(A Midsummer Night’s Musical)
by Jim Betts
Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Musical) is a sequel to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Set 20 years after (and 1000 years before) that fateful night in that magical woods near Athens, Oberon picks up the stories of Shakespeare’s Faeries and Mortals at a time when the world as most of them know it is about to change completely.
The majority of the characters from the original play return in this sequel, although many of their lives have not turned out as might have been predicted. There is one completely new character, and one other who has grown up considerably.
The cast has 22 individual characters (12M/10F), plus a possible Ensemble.
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
THESEUS – Duke Of Athens. His wife of almost 20 years, Hippolyta, has recently died and he is struggling with how to bring meaning to his life again.
PHILOSTRATE – senior aide to Theseus, officious, tightly wound.
LYSANDER – married to Hermia for the past 20 years, perhaps as a result of which he is becoming less and less interesting with each passing year. Reticent, passive, discouraged – volatile.
DEMETRIUS – married to Helena for the past 20 years – well into mid-life crisis.
ROBIN – early 20’s, exotic, charismatic and slightly other-worldly.
NICHOLAS BOTTOM – although he’s grown more prosperous in the past 20 years, and seems as loud and brash as ever, his confidence has been recently undermined by the pressure to prove to Theseus that his wild claims of “Bottom’s Dream” are in fact based on true events.
- PETER QUINCE – still a carpenter, still annoyed by being bossed around by Bottom.
- FRANCIS FLUTE – still a bellows mender, still a reluctant thespian.
- ROBIN STARVELING – still a tailor, still uncertain about most things.
- TOM SNOUT – still a tinker, still not the smartest tool in the drawer.
- SNUG – still a joiner, still without a first name.
THE SCHOLAR/OBERON – a shadow of the Oberon of 20 years ago, aging, forgetful, confused – but every power he once possessed is waiting to be renewed.
PUCK – hobgoblin, mischievous, excitable, dangerous.
SERENA – late teens, daughter of Theseus and Hippolyta – bright, passionate and longing for adventure.
HERMIA – married to Lysander for the past 20 years – wondering what happened to the man she married.
HELENA – married to Demetrius for the past 20 years – tired of it all.
HIPPOLYTA – vision of Theseus’s late wife (dancer).
TITANIA – Queen of the Faeries. Tall, dynamic, breathtakingly beautiful.
COBWEB – head Faery, aware of the rules, protective of the rules, anxious to break the rules.
PEASEBLOSSOM, MUSTARDSEED, MOTH – Faeries attendant to TITANIA.
Most theatre audiences have some knowledge of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, although a detailed knowledge of the original play is not necessary to an understanding of the story in Oberon. Oberon does, however, open with a variation of the traditional Elizabethan “dumb-show”, during which the audience watches a short pantomimed synopsis of the original play. Following this Prologue, the action jumps ahead 20 years and the action of the “sequel” begins.
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (COMPANY)
“Anything Is Possible” (PUCK, FAERIES)
“Welcome Home” (TITANIA)
“Somewhere Beyond This Tree” (SERENA, HERMIA, HELENA)
“Who?” (PUCK, OBERON)
“The Lovers’ Diatribe” (HERMIA, HELENA, LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS)
“I Remember” (OBERON, TITANIA)
“Who (Reprise)” (PUCK, OBERON)
“The Ballad Of Bottom’s Dream” (BOTTOM, MECHANICALS)
“Lullaby, Spotted Snakes” (FAERIES)
“Oberon’s Poem” (OBERON)
“Never Before” (SERENA, ROBIN)
“One More Night Like Tonight” (BOTTOM, PHILOSTRATE, MECHANICALS, FAERIES)
“The Lovers’ Song” (HERMIA, HELENA, LYSANDER, DEMETRIUS)
“In My World” (PUCK, ROBIN, COMPANY)
“There Used To Be A Wonder” (THESEUS)
“You’ll Never Want To Go Away” (TITANIA)
“By Us Shall Blessed Be” (OBERON)
“Anything Is Possible (Finale)” (COMPANY)
A Perusal Script and a Demo CD of the songs from Oberon are available.