhere. He’ll be the one with the Brooks Brothers shorts and the almost perfect hair.
I will gather your audience like a horn-blowing revelry, then I’m going inside, these mosquitos are killing me.
Couldn’t you send your kid to a nicer camp than this?
My ex-wife said he needs survival skills like how to track and how to fish. I suppose she thinks he’ll take to the wild after he blows his inheritance.
But why am I here? She’s not my mother and I don’t like camping.
Because your husband-to-be owns the very ground on which we’re standing.
You bought two summer camps? For kids? Are you crazy?
I’ll be sane as a judge when the banks open up on Monday. I bought the camps, both the boys and the girls, three hundred of the best tax-free acres in the world. We can build fifty mansions and still have room to grow, the only trick is we must leave one of the camps alone.
So, we knock one camp down to build our home, and let the other stand? That’s awful, that’s cruel, but hey, that’s life, so let’s do it fast as we can.
I see campers coming now. We’ll soon be out of these woods.
Oh, thank goodness! I broke a nail. I need an emergency manicure.
PATRICIA and HERMIA enter.
Hello, I’m Patricia, the head of Camp Hill-a-Wee. And this is Hermia, a camper I’ve asked to accompany me.
It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. We’ll only keep you for a while.
What’s this all about? Is everything OK?
No! I need a nail file!
I demand to hear your news. It’s almost the supper hour.
Patricia, why don’t we wait for my dad?
Egeus. The Boy’s Camp Counselor.
Here we are. I found the boy’s Counselor and your son, too. But there’s been a disaster.
There’s no cell reception. None of my texts went through.
Your cell phone won’t work. There’s no signal this high up in the mountains.
It’s nature’s repellent against city people who drive up and then right back down again.