A Midsummer Night’s Dream- P Quince

(ACT 1 SCENE 2) Is everybody here?
Did you make yourself a list? Yes, I did. I hope you all have seen today’s news. After I read it I thought of all my acquaintances in Athens, and I made a list of the ones I considered good enough to perform in front of the Duke and Duchess at their wedding celebration.
Well, just take out your list and call the roll. Good idea, okay answer up here now—
First, good Peter Quince, tell us what this play is all about Okay. Our play is “The most lamentable comedy, and cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe.”
Hey, that’s a good piece; and a barrel of laughs, too. Everybody have a seat somewhere and Peter Quince will show us how he wants to cast this play. Answer as I call you. Nick Bottom the weaver.
Ready. What’s my part? You, Nick Bottom, are cast as Pyramus.
Who is that– a lover or a tyrant? A lover that kills himself gallantly for love.
…could storm about the stage and create hemlock Hemlock?
Well, you know what I mean Create havoc?
That’s it. Just listen… Heavy stuff huh? Not that I couldn’t do a grieving lover just as well. We’re keeping the others in suspense.
Oh, right! Francis Flute, the bellows-mender?
Here, Peter Quince. Flute, you should make a perfect Thisbe.
What’s Thisbe, a knight in shining armor? It’s the lady that is the love of Pyramus.
Play a woman? Not me! Look I have a beard coming in. No problem. You’ll wear a veil. Just pitch your voice up a little higher.
…”Thisnee, Thisnee!” “Ah, Pyramus, my lover dear!” ThisBE– BE! Not “Thisnee.” Anyway, Flute’s definitley doing that part.
Well, I’d be terrific. But you’re the boss. Robin Starveling, the tailor.
Here, Peter Quince. Robin, you will play Thisbe’s mother. Tom Snout, the tinker.
Right here. You’ll be Pyramus’ father. And I’ll be the father of Thisbe. Snug, the carpenter, will play the lion. And that about does it, I think.
If you could give me the lion’s speeches as soon as possible, that’d be good. I’m a slow learner. Easy. It’s nothing but roaring.
…”Roar some more! Roar some more!” Look, I see you as Pyramus. He’s a sweet-faced man, a handsome man and a most lovely gentleman.
…red, tan or maybe a pretty yellow, the color of a gold piece? Most gold pieces I’ve seen have been rubbed smooth. All in favor of clean shaven- maybe even bald! Say Aye!
Wait now– disguise is what acting’s all about. We’re kidding. It’s really up to you. Now masters, here are your scripts. Memorize your lines by tomorrow night. We’ll meet in the palace wood by moonlight. I think it would be good to keep this a secret and surprise everybody. You all know where I’m talking about, near that huge oak tree– like maybe a mile or so outside of town?
(Murmur) Good. I’ll bring the props. Don’t anybody get cold feet now. I’m counting on you.
Peter Quince, if I may be a bit suggestive… the key is to conduct yourselves like true confessionals. Professionals.
Professionals! … So if anyone needs a little resistance, just call on ole’ Nick Bottom here. ‘Til we meet at the Duke’s Oak.
(ACT 3 SCENE 1) Looks like everybody found our meeting place, hunh? Good! Doesn’t this make a neat place to rehearse! The open space here will be our stage and right back there under the trees can be a sort of dressing room. And we can work it all out just as it will be played in front of the Duke.
Peter Qui— A question already, bully Bottom?
I’m concerned that this comedy might not go over too well. Really?– How’s that?
… Peter Quince, is write me a catalogue… Catalogue?
Well you know what I mean– ‘introduction’. Prologue?
…squarely that I, Pyramus, am not Pyramus; but it’s just me, Bottom, the weaver. Sure, yeah I guess we could do that.
And how about the lion? What about it?
I got it! Just make up another one of them catalogues of yours. Prologues.
Right-o– something like that. Well, okay. But as we are talking about problems, maybe you have some ideas about the moonlight and the wall. The play says that Pyramus and Thisbe meet by moonlight.
…Somebody got a Farmers’ Almanac? Yep. Hey, it says it does shine that night.
…Oh yeah. Or we could just have somebody carry a lantern and they could wear a sign saying “Moonshine”.
Or he could just say “I’m the moonshine.” Whatever works. But what about the wall? There’s supposed to be this hole in a wall that Pyramus and Thisbe talk through.
That’s amazing, Bottom! Good! So everything’s settled and we can get down to work. Pyramus, you can begin the rehearsal with your first speech. When it says for you to exit, just go over there behind that bush.
…I’ll be there unseen audience. For fun, I could invent a part to play myself! Okay, Pyramus, speak. Thisbe, you’re right here; but remember, there’s a wall between you.
“Thisbe, the odors of the flowers have a sweet savior.” Savor, savor.
My turn? That’s right. You start even before Pyramus returns from seeing what’s going on over there.
…I’ll meet thee, Pyramus, at Ninny’s tomb.” Wait– it says ‘Ninus’ tomb,’ man, not ‘Ninny’s’
Oh. Yeah. Anyway, you said that line too soon. You’re not really supposed to say all of your lines at once. (Calling off) Pyramus, you enter on the cue, ‘never tire.’ Let’s take it again.
…”Had I good looks, I’d still give none a look but Thisbe.” Oh, it’s a terrible monster! We are haunted! Pray masters, fly! Help!!!
Ha! Ha! HEE HAW! Wha… Oh Lord have mercy on you Bottom; Lord have mercy!
(ACT 4 SCENE 2) Have you sent to Bottom’s house?
…Then the play is ruined. You’re right. No one else in all Athens can play Pyramus the way he can– well could’ve.
Yeah, he was the best, no two ways about it. And such a good fellow in the bargain. A regular paramour!
I think you mean ‘paragon’— a paramour is a naughty, naughty thing, God bless us. Well, you know what I mean… Oh! Here I am talking just like ole’ Bottom!
O, sweet bully Bottom! If the Duke had not given him six pence a day for playing Pyramus, I’ll be hanged! Bottom! O most prosperous day! O most happy hour!
…No I’d give up my citizenship before you could drag it out of me. Okay as soon as I get my thoughts together. Nick Bottom, we want to hear it right now.
…your words can’t be spoken with malodorous breath. ‘Malodorous’ works for me!
(ACT 5 SCENE 1) Let him approach. Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show. But wonder on til truth shall ope the curtain. This man is Pyramus, if you must know. This beauteous lady Thisbe be for certain. Fieldstone all smeared with grout, an easy clue, this man presents what else? A wall to you. And there’s the chink our lovers whisper through, since wall denies these sad souls any view. Here with lantern and most wondrous dog. Is moonshine clear as I be your Prologue. ‘Tis his light leads the lovers to their tryst. At Ninus’ tomb, except, fate takes a twist. This grizzly beast you know by lion’s mane. His loudest roars this once he will restrain. So trusty Thisbe, first to find the tomb will try to glimpse her lover in the gloom. But beautuous maiden this lion will afright. In part because the time of day is night. Now, as she fled her mantle she let fall. Which lion vile with bloody mouth did stain. Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth and tall, to find his trusty Thisbe’s mantle slain. Whereat with blade, with bloody blameful blade he, so brave, doth breech his boiling breast. Thisbe, returning from the shadowed glade pulls forth the dagger. There, I’ll let you rest. May Lion, Moonshine, Wall and lovers twain. Blow full the tale, now Prologue will refrain.
Me, too, as Clea Pat to Ceasar truly was (WHISPER) Oh kiss me
The pap of Pyramus (Stabs himself) (WHISPER) Psst, other side
And bless the lions that live no more (WHISPER) THE LOINS