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A Midsummer Night's Dream

Shakespeare's chaotic and magical comedy about love and mischief opens at The Merced Theatre September 30th and runs for three days only!  A Midsummer Night's Dream has become The Bard's most popular show and is both the perfect introduction of Shakespeare to someone who's never seen one of his plays and a favorite of seasoned Shakespeareans.

You can get you tickets today through the Merced Theatre box office at (209)381-0500 or online at

Plot Summary

Theseus, the Duke of Athens, plans his marriage with Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons. Egeus brings his daughter Hermia to court, followed by her beloved Lysander and her suitor Demetrius. Hermia refuses to marry Demetrius, but wants Lysander instead. Her father claims he has the right to punish her with death. Lysander and Hermia decide to flee by night into the woods, and Hermia’s friend Helena who is madly in love with Demetrius decides to tell Demetrius about the plan. Local workmen who like to do plays together decide to practice the tragic story of Pyramus and Thisbe. Bottom likes to be their star and gets the role of Pyramus. They want to perform for the duke on his wedding day.

Oberon and Titania, king and queen of the fairies, are arguing; there is tension in the fairy wood which is very much enjoyed by Puck, the sprite that serves Oberon. Oberon decides to play a trick on Titania with a magical flower. This magic will make her fall in love with the first person she sees after waking up. Oberon overhears Helena and Demetrius argue and wants to help Helena by making Demetrius fall in love with her. He sends Puck out to do it, but Puck finds Lysander sleeping on the ground and gives him the love potion. When Lysander sees Helena, he immediately is in love with her. Oberon realizes Puck’s mistake. Demetrius also gets the love potion, and when both men protest their love to Helena, she thinks they are making fun of her.

When the workers practice in the woods, Puck puts an ass’ or donkey head on Bottom. His troupe runs away for fear, but Titania wakes up, is enamored by him and takes him to her bower. In the meantime the two young men want to fight each other, but are getting lost in the woods, just like Hermia and Helena, but Puck makes them all go to sleep and restores Lysander’s love to Hermia. Titania also is released from her spell by Oberon.

Theseus finds the young lovers sleeping on the ground in the wood. Demetrius tells him he no longer loves Hermia, but Helena; all is forgiven, and they return to Athens. Bottom wakes up and thinks everything was a dream. On the wedding day Bottom and his company perform their play successfully, everyone retires to bed – then the fairies arrive and bless the house.

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