A Midsummer Night's Dream in the park! (note time and place)

A popular tradition for summer solstice!

The lunatic, the lover and the poet 
Are of imagination all compact.

- Theseus, Act 5, scene 1

Shall we their fond pageant see? 
Lord, what fools these mortals be!

- Puck, Act 3, scene 2

LOCATION & LOGISTICS: If the weather seems iffy, we'll announce a location change by the day before and hopefully find a meetup location. If the weather is good, however, see above for map of spot in Volunteer Park - we'll try for the picnic tables across the road from the wading pool / restrooms at the NE end of the park (east of the conservatory, which is a Victorian glass greenhouse).  There are tables under a big silvery conifer, or other tables just east of there (closer to 15th Ave E).  You can call[masked] if you can't find us. Feel free to bring lawn chairs or blankets if you like (if they are easily portable - the park and wading pool are popular, so you might not find parking right close). Volunteer Park is right on the #10 busline from downtown.

This isn't a long play, and has lots of fun parts to go around - kings and queens both fairy and mortal, mismatched lovers, "rude mechanicals", and the one who put the Puck in puckish.  Allow time for distributing parts, reading aloud, taking a break, and (optional) discussion afterwards. Bring a copy of the text if you have one, but if you don't, don't worry - we can share.  It's not necessary to read the play before hand, but it's helpful to be familiar with the plot.  You can see below for a synopsis and quotations.


The course of true love never did run smooth.

- Lysander, Act 1, scene 1.

Theseus, King of Athens, is preparing for a festive wedding with the Amazon Queen Hippolyta, but not all his subjects are so fortunate in affairs of the heart. There is an unhappy love quadrangle among four young Athenians: Hermia and Lysander want to wed, but Hermia's father is determined to have her marry Demetrius, who has thrown over his former sweetheart Helena to pursue her.  Helena continues to pine for Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander decide to elope and run off to the fairy-haunted woods, pursued by Demetrius and Helena. They are all in the forest when night falls.

Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.

- Oberon, Act 2, scene 1

Oberon, the king of the fairies, is there feuding with his wife Titania over a changeling child, and he sends the spirit Puck to stir up mischief.

I am that merry wanderer of the night. 

- Puck, Act 2, scene 1

Liberal misapplication of a love-charm combined with mistaken identity tangles things further, especially when an amateur acting troupe of tradesmen turn up for a moonlit rehearsal.

What hempen home-spuns have we swagg'ring here, 
So near the cradle of the fairy queen? 

- Puck, Act 3, scene 1

Bottom the weaver enjoys a brief time as the fairy queen's consort, notwithstanding that Puck has made an ass of him.

Oberon and Puck hasten to resolve it all before daybreak,

For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast, 
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger.

Puck, Act 3, scene 2

Things finally sort themselves out, and the only lovers left unhappy are the characters Pyramus and Thisbe, in the hilarious would-be tragedy performed by Bottom and company for the royal wedding.

But stay, O spite! 
But mark, poor knight, 
What dreadful dole is here! 
Eyes, do you see? 
How can it be? 
O dainty duck! O dear!

- Bottom as Pyramus, Act 5, scene 1

Oberon sends out blessings as the play ends.

With this field-dew consecrate, 
Every fairy take his gait; 
And each several chamber bless, 
Through this palace, with sweet peace; 
And the owner of it blest 
Ever shall in safety rest.

-Oberon, Act 5, scene 1

Puck (also known as Robin Goodfellow) bids the audience goodnight.

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...

Give me your hands, if we be friends, 
And Robin shall restore amends.

Join or login to comment.

  • Kristin

    Count me as a maybe... I will make a last minute decision based mainly on traffic!

    June 20, 2014

  • Angel

    I'm so excited to have just discovered this wonderful group! Saturday can't come soon enough. This is one of my favorites of the Bard's work, and I have no doubt that I could hardly be in finer company on a better day for such a delightful event!
    Weather permitting.

    June 18, 2014

  • Barbara

    The usual place, near the dahlias?

    June 15, 2014

    • Nancy E.

      We never know where the tables will be, but that vicinity, yeah.

      June 15, 2014

    • Barbara

      OK, sounds good.

      June 16, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry to miss again ... Going to be at the solstice parade!!!

    June 15, 2014

    • Nancy E.

      Well, that's a fun and worthy place to be too!

      June 15, 2014

  • Margaret

    I'm afraid I'll miss yet another read-through. I'll be in Maine that day. Hoping to see familiar faces at King Lear at SIFF on the 24tg.

    June 15, 2014

  • James A. A.

    Ah, Mustardseed. Unfortunately I'm in Marble, WA on vacation. MSND is close to my heart. Got back on the boards in a 2000 Austin Shakespeare Festival production with a super-hero theme. Marvel-ous.

    June 15, 2014

  • Toni

    1:30! Cool. See y'all there.

    June 15, 2014

  • Hilary H.

    Yippee! I'm so happy we'll be outside!
    With thanks,

    June 15, 2014

  • Hilary H.

    This is a special day, the longest day of the year and the first day of summer, and the reading isn't going to be outside? I realize I don't have much sway as someone who hasn't been attending much lately, but please can we read in Volunteer Park?? Especially THIS play?

    1 · June 12, 2014

    • Nancy E.

      This one is Aidan's to run and he's been away, but thanks for the reminder, I was going to write him and see what he thought. If we cancel the library by this Sunday (they require a week notice) and it rains on the day, we have to scramble for a back-up, but there may be a library available. Or we keep the library reservation, switch to the park if it's a nice day, and someone has to go in person to the library to cancel on the day of, and then get over to the park. Possible, but also a hassle. I'll write him. It isn't a dislike of reading outdoors that occasionally lands us indoors on a nice day, it's logistical/organizationa­l complications (including this change in library cancellation policy), the unpredictability of Seattle weather, and the need to communicate changes in plans in a timely way to an e-mail list of over 400 people.

      June 13, 2014

    • Aidan

      Let's do it! I'll cancel the library room, we can plan on the park, and if Prospero deigns to grace us with his magic, we'll scramble.

      1 · June 15, 2014

17 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sometimes the best Meetup Group is the one you start

Get started Learn more

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy