Directing Act One Scene Two of A Midsummer's Nights Dream by William Shakespeare

Directing Act One Scene Two of A Midsummer's Nights Dream by William Shakespeare

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Directing Act One Scene Two of A Midsummer's Nights Dream by William Shakespeare

At the beginning of the scene Quince would enter to Snug, Flute, Snout
and Starveling all seated round the upstage side of a large wooden
table, which is situated on the apron of the stage, lively and
drunkardly jostling with each other. I would choose to have Bottom
standing in front of the table to represent his almost exaggerated
feeling of superiority over the others and then seat himself at the
centre of the table on the entrance of Quince.

On the line beginning, "Ready. Name what part…" Bottom would stand and
dramatically form a pose to suggest a, "lover" and then a, "tyrant"
playing up to the other men who, apart from Quince, are absorbed by
his act. On his recital of the two stanzas of poetry I would direct
him to step forward and dramatically deliver the lines with serious
conviction, which is looked on with awe by the men but seen humorously
for its pretentiousness by the audience.

On the line, "What is Thisby? A wand'ring knight?" Flu, whom I would
cast as being large and particularly hairy, would stand on the bench
gallantly with a foot on the table and his fists clenched to
accentuate the humour in the fact he has to play the woman of the
play. Meanwhile Bottom who has remained forward adopts a feminine pose
for line 44. When instructed, "No ,no, you must play Pyramus" he
resumes to theatrically thinking through his role in front of the
table whilst trying to take control of the meeting- much to the
increasing annoyance of Quince who I would direct to gradually edge
his way forward throughout the scene in order to out-do Bottom, who is
arrogantly oblivious to this.

I would cast Snug as being small and dopey looking and direct him to
appear slow and innocently simple throughout the scene. On the
deliverance of his line I would direct him to stand timidly so that an
exited Bottom could frighten him into quickly resuming his seat by

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roaring and acting out the lion's role. To this fearful reaction the
men would teasingly mock and poke fun at an embarrassed looking Snug.

On Quince's long passage, commencing line 86, the men would all go
back to their seats around the table, including Bottom- though with a
slight air of reluctance, and quietly listen to the plan of action. I
would direct the interruption from Bottom to once again be delivered
with a dramatic tone and then interjected by a now irritated Quince by
him standing equally theatrically for his line. From this Bottom,
realising Quinces reasons for frustration, stands and completes the
scene's dialogue in a way as if to suggest he is the superior one who
should be dismissing the others.

During scene two I would direct the actions to reflect the
dramatically theatrical language, predominantly from Bottom- Whilst
the other, clearly poor workers and labourers would look on in
admiration at Bottom exited by the process of producing the play. The
purpose of the scene is to create a light-hearted break from the more
profound and romantic plot of the previous scene. The contrast of the
exaggerated characters in this scene compared to the more seriously
realistic characters in scene one would help create the comedy for the
audience.
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