Midsummer Night’s Dream (Modified Shakespeare) by Lynn Brittney

Running time approximately 35 minutes.

You will find that these modified versions of the text make the plot line clearer for those students new to the works of William Shakespeare and in no way diminish Shakespeare’s intentions. These plays are intended for production. Classroom study of Shakespeare plays will require the full text. This version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream concentrates purely on the scenes involving the quarrel between the Fairy King and Queen and the subsequent involvement with the workmen actors. It works very well as a stand-alone performance piece.

14 SPEAKING PARTS. Unlimited non-speaking.

As with all our plays, there are full production notes that give advice on scenery, costumes and props.


Here’s a sample

A woodland glade. A fairy is waving her wand over clumps of flowers. Puck, the mischievous sprite, enters.

How now, spirit! What are you doing and where are you going?

Over hill, over dale,
Through bush and through brier
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon’ sphere
And I serve the Fairy Queen.
To cast the dew upon the green
The cowslips tall her bodyguards be
In their gold coats spots you see.
Those are rubies, fairy presents
And in those freckles are their scents.
I must go and find some dewdrops here
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.
Farewell you clumsy spirit, I’ll be away
The Queen and all her elves come here today.

The King of Fairies will be here tonight
Take care your Queen keeps out of sight
For she has made the king quite mad
By keeping a little changeling lad,
A sweet boy, stolen from an Indian king
Queen Titania keeps him as her plaything.
Jealous Oberon would have the child
As one of his knights, in the forest wild.
But she won’t part with the little boy
She says he is her pride and joy.
So now they never meet in grove or green,
By fountain clear, or starlight’s gleam.
If they meet, they only fight
And make their elves all hide with fright.

Are you not that shrewd and knavish sprite
Sometimes called Robin Goodfellow?
Also sometimes called Hobgoblin or Puck
Who works for farmers and brings them luck?
But aren’t you sometimes to blame
For upset milk and spoiled grain?
And don’t you sometimes frighten girls
And put poor men’s heads in a whirl?

That is me, I play tricks and jokes
And play games on the honest folks.
My job is to make King Oberon smile
And that can sometimes be a trial.
Sometimes I change into a stool
And sit there, waiting for some poor fool
To come along and sit on me.
And then I disappear you see.
The fool falls down upon his bum
And everyone thinks he is dumb.
The people laugh at such a jest
King Oberon likes that one the best.
Oh no! Look, fairy, here comes your Queen!

And there’s your King! We must not be seen!

Puck and the Fairy hide. Oberon and Titania come on from opposite sides of the stage and glare at each other. Titania holds the changeling boy’s hand. They are each followed by fairies and elves.

Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.

Ugh! Jealous Oberon! Come fairies, I will not stay here.


Wait! I am your King! Do not turn your back on me!

And I am a Queen and may do as I please.

All I want is that changeling boy,
To be my knight and not your toy.

There is no price that you could pay
To take this little boy away.
His mother was most dear to me
But she was mortal and not a fairy.
So, in giving birth, she did die
And her sweet child by me did lie.
And for her sake I do bring up her boy
And for her sake I will not part with him.

How long will you stay in this wood?

My fairies and I shall dance all night
Come dance with us in the pale moonlight.

Give me that boy and I will dance with you.

Not for your fairy kingdom. Come fairies, away!
We shall just argue more, if I longer stay.

(Titania and her fairies leave)