by Kristen Doherty
Photo: Francesco Ungaro

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by Kristen Doherty

On a hot Saturday morning in a prestigious Australian college, rehearsals are underway for a Shakespearean Gala, ‘Scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

The boundaries between fantasy and reality blur when the actors lives start to parallel those of their namesake characters and they are they are swept up in a tale that is more than 400 years old.

How can Helena rewrite her story?

The love triangle of Hermia, Lysander and Demetrius is played out and we meet Helena, a dorky but loveable girl who has been treated badly by Demetrius. When he follows Hermia and Lysander into the enchanted forest on the school boundary, Helena follows him. Her fears are realised when the The Dream starts to take over.

In another place in the forest a group of wayward kids, rehearsing the Mechanical scenes are also caught up in the magical story. Nick, an annoyingly, over-enthusiastic drama student playing Bottom, is ignorant to the enchantment and believes he is being pranked when his cast-mates flee.

Helena meets an oblivious Puck, plays witness to Titania and Oberon’s cosmic battle and sees her friends’ magical transformation into their literary characters. She must now rewrite her story, take back her power and save them all.

Meanwhile Nick is seduced by Titania and her fairies who he believes to be “really talented actors”. They inspire him to gather his troupe and perform ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’ at the Gala, saving the show for St Athenian’s.

The Dream follows the linear story arc of Shakespeare’s original, the Lovers, Court and Mechanicals represented through new personas of the staff and students of a high school. The Fairies remain magical creatures, who belong in another time, another reality, but have somehow permeated through into the now.

The Dream is a Teen Aussie Romantic Comedy, Shakespeare style.

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