I'm sorry, maybe I'm the only one that finds this article amusing. It's about the director for a little community theatre somewhere in Southtown (it never says the state -- South Carolina, maybe?) putting on some Shakespeare.
It starts out with a quote from The Tempest, but they're actually doing Midsummer's. Perhaps the author could have started out with "What fools these mortals be" instead? :)
Reasons why they chose this play (direct from the article):
- Since it's Shakespearean, it's public domain and she doesn't have to pay royalties.
- It's a comedy.
- "It really hadn't been done before around here, so people wouldn't be too sick of it."
- It was a favorite of Mr. Holubar, a college friend of hers, who died their freshman year.
(So glad that the #1 reason is the royalty thing, and the last one mentioned is the whole "honoring a dead friend" thing :))
I like how the article quotes the Washington Post, that Dream is "filled with love and laughter, mischief and matrimony and a whole lot of magic spells." It really does give you the feeling that these people have never actually seen a Shakespeare play before.
Perhaps funniest of all, of course, is that the town is called "McDuffie" and nobody saw fit to pun on that. Just imagine if they'd done Macbeth? Everytime somebody mentions the name on stage, the audience could scream like a rock concert:
"Lay on, Macduff!"
"WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, wait, he's not talking to us. NEVER MIND!"
(The entire plot of the 1980's movie Porky's II revolves around the conservative southerners trying to shut down a school Shakespeare production, which I believe is also Midsummer. There's a classic battle between principal and priest comparing who had more dirty words, Shakespeare ("what, with my tongue in your tail?") or the Bible (something something book of Solomon). But for the life of me I can't find anything online. )